Monday, October 15, 2007


I've been looking for a name of a semi-irregular column to write for OH and I hope to have found it...Using the simple, but straightforward "Things I Hate" line, I'll try to do a column from time to time (usually when the bile rises enough that I must get it out).

1. Now that the French Rugby Team has lost, I don't know who to root against for the Final...I guess the English, the drunken louses that they are, plus the RSA team is just so much more fun to watch...Watching the rose-emblems play is like watching the pre-strike Sabres play hockey. They can win, but it ain't pretty.
Anyway, this isn't about England, of course, it's about Le Quinze de France. I meant to post before, but didn't get around to it, but I hate, absolutely hate how the French are the biggest bandwagon jumpers in the history of, well, history. A month and a half ago, no one in France, save the South-west where rugby is popular, followed rugby at all. Then all of the sudden the French team started to win, people were proud to be French again, they were flying le tricolore for Christ's sake...No one ever flies the flag here, but Saturday they were on cars and buses and in windows. Maybe I just don't get it as a person or maybe I just don't get it as an American, but the whole 'pride via sport' just baffles the shit out of me. You're proud of your country or you're not, but winning against a rugby team from a country of 4.1 million people doesn't make you any more or less of a country in my eyes. Hey at least they didn't celebrate their soccer victory over the Faroe Islands (it's the town barber in goal!).

2. France again: The government has proposed DNA testing for immigrants who wish to take advantage of the familial regroupment. In France, if an immigrant gets formal residency s/he can bring their family to live with them. The government has proposed a voluntary (yeah, I agree with the protesters on this, nothing is 'voluntary') DNA testing the members that wish to come to France. They're dropping N-bombs (Nazi), they're talking about creating a national-database for immigrants, they're using terms like 'purity of blood', they're talking all kinds of bullshit. All of their complaints are complete bullshit to me. Yes, many immigrants are honest people and yes, we should respect everyone the same, but I cannot, do not, see the crime in asking someone who is requesting to be given permanent residency to prove that they are who they claim they are. The anti-testing agents are saying that people are sometimes adopted: Ok, make it clear to the immigration officials from the beginning and there's no problem. I just can't see how this is a problem, except when there's something to hide. I hate to take party lines here, but this reeks of the Left seeing a chink in the government's armor and and seizing on it...

3. “You shouldn’t have to buy a G.P.S. [to find a commercial route from LI to Upstate NY]”. Guess fucking what: YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Anyone who knows me, knows more-or-less how I feel about SUVs and especially about large, asinine, my-dick-is-so-small SUVs. Here's the scenario: You buy a Hummer H2 and some holier-than-thou guy in a Prius flips you off, you're tempted to run them over and they jump onto a Parkway that says "Passenger cars only". What do you do? Do you take the risk and go after him or do you stay on the interstate because you're driving a land-tank?
This NY Times article discusses the complicated mess that the tri-state parkways are for driving (it was created by bureaucrats, what the fuck do you expect?). This is hilarious:

[H]earses are allowed on the Merritt, but not if they are part of a procession. In New York, they are banned unless they are, among other funereal duties, part of a procession.
Anyway, they have some priceless quotes from the Chevy/GMC dealer in Bedford Hills, where they would like to sell more 3/4 ton pickup trucks, but can't really because they're too heavy to driven on NY parkways:
"[M]any people considered a GMC Sierra 2500 pickup with crew cab and diesel engine, at about 9,000 pounds fully loaded, a family car." Yep, I cross shop Chevy Impalas with these all the time.
"They can seat six comfortably, and some people want them to plow their driveways." In Bedford Hills? People are going to drop $60,000 on a truck, then plow their own driveways. Ha! Right after they climb to the summit of Mt. Marcy and haul in the 20 face cords of wood for the winter. Get the fuck out of here.

Oh and the quote above? Some rich kid from LI went upstate to buy a miniature horse. They had a horse trailer that couldn't take the parkways so they had to buy a GPS! Little tidbit: Google maps. It just took me 2 minutes to do there is only a few miles in the middle of the Island (and you have to avoid the Garden State) where they have to go out of their way. Oh and it was free, unless I had to print it, in which case you have to count the $0.0001 for paper and $0.005 for ink.

4. Hollywood. And the people who write about it...I usually avoid Time and Newsweek and their ilk like the plague, but Julie happened to procure a couple of magazines during one of her recent drug-mule runs. I was reading Time's article on "Nobody likes westerns, so why are they so good?" They state two facts and I see two glaring errors. #1, I like some Westerns - High Noon, Unforgiven, some Leone stuff, etc. As much as I like a Spaghetti Western here and again, they were not "good" movies. So then the article goes on for three pages talking about how much no one likes Westerns, while steadily stroking Brad Pitt for making "Blahblahblah Jesse James blahblahblah coward blahblah" (yeah that title is just too fucking long). Then they have the money-shot quote from James Mangold, the director of the remake of "3:10 to Yuma"
John Ford could just run amuck, carving out trails between sacred burial grounds and monuments. Now the environment is so protected in these national parks that we had 350 rangers watching every move if we step on one indigenous plant.
You heard it in time first, the Western is extinct because of the Department of the Interior. Fucking government. I wonder if it ever occurred to these dicks to rent private land from people? I'm sure that there are ranchers who would hire out their land for filming...

5. The "Service" Industry. Why is it so difficult to get someone who is supposed to be providing you with a service to actually provide you with said service? This is an ongoing problem here in France and of-late a really big pain in the ass. I don't get it; people are supposed to be getting me information, which would allow me to pay them money. But they don't do it. So I don't pay them...Simple as that.

Bonus: This is just to get the "Bettman sucks" tag on this post, but why the fuck hasn't anyone in Philly other than the two league-minimum-losers gotten in any trouble? I saw that Jeff touched on this, but it is fucking outrageous that those cunts (yep, I said it) up in Toronto just don't give a shit...They took a lot of heat about head shots and stuff, so they've decided to dish out the penalties, but I am convinced that it's just a way to shut up their critics (don't worry faithful readers , Open Hockey will always criticize Bettman, no matter what); I don't think they really care one way or another if people take/give head shots.


James Mangold said...

I never implied that the western was dying because of evironmental supervision of Park lands and yes, that is clear in the article. There are, however, less and less places with no electric lines, plane flyovers or jet trails, towns or roads, mining or industrial logging or ski slopes within sight. So it is a challenge to shoot outdoors even in places like New Mexico (public or private) without digital enhancement-- and that is a commentary on development of the country. We did in fact shoot Yuma mainly on private land -- but, by the way, unless you are a fool, you'd know that there are severe restrictions on what you can do on private land as well. My quote was pulled from an interview about the effect of green politics on film production. Time magazine decided to fold it into the broader piece on Westerns. Next time you start calling someone names in a public place, make sure you've done your research.

Jeff K said...

Mr. Mangold, with all due respect, the Time article in question does make it seem as if you are implying that the government is preventing you from making your movies without restrictions. As you said, your quote is taken out of context and shoehorned into this article. But since you say that "Yuma" was shot mainly on private land, why the comment about "350 park rangers" getting in the way? Personally, it sounds to me like a rather arrogant, off-the-cuff thing for you to say. I don't think it's a matter of doing research, it's simply a matter of you sounding rather "dickish".

And yes, we're quite aware that this is a "public place", so there is no need for you to condescendingly point that out. We also realize that even as lowly bloggers we're entitled to our opinions, and allowed to call people out if we feel like it.

(Note: I have no proof that this is the actual James Mangold. I can't imagine how he'd even come across this useless blog. But I also can't imagine anyone would go through the trouble to create a fake Blogger account just to attack bloggers who call him names.)

James Mangold said...

You would have to have been there, Jeff. At the one park location we shot on, The Park rangers let reg people ride motocross bikes every other day of the week but we couldn't trample a single plant with a horse and no there weren't 350 of them. While I am as green as they come but what I experienced was excessive and was about a beauracrcy covering its ass. My point was that, back in the day, John Ford tooled all over monument valley with a crew doing things you could never do today. I never meant to sound like a dick. And you are cetainly allowed to say anything you like on a blog-- as am i.

Kris said...

I just happened to find that quote in Time this past week and I quoted it verbatim in the article. Whether it was out of context or not, is not my business. But if there's a fight to be had, it sounds like it is with Time.
I can also imagine the frustration (and this is without any sarcasm) to use BLM land that is hardly managed 99% of the time and have the government get in your way for the few days that you want to shoot there. However, the quote said "national parks" and I visualize you wanting to run rampant in the Grand Canyon, shooting guns and stampeding horses and you're bitching about the Park Service making sure that you don't trample all the plants on the rim.

Jeff K said...

Yeah Kris, that's certainly how I read it as well. It looks as though we all agree that the government is a bureaucratic nightmare, glad we're all on the same page there.

Trying to find a location to film to achieve a certain visual aesthetic is one thing, but isn't it easier and more cost effective to just digitally remove an electrical wire than move an entire crew into the middle of the wilderness, or into a heavily restricted space? I respect your choice to want to "keep it real", but it's nearly impossible to do that in the 21st century.

So James, since you've been scanning the blogosphere, what's the early Oscar blogobuzz for "Yuma"? Do you think you have a shot at a nomination, or do you not think about those things? I would imagine you must think about it a little, since several actors in your films have been nominated and won awards. What other names have you been called across the blogiverse? And do you also hate French rugby?

I haven't seen "Yuma", but since I'm more of a fan of Westerns that emphasize character study over action, I probably should check it out.

(My friend Rob was wondering: saying the train is at "3:10" implies that there's more than one train to Yuma every day, and/or the timetable is very predictable. Is that possible? I would think there would only be one train, and it would arrive whenever it arrived.)