By Jacqueline Howlett
A breakdown on Weinstein, Hollywood, the currency of gossip, what it means to one writer to be a film fan / woman.
Remember Chappelle’s stand up, pre comeback when he discussed his feelings about “Kramer’s meltdown?” “I’m 20% black / 80% comedian“? Well, I’ve always been 20% woman / 80% film buff.
This week, both of these sides came together amid stunning revelations about the film world. I waited a few days to get a long view. New York Times and New Yorker mag dropped intense, well-researched, run thru legal, names named bombs on Hwood. Ronan Farrow did a stellar piece and eight months of investigative journalism you can read HERE.
Ronan is a unique voice: he’s Woody and Mia’s son, and an outspoken advocate for his sister Dylan about Woody’s alleged sexual improprieties with her as a child.
HOLLYWOOD’S LEGENDS and the ARTIST’S PIG PASS
Woody Allen had an ‘affair’ w/Mia’s other daughter (Soon Yi Previn) & wed her at age 21. Note: this ‘affair’ started in Soon Yi’s teens.
Look at NY press really struggling here – but this short clip illustrates this mess well:
The backstory is important. Ronan is a newer, unique ally to women. Woody was THE prototypical “we love him and his work” film god, still, in 1992. The media fell over themselves back then to dig thoroughly through this salacious, dark story but Woody Allen was still pretty damn untouchable then.
(All of us film fans struggled mightily with this crisis of film vs. humanity. Eventually many people did a quiet boycott, but his work was declining as well by and large.) Woody Allen drifted away overseas gradually (indignantly) and lost New York City in the dustup. That was his punishment. A sort-of shunning.
(One of the gifts of my life is that my partner never found Woody Allen cute or appealing. HE HAD HIM SUSSED OUT AS A MAN. He found him utterly creepy, gross, disturbing, w/no retro or cinephile love of him, as many of us had. He cannot stand Allen films ever. Not the greatest, not the ones he’s not in, not any of them.)
In a weird way, this kept me honest over the years. He was right. The art is not worth more than how the sausage is made. Food for thought.
We film buffs gradually outgrew Woody Allen, more or less, though some actors (looking for that shine that was mostly from 30+ years ago) still clamor to work with him, and there are many in the industry and fans with the view “we can love the artist even if man is repugnant.”
This ‘great artist pig pass’ goes back to Hitchcock. Polanski, Brando (daughter) and Zanuck (studio head, well worn carpet, Marilyn, others.) It seems, as new revelations spill forth, as Hollywood as the MGM lion. Sadly.
I’ll not waste any banter over seperating great auteurs from their rapes, assaults, bullying, or abuse toward actresses anymore. As I became more woman and less starry-eyed film buff, I quietly started to boycott the work of those few “great” men who we all (film buffs and industry, older media) KNOW assaulted women or kids, and who got away with it, scott-free. I tried to never give them another film-going dime. Watched some of their films on the sneak.
Stars have so much power though. Brando was so majestic. Beautiful, he was. Brando’s daughter Cheyenne lived a short life of tragedy and pain. Buried deep in Hollywood print media in places we can no longer dig up, she alleged he systematically raped her. Spy mag and Movieline mag (both defunct) and books (bios) were some of our resources then. Vanity Fair was powerful, journalistic, then. Much less pandering, too. A different animal. It was not running with the end goal to host THE MOST EXCLUSIVE AND EXPENSIVE OSCAR PARTY OF THE YEAR, yet.
Do I still watch The Godfather? Sure. Probably because no one talks about what I believe to be true about mighty Brando. I appreciate talent. We rarely get to see female talent as so few women are able to really reach the iconic /stardom level that too many mediocre men do. So just like people of colour who’ve seen so few heroes that look like them, white women, too have made do with the productions of white male Hollywood by and large. The conversations are happening now, though, the ugly truth should be uncomfortable.
This is the worldview and the type of genius my generation was born into loving. And boy, did Allen shoot Manhattan beautifully. I will never know if I fell in love with Manhattan because of Woody Allen, or Sesame Street, or Ghostbusters, or what, but it was definitely from what I watched on screens made in that magical place we could never understand from faraway Canada.
WEINSTEIN’S “CASTING COUCH” (Spoiler: there was no couch) & AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Weinstein was a god in Hollywood since his domination of the industry began from around 1990 on. Note: everyone called Miramax “the house that Quentin Tarantino built”. And it was. Tarantino’s early films were utter game-changing marvels that no one saw coming after the 80s action and teen movie era was getting tired.
But laypeople/film buffs and close readers far from Hollywood’s inner circle knew about Weinstein’s ‘ways’. Here was a throwback studio head mogul complete with a well-worn old school casting couch. From which were produced stars and Oscars. Prestige films found Middle America. Indie was reborn. Whatever was done to get the sausage made (including some fuckery with foreign made films’ editing, credit, and promotion, and who got those coveted Oscars) was clearly working. Were we not entertained?
In hindsight, my (very flawed) view, and what I think was the conventional view of HW’s ‘casting couch’ was:
1. That it was consensual
2. That it was “transactional” i.e. that the women who were “friends of Harvey” were a few tough broads (maybe former sex workers, so a step up?) and that they were happy with the results. This was all spun out of our own minds, mind you.
3. The conventional view point was rather “judgey” and less than empathetic about a certain type of woman (or man). Depending on how much we thought of them as an actor.
Chauvinism is built in to the machine. We all compromise our inner voices when we see great buys in stores we know are made in sweatshops. We know that pretty and convenient things have always been built upon exploitation. And these people were all richer than us, making sympathy or empathy scarce.
If our local newspapers in Toronto and our local bit players knew all of Hollywood’s secrets, then everyone of Weinstein’s top staff / board / A-List stars had to know. This point is key to debates and knee-jerk reactions to the story today. We “20% women 80% film buffs” can be a pretty chauvinistic bunch, I see now, in retrospect, (coming from the era we were born into, defined by Roman Polanski’s dark and depraved worldview, Woody Allen’s neuroses and obvious problems with very young women, Oliver Stone’s interviews and kinds of females he created on screen, Hitchcock’s artistry that along the way sent women screaming from the industry.) It’s how we get by in the muck that sticks to our beloved art form, our church. It’s how many women get by in business everywhere, you know, we say it laughing, how women divorce themselves of that nasty, dangerous, career-limiting womanliness and grow balls. Balls are a good thing. Tits can get you far but can also get you grabbed. And some women need to face their inner chauvinism, a word that’s gone out of fashion but a word that is apt.
MAYIM BALIK & SARAH POLLEY; and the former child performers.
It’s why women right now are writing op ed pieces in the NYT, women like Mayim Balik TV’s “Blossom” who was a beloved child actor who we hoped was immune from it all, who fled from Hollywood like she were on fire, to egghead academia, only to return lately for a second act and use those big brains for a sitcom after all (the biggest). The New York Times gives space to this immature, sadly self-hating, and chauvinistic point of view that makes you think you woke up in Back to the Future’s 1955, a jumble of ideas that center on “what women were wearing” how pretty they were (a bizarre sort of envy) and musings on being “not exactly a perfect 10”.
It’s why another woman (and former child actor) the impossibly gifted Sarah Polley can write a soaring, important essay “The Men You Meet Making Movies” about her experiences as a film veteran (in her 30s) and how Weinstein is a “festering pustule in a diseased industry”. Sarah Polley quit acting for the usual soul-crushing reasons in her 20s, a loss as she was a sensitive, gifted artist, but continues to work as a writer and director, and an advocate for meaningful change.
These two New York Times pieces could be looked at side by side as testimony of two products of a diseased industry, though the first, by Mayim Balik, is more of a journal that should have stayed under the mattress or shared within a session. Balik has some issues to work out. Many women’s stories may not be pretty or politically correct, even downright lunkheaded. Is this the ostrich syndrome? Or are women who are sheltered from all this darkness utterly immune to empathy?
Film lovers feel for all former child actors, assuming the worst, and as all of this is unfolding, questions are echoing around the internet. What the hell happened to destroy Corey Haim? When will Corey Feldman spill, as he’s tried / threatened to do over the years (including shameful ridicule from Barbara Walters), EVERYTHING about Hollywood’s pedophiles? (I don’t believe, though, that people should pressure any victims to speak until they are ready.) Whispers have already carried some of the names. A one time promising actor who was a major mouthpiece online a few years ago has gone quiet lately. He’ll stay quiet, if he knows that fans of “the Coreys” already know the worst about him. It’s a darkness that may be endless under this top layer. A sex trade may have always propped up this film world that we know has many faces.
In the below clip from The View, Corey Feldman rocks the boat ever so slightly only to be shamefully shut down by the shrill, disingenuous Barbara Walters: “YOU’RE DAMAGING AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY!” She lockjaw lisps.
WHO KNEW WHAT, AND WHEN?
But back to the issue at hand, as we await more closets to be viced open and shoes to drop in the world of executives and staff, who knew about Weinsteins’s (cheapskate) payoffs and attendant gag orders and, reason would suggest, the extent of his crimes, abuses, blackmail, media manipulation, stalking and lies as well. Whether A-List stars knew the “extent” or not? Probably they did, isn’t the rumor mill the air they breathe?
But sure, some outside the Miramax stable might have made the same assumptions I did. The glossy world of Hollywood, its magic, and power that was our first drug as little ones, maybe still our best drug, is the master of distraction and misdirection. You don’t get a reality show nightmare out of central casting POTUS without a lot of Hollywood’s cheap glitter getting rubbed all over. And that shit never comes off. We know as with $cientology, the celebrity stars that funnel money to the cult do not experience or see any of the routine abuses suffered by kids and adults polishing the fittings, the broken families, the shattered lives that are behind the scenes.
The truth will come out. The biggest story in our lifetime from Hollywood and film is unfolding in real time. It is full of pain, abuse, tragedy and crimes, but for once it feels like it’s not a cold case, like it’s not too late for consequences. Women are cheering, women are talking, women are standing taller. It is the most exciting time that’s ever been for women who love film and have always struggled with these strange questions and problems. It’s also an emotional roller coaster for the many victims of the world who relate to the stories of bullying, harassment, abuse, rape, and character assassination. For this I recommend a strong use of the block feature to deal with the abusive, the unkind, and even the “confused/devil’s advocates” on Twitter (and other social media).
THE SISTERHOOD of the TRAVELING SHAME
Since the tape that many thought would end a presidential bid a year ago, since “grab her in the pussy” and the Women’s March, women have been talking to each other on social media and in real life. Awareness is building. Sisterhood is reawakening worldwide. 99% of the women I know or have spoken to, have experienced “sexual improprieties” as girls or women (beautifully phrased by Patricia Arquette). 99% of women have been grabbed, assaulted, sexually harassed, ‘date raped’, or coerced into sex (to, in their minds, “avoid” violent ‘rape-rape’). Many of them are talking about terrible crimes committed to them as children, by trusted adults. We are learning, in real time, how prevalent it is and how far reaching “Me too” goes.
(Trigger Warning). Me and my friend were 10, my mother was not far away, we were at a petting zoo in a local park. It was summer. He was in garish plaid pants and had his dick out. I had never been presented with one in a family of girls. We laughed because it was so insane. We laughed because we were so innocent we didn’t know to fear what was happening. “Do you think the piggies want to eat this?” he asked us, waggling it and grinning madly. We ran off. Police came to interview us, so perhaps he was a person of interest, I don’t know. Our innocence was intact, we were fine, right? Mom in pieces that this happened on her watch, in broad daylight, in a busy local park, well attended. I never forgot it. I never went back there. This is just the most benign of my own stories, and we all have them. All women, some men, too. A quiet “Me too” sometimes with details (often harrowing, that yet fit inside 120 characters) has been gaining movement online. This is good. This is a grass roots movement of sharing and support. Speak to it and support it whomever you are and don’t look away from the women in your life, or woman you like up on the screen. It’s all women.
It is a galvanizing experience for women. It is surprising to many men. I might have done 20 tweets, myself, to kitty litter over the fact that I told Arquette and her twitter followers about the petting zoo. And why? Because even now, we have shame around things that aren’t OUR shame, at all. Because that’s how assault works. How women, girls and kids are broken.
Many good men have shown support and some of the usual suspects of Hollywood and online anonymity have been typically disappointing. But we aren’t gritting out teeth anymore or laughing at bad jokes. We who care are fighting back to retain the microphone, for once in the media, social media and in Hollywood.
Irritations aside, it’s a good week for women in Hollywood (roller coaster of emotions with sometimes thin support if you spend time on Twitter). If I was a man I’d be plain angry at male pigs. My man is, it’s all beyond his scope for he is kind and has a healthy ego. As a man, I hope I’d be angry that many of the most beautiful girls to ever grace the screen in that last glowy, more natural softer, shiny-haired time of the nineties, many more than named, for sure, were assaulted by a spoiled god who wanted to ruin them. That Weinstein reportedly gamed a system he already owned and his game was putting fear in a strong young woman’s eyes; that they could submit or face consequences. They could submit AND still face consequences.
That there’s no winning for these victims: they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Reportedly, this giant of industry would smear, gossip, backstab, ruin, and debase his victims long after the hotel and the robe and the shower and the absurd head games he got off on. Like a rotten boy with toys. What he did will take the public a long time to really understand. It’s not just some bandwagon or in any way political. It’s not. It’s an education for all.
ASIA ARGENTO HAS CHANGED THE CONVERSATION: THE COMPLEXITIES OF RAPE
Asia Argento was an experienced actor, having already won two of Italy’s version of the Oscar. Her father was an iconic film director. She was lured to a swank hotel room in Cannes under the pretext that it was a party and a professional obligation. She was 21. The Italian producer who acted as procurer, fled the room leaving her alone with Weinstein.
The New Yorker piece is the best place to start to understand this case. Asia Argento shows great nerve and candor in disclosing the grey areas men don’t get about rape. Admittedly, it’s hard for those lucky enough to not have experienced sexual improprieties, grabbing, sexual assault, harassment, profound abuse, degradation, slut-shaming, bullying or the like to get without some consideration.
What many girls and women do (and these stories seem to match the narratives I have heard from queer men and transpeople as well) is that in the fight or flight moment, a third thing happens. If they can’t fly or fight. They submit. They freeze. There’s an instinctive survival mode that we have that the hundreds of films and true crime stories has reinforced in us. If we submit, we’ll be able to survive it (physically and mentally). It’s not, in that moment of instinct “rape-rape” (as in, violent, painful, dangerous, deadly.)
A story like Argento’s is so important for a wider conversation and understanding of sexual assault, and also precisely because it could probably never win in court as the courts stand today. Victims are rarely clean enough for the phony puritanical system that keeps the status quo. Powerful men and complicit women who’ve forgotten their feminism or rejected their own female power to survive in their male-dominated industries keep this powerful illusion going decade after decade. And we are in a scary time of American conservatism which is warring all the time with women’s rights to their bodies that we all thought were resolved in favour of women long ago. And laws around health care repeal itself are laws that hurt women, and so, families, and so, all of us.
THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION as RECOURSE
Canada’s Jian Ghomeshi was “Canadian Famous”. Briefly, his court disgrace, during which less than perfect victims were denied justice after ending up on “bad dates” with a self-described feminist nice guy (whose reported practice was punching and choking his dates without their consent and then embarking on campaigns of documenting their correspondence in case of any future consequences) framed his lifestyle for his employers at CBC, Canada’s publicly owned broadcaster, as “BDSM” (it wasn’t).
His non-starter case is Canada’s own “Cosby” without the built-in love the planet once had for Dr. Huxtable. Ghomeshi’s victims and advocates for women (and all of us, the 99% who felt pain in reading this case who’ve been abused somewhere along the line, in a scale of severity, all of us, because we are female and alive) had only the court of public opinion.
And so, as it pertains to social media, we will continue to use this space and not be shamed from speaking out and calling out those who should account for their actions.
The closets are flying open now and each and every A-List statement is ripe for scrutiny. As is every silence in the Weinstein case. And as the case stretches toward the music industry, related businesses, the legal realm and the future. Here in our court, that of public opinion, that of social media, if their closets are clean, they will be fine. It remains to be seen. People will be judged according to their heart, their mettle, and their attitude. A meritocracy.
The dinosaurs like Weinstein, Allen and Polanski have increasingly lost power lately. Just like ol’ Smoke and Mirrors Hollywood itself. That’s why this is happening now. Old white abusive hateful men everywhere have been outed already as obsolete in an evolving world that they have failed and can now, in the age of mini cameras and mini recorders be brought down to earth. Just that. Just to earth with us women and girls and boys.
WHAT IS UP WITH ROSE MCGOWAN?
Rose McGowan, an actor who emerged in the late 90s, is, in many ways, the catalyst to this story and will always deserve credit for standing up for herself and a wider community of women when no one wanted to listen to her (long ago). For once, not just her fans and friends, but the world was taking notice after the New York Times and New Yorker stories last week. Rather than let her have this well-earned moment, a few things conspired to muzzle McGowan once again. (She’s also been shamed by strangers for accepting a settlement of $100,000 way back when. These payoffs serve well to diminish credibility and are quite a bargain for men like Weinstein and his corporation which was utterly complicit.)
Rose McGowan’s story is complex and important. She’s been speaking out for years and has suffered greatly, personally and career-wise. She is a survivor of a system, and of Weinstein and of all who’d rather keep the secrets. The ugly truths that were hers alone should hurt us all. And they do hurt all of us who live and experience the world with empathy.
Remember when McGowan emerged in film? She was fearless, gutsy, and quite startlingly bright. A big rotten soul tried to dim that shine. He failed, I say. The most powerful man of our time in Hollywood, ok, “after Spielberg, and just before god” tried to bring her low.
Here’s what happened:
So, people got really angry. McGowan’s fans, her community, enlightened media figures, outspoken queer people, people of colour, and those who’d been on receiving end of vile anti-semitic hate-speech and threats, and people fed up with Twitter’s ways rallied. Twitter is, by now, notorious for allowing trolls (including the troll-in-chief) bots, white supremacists and the being-hateful-as-sport under anonymity crowd run unchecked for years (and this is well documented by many who’ve been abused, stalked, threatened and “doxed” which is to be attacked by having someone post your personal information online, such as your home address). Twitter, never profitable and almost out of business 18 months ago according to media alarmists, got a new breath of life as the trolling community took to it in droves in the pre-election period, boosting its numbers and advertiser appeal at long last.
WHAT IS UP WITH TWITTER? WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT THIS BOYCOTT? WHY NOW?
It is utterly ludicrous that Twitter won’t (and has never) built in a system of comment moderation and administration, something every little blog on the internet did for a decade, something message boards did, manned by helpful unpaid volunteers who cared about their communities, since the IIRC days and the first big websites around pop culture, film, and TV. It took work, but these usually unprofitable sites DID IT. Felt responsible to do it. Took pride in it. Why, I can remember when all website owners were real afraid that hate speech made in comments from readers could cause a liability for the site’s owners. Twitter seems to subscribe to no such qualms.
It is a problem that may be the once promising simple little micro-micro-blogging platform’s downfall. So the Rose McGowan / Ben Affleck interaction around the Weinstein bombshell may be an important watershed not just in Hollywood and in the causes of women, feminism and power structures, but one that triggers a sea change in the value and viability of Twitter itself. If Twitter doesn’t listen to its users, they can expect boycott after boycott, as people across the platform are exhausted. I guess what is needed is for the courts to catch up and for lawsuits. For crimes to happen that started on the site.
And so, 140,000 people tweeted about their plan to boycott twitter for 24 hrs in support of Rose McGowan (#ROSEARMY). And many did under the hashtag #womenboycotttwitter on Friday the 13th. Because McGowan’s account was suspended when speaking out against powerful men and a bigger celebrity; and also because so many absolutely shocking accounts are not suspended, even as they are reported on a daily basis. Because the troll-in-chief is allowed to try to instigate nuclear war using our little social platform that used to be fun. Because neo-nazis have blue checkmarks and 280 characters.
The boycott was, because despite whatever Twitter’s Terms Of Service might claim, neo-nazis can send people pictures of gas chamber doors and lynchings, and make death threats. And a proven rape victim cannot tell a bigger male celebrity whose career flourished madly under same regime that crushed her to “Fuck off”. When a fuck off is all we have in this social media space that was supposed to be naturally democratic but has become just another patriarchal failure.
In today’s world, and with the potential social media has for good and democratic communication and reviving a real, diverse media and organic social movements, all of this really matters a lot. It should, to everyone.
— Refinery29 (@Refinery29) October 13, 2017
WHAT ABOUT WOMEN & MEN OF COLOUR?
(As this boycott rolled out quietly over midnight between Thursday and Friday, and I, unable to look away, left for 12 hours but returned as I felt ambivalent about staying silent “now”, other important voices rose up in that void. Important ones. Film director Ava DuVerney, journalists, and people of colour voiced that this boycott made many feel like “Solidarity is for white women” due to the many instances of abuse that had occurred in the past on the site which did not gain the same sort of traction in the wider public. (Notably, but not only, actor Leslie Jones’ appalling experience with racist abuse during the Ghostbusters reboot backlash, which caused her to leave Twitter.)
These messages are all important. The veneer of white supremacist behaviour that hurts women but has a nasty little scale that hurts all people of colour, women of color, queer people, non-binary folks, transpeople, the indigenous, and others is something that will need to be sprayed with raid again and again, just as Hollywood is right now (I call the Weinstein story “level one” of the layers that need to be dug up in this mess.) The Women of Colour on Twitter are right. And each issue should and can be protested or resisted in the ways that befit each group, with each speaking for themselves (and not behind any white male or while female’s narrative.)
#WOCAffirmations took hold just hours into the day of #WomenBoycottTwitter (when some did, some didn’t, some protested, some preferred to resist.) #WOCAffirmation used some of the open space (and boy, was my feed dry on Friday) to fill it with much needed affirmations about Women of Colour from across a spectrum of work, accomplishments, high profile, or creative people deserving of more profile.
In what’s left of my ideals, I dream of a future of solidarity with groups (equally and equitably) rallying against all this ugly which falls at the feet of those elite white men who run things (and also, to some extent, all who experience white privilege.) Strength can be built in numbers, socio-politically, as allies against those that have the game rigged. But that can’t happen until everyone feels their voices, pain, stories, and skin is valued as it deserves to be. We are on step one, today. We are often stuck just trying to stay on step one.
“Rights are what we are willing to fight for and defend” said Margaret Atwood. Rights are not guaranteed, at all, are under threat, utterly, in America. Are abused, wantonly, by force with people abusing power and uniforms and black Americans are being murdered for broken tail lights. This is unconscionable. Understandably, years of this and the heightening racially ugly climate under the current regime has made the Weinstein story seem a little rich for some people’s tastes. However, it’s as important, if not as urgent, as any other crisis of systemic abuse.
And what of the many victims and people who’ve spoken out on the record? It keeps ticking upward over 30. It feels like it could be everybody. Just like the “Me too” is 99% of women. My heart goes out. We are all, most assuredly, fans of one or many of these many fine female actors. From Tippi Hedren (and Grace Kelly) to Ellen Barkin and on down the decades of wonderful female actors and “IT” girls. Do all of these women coming forward to share their stories or support this wider problem (and also those who disappeared) add up to even one Hitchcock? Allen? Kubrick? Brando? Weinstein? Polanski? No? How about just one of their legendary films? If we film fans do not value these artists, these women (and see actresses as artists as much as their male counterparts), then no one does. Their job was to portray ideal women and make many men and corporations (and a few women) rich.
But because they are women, there is always an ugly undercurrent that some wolf (or many wolves) wants to see them as whores, make them whores or own them somehow. Now just imagine the experience of Hollywood kid actors, a place where you can count the healthy, thriving survivors on one hand. So many lost that we thought of as our own friends, our first crushes, and not just cute little clowns either. Corey Haim had real comedic chops and was utterly lovable. River Phoenix would have been number one even today.
JUST WONDERING, WHERE DOES QUENTIN TARANTINO STAND ON ALL OF THIS?
Coming back around to Weinstein, Miramax and even a little old street justice, his cinematic forte, is a question Quentin Tarantino ought to mull over, among others as he reflects on a statement he’s promised to make about shit burning to the ground in Hollywood. Does he think the suspension of Rose McGowan in favour of Ben Affleck over the Weinstein issue is cool? What about all those he’s galvanized and entertained with his films that even rewrote history to allow Jewish badasses to triumph over the Nazis? Can he write us a new ending? Can we restore the luster to the house he built with grit and imagination, with ample room for great female leads as well as men? He was the self-made man. Not some entitled producer and crummy human with a fantasy that ruined actual magic for everyone.
I hope Quentin Tarantino will take a look at Ellen Barkin’s Twitter posts. They are most refreshing:
I go back a loong time w harvey. He is a leech, a parasite, a vampire who lived off the blood of supremely talented men & women. The ultimate of starfuckers, not the star. His only real talent was in his ability to expolit the talent of others.
— Ellen Barkin (@EllenBarkin) October 15, 2017
I really want to hear from QT. I want to hear from Kevin Smith. He was so famous for being unafraid to state his opinions. He went in hard on the pretensions of Prince, remember? And we always wanted to think he was on the right side, you know? Maybe it was all in our heads. Maybe everyone is rotten, muzzled, detached, broken, bought. Those were good times though, that we had.
And over at Miramax, Mira Sorvino has spoken out about Weinstein’s creepy advances (when you have to say your religion forbids you to sleep with a married man you are dealing with a real piece of work) and later felt blacklisted (something we can all see and have wondered about for years). Mira, at one time the biggest female star, dated Tarantino for years. How could he not know? Couldn’t he have done something?
This adds another interesting layer to the eventual Tarantino statement. Tarantino reinvented Hollywood’s whole lexicon and look from his self-taught bootstraps video store badass geekdom. His world of Bad(ass) Muthafuckas.
Even Uma got to wear the black and white suit of the iconic QT badass. And we remember her version of it maybe most of all.
Tarantino wrote us a world of anti-establishment anti-heroes. It seemed he and his indie era mavericks made film breathe again. Made Indie viable. Wrote some great men & women. Come on QT…
I want to believe in Hollywood. But the powerful men who stay silent after this point will no longer get any of my attention anymore. All the closets need to be cleaned out. No one is clean but many can still be on the side of right.
I never cared for Hitchcock, anyway.
And I’m more of a fan of Dunaway than Polanski.
Woody Allen peaked in 1989.
Note: Revelations, supportive comments and new facets continued to emerge over the weekend during the writing of this piece. And with all the females coming forward to add to a sense of support to the 99% of us for whom the story doesn’t shock so much as cause a sigh (punctuated with happiness at the endurance of the human spirit in tough times) there’s a clip under 15 seconds long that can explain it all for you:
Anytime the often-labelled Courtney Love gets vindication, there is something good, organic and female empowered happening on the planet.