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Soderbergh On Contagion

Steven Soderbergh: “Yeah, it’s been weird in the ways that it’s tracked with what epidemiologists told us ten years ago would be the most likely scenario for a new pandemic. In that regard, it was not surprising. What’s been fascinating is to watch the reaction to this virus emerging. The good news is, this will get solved. I’ve met the people who are responsible for trying to figure this stuff out, some of them I’m still working with today as I try to coordinate the Directors Guild taskforce on how to get the movie industry back to work. I tell you right now, this will get solved. This will get solved. I’ve met these people. I’ve worked with them. They’re very smart and this will get solved. The key is to manage expectations about how that’s going to get solved, and when it’s gonna get solved. In terms of the entertainment industry, I know there’s a way to get people back to work safely, and it’s going to become a matter of resources. I’m hoping that as time goes by, the availability of testing will cease to become an issue. That scarcity will go away. That’s going to be the key… When you test negative, people have to remember, that’s when you’re not spreading it. It doesn’t mean you’re not getting it. That’s where the mask thing comes into play. And for people who downplay that, the mask thing works. They’ve done studies during SARS to show that the effect with just a simple mask: two things, it keeps you from spewing it, but it also makes you conscious of how it spreads. This is how it spreads: You. Touch. Your. Face. That’s it. It enters through your mouth, your nose and your eyes. Period! So if you’re more conscious of that… So yeah, it’s been interesting to see something that all the virologists and all the epidemiologists told us would start in a wet market in Asia, and probably involve a bat, all of them said that! And it’s been weird to see that play out exactly.”

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"On September 10, James Packer’s $200 million megayacht IJE was harbored in Tahiti, where it was scheduled to stay for three months. A bailiff attempted to board the luxury liner to serve the film producer and financier and was told to return the following day because Packer was not there. When the bailiff returned, IJE was pulling out of the harbor and heading to Bora Bora with the Australian billionaire onboard. Meanwhile, in Bulgaria, a process server was attempting to serve Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner at his Eastern Europe studio. Simultaneously, disgraced film producer Brett Ratner and former Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara were served at their homes in Los Angeles. Sources say the four men were notified of a petition filed September 3 in Los Angeles Superior Court by a woman named Melissa Parker, who was facing off against Clark Grandin, Bruce Hamilton, Gregory Kemp and Walter Nelson. The names wouldn’t ring a bell with anyone in the Hollywood community. That’s because they are pseudonyms, with Parker being a stand-in for Charlotte Kirk — the British actress at the center of a scandal that has led to the ouster of two studio executives from their top perches, Tsujihara and NBCUniversal chief Ron Meyer. The defendants are, in fact, Ratner, Tsujihara, Packer and Lerner. The men have used these pseudonyms in legal documents since 2017 in an attempt to shield their identities amid explosive claims."

Hollywood Reporter | September 25, 2020


Aaron Sorkin: "When you bring home a puppy, it’s said you should get a crate that is big just about big enough for the puppy to move around. That confined space will make the puppy feel secure. It’s the same with me. I like the four walls of the court and the office. I only have one movie under my belt, Molly’s Game, which had three principal characters. This film has eleven stars, most of whom are leads in their own movies and it has riots and teargas scenes. That’s not part of the puppy crate. Just writing the words, 'Exterior: Scene' on a screenplay makes me dizzy.... When I left Spielberg's house [in 2006], I called my father because I didn’t know about the events Steven was referring to. I said yes because it was Steven and he said there was a trial, so I thought courtroom and that was enough.”

Variety | September 25, 2020

Jonathan Lethem: "The sensation of sitting alone in the theater is one I compulsively compare to going to a brain laundromat. I’m there to have my brain rinsed in the stream of images. I specify “compulsively” because I think of this comparison every time I go. Watching a big screen in the dark relaxes and restores me, and takes me out of the realm of criticism and language that too often overtakes my pleasure at the immersive flow of reading. Those personal “sites”—immersive reading, dreamy-attentive moviegoing—are primal for me, and sacred."

September 24, 2020

Peter Jukes: "You didn’t have to meet Harry to feel his spirit and generosity. It infused everything he wrote and edited. He was everything a journalist should be: open, inquisitive, sceptical at times, but never cynical – always enthusiastic and positive. Maybe part of that generous energy was down to Harry’s background, which reads like a textbook lesson in all the possibilities of post-war British social mobility. The son of a railwayman from Eccles, he left school with no qualifications and started working in local journalism at the age of 16, rising to the pinnacle of the best British newspaper of the last century, the Sunday Times. No wonder, with this trajectory, Harry seemed to approach every day, and every person, with a sense of good fortune and mischief."

September 24, 2020

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