Archive for Harvey Weinstein

Rainbow Connection

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2018 by dcairns

Conspiracy theory time. Fiona keeps in touch with the great Mike Hodges (GET CARTER, FLASH GORDON), and recently received the following:

“This morning on Radio 4 Jane Fonda was talking about Rosanna Arquette and her run-in with Weinstein in the earl 90s.

She says her career suffered when she refused to comply with his advances – just like Gloria Minette in GRIST.

[Gloria Minette is a star that imploded..…The gravitational forces inside the system tore her apart.  She would never work again.]”

Grist is one of Mike’ recent novels. You can buy them here.

“I made BLACK RAINBOW with Rosanna in 1990 and fought to have Miramax (Weinstein’s company) distribute it.

They were brilliant at marketing.

For over twelve months their people would enthusiastically contact me – but suddenly they stopped.

Then, out of the blue, a tacky US cable company rang to say they’d acquired the movie and would fly me to LA on a promotional visit.

I never heard from Miramax again!  Now I know why!!!”

Or at least can speculate why. I asked Fiona to ask Mike if I could publish his comments.

“By all means run with the RA story as long we make clear that it is conjecture.

Sadly I haven’t seen R since the ghastly (& hysterically funny) press conference held by the cable company.

At the time she was as dumbfounded by Miramax as I was.

The same form of (costly) revenge was perpetrated by Sam Goldwyn on A PRAYER FOR THE DYING.

The film was dumped in the US because Micky R had called him (correctly) a “douche bag.”

Here’s to resilience, you two,”

 

A little later, Mike added:

“Maybe David could pitch it as a mystery?

The film had great reviews (I’m sure to have then somewhere!) won several festival awards.

So why did Miramax dump it?

Could it be because etc etc”

Well, could it be? Miramax under the Weinsteins certainly had some unusual practices, according to Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures. The movie THE YOUNG POISONER’S HANDBOOK was derailed under similar circumstances, but with no suggestion that Harvey was avenging himself on any of the actors. It was suggested that the strategy was to draw in a project that was getting a lot of interest, wait until the interest went away, and then drop it. The purpose being to reduce the value of a project you never actually wanted but that could have made money for a competitor. You can delay it until its currency has faded, or you can make everyone wonder, “Why did Miramax drop it? What’s wrong with it?”

I didn’t like THE YOUNG POISONER’S HANDBOOK, personally — though it was made and performed with great skill, — but that’s a mean trick. It could be that Weinstein’s apparently inconsistent enthusiasm for BLACK RAINBOW — which I like a lot — was nothing more sinister than that — which is still pretty sinister. Or there could be some other reason.

I think Mike imagined me doing a bit more work, a bit more writing, than I’ve done here. But I figure he’s more interesting to listen to than me.

BLACK RAINBOW is a very fine film. And always relevant, alas. It’s a supernatural thriller, a political thriller, and I guess you could also say it’s about the exploitation of talent and what showbiz can do to people, which means Arquette’s revelations give it a whole new way of being relevant to this particular moment.

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Harvey

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2017 by dcairns

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.

Dr Gilliam, I Presume?

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2008 by dcairns

The Imaginarium of Doctor Gilliam is the most complete retrospective of Terry Gilliam’s work ever assembled, here in Milan. They even have the excellent TV show The Last Machine, on the origins of cinema, which Gilliam presented.

In case of bumping into the reformed Python and BRAZIL auteur, I boned up by watching TIDELAND at last before I came out here. It was quite impressive, and made up for the rather sour taste left by the Weinstein-Gilliam “collaboration” THE BROTHERS GRIMM. I identified with TIDELAND’s child heroine, since she has a collection of dolls’ heads, like me. Here’s mine:

And here is Djeliza-May’s in TIDELAND:

Festival organiser Ben ushered me into The Presence of Greatness and I shook the mighty hand (Gilliam has a mighty head, shaped like a dodgem-car, and mighty gnarled and chunk hands. If Ernest Brgnine was a pair of hands, he would be these. “You were pointed out to me in your T-short and shorts,” he said, “They said, ‘He’s from Scotland, he thinks this is NICE weather.’ I do too!”

We discussed the Filmmakers’ House, which I recommended he visit. A leaking art-deco meat market (“The film business!” he chortled) seems like a Gilliam kind of place. So maybe he’ll show up to party later (he has more stamina in his 60s than I do at 40, it seems).

And in other news, they’re showing my film in the park by the castle tonight at 10.45. The weather seems to have been improving slowly all day so I hope it’s a sunny night.