By Ray Pride

Drew McWeeny

“The job of writing about film and entertainment on a daily basis [is like] walking on a treadmill. You’re in constant motion, but you never seem to get anywhere or accomplish anything substantial. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve wanted to do over the years, only to have the demand of the daily grind gradually beat all of the ambition out of me. You get to a point where you’re just trying to keep up with the always-hungry maw, and you never really have a chance to step back and look at what you’re doing. The last few months, I’ve had a chance to really look around at the state of movie journalism and, honestly, I’m not sure where I fit in it at this point. There are so many good writers out there right now, and it feels like they’re all being asked to run a marathon with one leg tied behind their back. In a world of clickbait, what good is it to be a real writer? I don’t care about writing breathless stories every time a new trailer is released, and I don’t care who just got cast in a film that won’t be out for three years. There is such an ugly competitive thing in our business, and yet the stakes are so low and the actual things people are fighting over are often ridiculous.

So can I do this in a different way?

Can I do this in my own way?
~ Drew McWeeny Muses, December 2016 pdf

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“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant

“To say I knew exactly what I was doing at the outset — what’s that called? I think that would be a lie. Wormwood is something that was figured out as we went along. There was a kind of plan. My sales pitch to Netflix was, ‘I’m going to create the cinematic version of the everything bagel, except no raisins. I don’t like them in bagels. I think raisins are wrong, at least as far as bagels are concerned. But I told them I wanted to do something that combines straight drama, reenactments, archival research, various diverse graphics elements, and on and on and on. It wasn’t going to be documentary business as usual. It was going to be something different. I have suffered for years this idea that interviews aren’t directing and that there’s something really different about real people and actors. Whereas I’ve always believed that it’s really about performance — eliciting a performance, creating a performance on film. That’s true of interviews, it’s true of scripted material, it’s true of reenactments, it’s true of everything. It’s all direction.”
~ Errol Morris