Harvey

But you should see the one in his attic.

And now for a nice post about an invisible rabbit.

No.

Can I add anything to the current controversy about Harvey Weinstein? Nothing personal. I greeted him when he was at the Edinburgh Film Festival one time, because I sort of wanted to see if he would be minimally polite (he was fine) and if I could sort of face him. (I’d read Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures so I had a faint idea of how monstrous he might be, but only in relation to films and directors.) But Fiona felt I should just have avoided him and she was right.

Charlize Theron, speaking in Edinburgh: “I think it [the casting couch] probably does exist. But there’s a way of walking into a room that say, ‘Well, maybe…’ Whereas when I walk into a room, it’s like ‘Ain’t no fuckin’ way.'” Theron is a tough cookie. And I don’t think she’s blaming those who aren’t as self-reliant. As someone who’s been bullied, I know the importance of the first concession. If you agree to meet Harvey in his hotel room, he’s got you. But the awful thing is, standing up to a bully doesn’t work if you’ve been assessed as bully-able. The unbully-able never understand this.

I’m curious as to when we’ll hear anything about this from Robert Rodriguez. Tarantino has been notably silent too, of course, and he’s a considerably more interesting or anyhow provocative filmmaker than Rodriguez, but RR is much more closely connected to this story — wasn’t Rose McGowan his partner when whatever happened happened? (And we basically all think we know what happened.) He has continued to work with Weinstein up until right about now. I find that seriously hard to understand, even in an environment like the movie business. I found Kevin Smith’s reaction plausibly sober and dignified, but silence from Rodriguez baffles me. If he’s in any way able to distance himself, you’d think he’d be doing it, loudly and on social media.

Nothing wrong with what Damon & Affleck said, except that Rose McGowan tells us that Affleck DID know all about Harvey’s depredations.

On the other hand, one rather wishes Paul Schrader had stayed away from the discussion. His comment that Weinstein’s being a “sexual gangster” offended him less than the producer’s tampering with films by Bertolucci and Wong Kar-Wei could certainly have used an edit. I guess, cutting him the maximum possible amount of slack, we could say that Weinstein’s entire raison d’être was his handling of films, so the fact that he handled them in a violent and destructive way, treating them much as he treated aspiring actresses, means that he’s not only a horrible human being, but the kind of producer who makes films worse. So that he shouldn’t have even been in a position to exploit women. We shouldn’t have ever had to hear about him.

But still, I would hope nobody would seriously argue that recutting a film is worse than raping somebody, and Schrader ought to be able to express himself better. He’s stunningly articulate. One reason people are piling on him is that he doesn’t have stupidity as an alibi, and when you’re smart and fail to be sensitive about a particular subject, it makes it look like you don’t care about that subject.

It was widely believed that Weinstein leaked Roman Polanski’s court records to try to stop THE PIANIST winning at the Oscars. That would seem to tie in with my theory that we all tend to attack others for our own faults. Weinstein, an assailant of women, points at Polanski. All these stories about Weinstein calling women “fat” (Haley Atwell, ffs)… The guy must hate himself, somewhere deep down. Continuing to kick him in print is almost beside the point, though if he can be successfully prosecuted that would be a fine thing. And let’s keep him out of movies. He’s crippled the careers of talented people, I don’t think anybody should feel he deserves a second (more like a thousandth) chance. An investigation into the DA who dropped the prosecution over that HORRIFYING tape would be good too.

But more than anything I want to praise the courageous women who first spoke out. It’s not easy to imagine how daunting that must have been.

And I imagine there are a lot of nervous execs in Hollywood and New York right now. Louise Brooks said that the movies came about because a bunch of wealthy businessmen thought it would be a marvelous idea to own beautiful young women. Women like Olivia De Havilland pushed back against that ownership, the studio contract system. It would be nice to see the whole power structure finally collapse.

STOP PRESS

Aaaaand Twitter suspends Rose McGowan’s account for speakingn out against rape. I think we should boycott Twitter for 24 hrs or until she’s reinstated.

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4 Responses to “Harvey”

  1. I am angered by the ignoring of Asia Argento in the news/social media; young, extremely vulnerable, confused and able to speak openly and frankly about the consequences to her *own* sexual being of HW’s assaults. Is she not “famous enough” for the prurient media???

    And, most particularly, as the *very* longtime (30 years) husband of a (male) survivor of serial priestIy rape, I feel bound to say that while cheering, applauding and admiring deeply the courage of the women who survived HW’s vile attentions and assaults and rapes, please let’s not overlook the fact that men=aggressors / women and girls=victims are most inaccurate equations.

    And the hell with Theron’s ill-considered, arrogantly self-congratulating comment. And, David , be very careful of your own comment; “I know the importance of the first concession.”
    I am moved to comment, albeit rudely, “well, indeed, bully for you.”

  2. what? oh fuck off twitter

  3. Meanwhile it’s important to point out that Harvey’s not the POTUS

  4. Weinstein is not president, but he’s a similar personality in some ways, isn’t he? Even if his stated politics are different.

    I’ve read quite a bit about Asia Argento’s story online. Certainly a key witness, and she put his behaviour in a film, which is good work. She’s a hero who doesn’t feel like one and I hope enough people are telling her she damn well is.

    In fairness to Theron, she was speaking off the cuff and had had a couple of whiskies. Which is why I wanted to parse her words a bit, because I don’t think she intended victim-blaming in any way. I think she was trying to account for the fact that nobody had picked on her. By the time she got to Hollywood she had already witnessed her mother shoot her abusive father dead. She’s a little battle-hardened. She worked on Miramax films early on and Harvey apparently decided discretion was the better part of predatory sexual harassment.

    And *I* certainly don’t want to imply that victims are responsible. Romola Garai, for instance, was a teenage girl surrounded by responsible older people who should have protected her: her agent, the film’s producers and director…

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