Creative Freedom at Reasonable Prices
Some may call me a provocateur---I don’t mind the label. If the way I make my films gets you to think deeply and understand that reality is not always pretty, that to me is a good thing. The critics, of course, are less kind. Fortunately the words “idiot”, “moron”, and “self-destructive dumbass” can wound, but they cannot kill. And so, yes, Mr. Morganthaler, with all due respect to Sony Pictures, I shall continue till the day I die to insist on showing all my characters waiting for their change in restaurants and cabs no matter how many minutes it adds to my films and no matter how it “ruins” them. For how absurd is it to believe that supposedly authentic human beings would merely toss a twenty on a café table and offhandedly leave the establishment, or hand a taxi driver whatever they have on them and simply dash off the way they do in your silly Hollywood opuses? In real life, where both you and I hang our hats, people don’t throw their money around so easily, and it’s absurd to depict them doing so in cinema. Did showing the lovers waiting for their change after their heartrending breakup scene in my 2004 film Adore Me As You Would An Uncle add eleven minutes of inert, incredibly awkward silence to what would have been a taut ninety-one minute feature without it? Yes. And did the fourteen-minute montage of the Russian spy having the cab driver go around the block twice to find a Bank of America ATM so he could get a ten dollar bill out of it to pay for his breathless ride through the streets of New York without having to give too large a tip “utterly disembowel” the otherwise thrilling climactic chase at the end of Stop That Roustabout, Stop Him I Say ? If you listen to the dunderpates who write for Variety, absolutely. But I could no more stop showing my characters waiting for their change and otherwise being financially sensible than I could refrain from demanding, yes, DEMANDING, that the James Bond film you propose I direct include a lengthy set piece in which 007 sits down and fills out the proper tax forms which enable Her Majesty’s Secret Service to pay him properly and legally for his various contractual services. It’s a scene which has been shockingly omitted from every film in the series---until now. Because when audiences want realism, Mr. Morganthaler. THAT is the kind of thing they’re talking about. Trust me. I KNOW these things.
Now then, I hate to make this meeting even more of a pressure cooker, but what I really need from you today is to buy a magazine subscription from me, choosing one from this expansive list I have right here. I get double points if you purchase Vogue, Discover, or Cooking Light, so keep that in mind. It all goes to a very worthy cause, and you’ll be doing yourself a favor as well by staying “in the know”. After you’ve written a check made out to Central Atlantic Publications, I’ll put this little door tag outside your office to tell our other representatives in the area that I’ve already visited you and that they should move on. Sound good? It sounds good, right? Not a Vogue man? How about Modern Pimpernel?