Readers' Letters By Readers. Dear Mike:I think you’re being too hard on Quentin. Most filmmakers steal from other movies to some degree, even if it’s unconscious...

Dear Mike:
I think you’re being too hard on Quentin. Most filmmakers steal from other movies to some degree, even if it’s unconscious. Personally, I like to think I get my ideas from life instead of other movies; but I admit I’ve been guilty on occasion of stealing from Shakespeare, e.g., the last scene in Coffy is from "Richard III," and the whole plot premise of Switchblade Sisters is based on "Othello." Well, as Gene Corman (Roger’s brother) once advised me, "Steal from the best."

By way of example, Gene himself produced a film called Istanbul, which was practically a carbon copy of Vera Cruz; and Lost Man, which was a copy of Odd Man Out. Roger himself produced a biker gang picture called Naked Angels, which was based on Red River, which itself was based on Mutiny on the Bounty.
Jack Hill
Hollywood, CA

Having seen your "film" I am firmly convinced that you have a long career ahead of you as a film critic or perhaps as a teacher of film (at) several community colleges. This "scandal" was created by you solely to bring further attention to your mean-spirited, poorly conceived and worthless piece of jealous drivel. As any fan of John Woo’s work would attest, his influence and structures appear in many other filmmakers work. In most of the "fine arts" artists borrow vision and expound upon it in their own "voice". The fact that you have made it your mission to "out" Quentin Tarrentino (sic) is a rather sad and misguided application of some talent. Not content with your pathetic crusade against one of the bright lights in the dim arena of American film making, you bumble further and attack another beacon in your tragic thirst for attention you do not deserve. Miramax does not need me to establish their place in the realm of American cinema, their work speaks for itself. The phrase "N.Y. Huckster’s" is galling and by using it you have further defined your own character other than their’s.

Is your film and this myopic campaign the extent of your talents?

If so slink away quickly you are embarrassing yourself. If not do something, anything original and stop barking at the moon "Lil' Doggie". We’ve seen your bite and it is most gummy!
Christopher B. Goldsmith

Dear Mike,
I shudder to think of what you would have left to write about in Cashiers du Cinemart if "Quentin Tarantino" and "Reservoir Dogs " were deleted from your already limited topic list.


I have done 14 issues of the GUIDE (my 'zine) thus far, totaling some 1300 pages of material—which I pretty much do all the work on. And while gallivanting from festival to festival (. . . actually it was only two this past year), schmoozing with people you label "dickheads and NY scenesters" (like Todd Phillips, who happens to be one reason why you and your work got as much press as it did, including mentions in at least two of the recent Tarantino bios), and getting hammered with far more people than just Dominic, I too was working full-time on multiple jobs. And again like you, I don’t have a full-time staff or budget or "anything."

Ask anyone on our masthead.

Your tired "Little Guy Vs. The Establishment" tone doesn’t apply here, so don’t whine to me with it.

If a refund on the balance of your subscription to FTVG is in order, I will be happy to make that option available. Perhaps you can ponder the idea while doing "your thing" at that pair of presumably minimum-wage gigs you mentioned. But until the time of that momentous decision, Mr. Pamphlet Publisher, why don’t you concentrate on your labor of love while I do mine my own way? I’m not asking you to like it.

As for Cashier (sic), it’s a thin, primitive hobby publication with an obvious ax to grind; making it far less interesting than you think it is and compelling me to conclude it’s impossible for you to ever get your shit together. So please take me off your comp list, I stopped reading your twisted prose after the second issue. Killing one more tree for yet another pointless, directionless, self-aggrandizing 'zine with nothing to offer is a sad, selfish waste.

I’m sure this letter will form the basis for yet another of your pathetic pleas for attention in CdC. But will it appear in the GUIDE? Why bother! You'll no doubt give it all the attention it deserves in your own few Xeroxed pages.
Very Sincerely,
David E. Williams
Editor, Film Threat Video Guide
Los Angeles, CA

Several weeks ago, I went to a special screening of Chungking Express and Days of Beaing Wild at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY. Wong Kar-wai, who was touring with Chungking Express, was there as a "Special Guest To Be Announced". Prior to each screening, the museum curator dragged Kar-wai out to "say a few words" to the audience. And that’s exactly what he did. Both times he reluctantly shuffled out onto the stage, peered over his sunglasses, and said something to the effect of "Thank you for coming. I hope you enjoy my movie". Then he left the stage. Of course, what he was really saying was "I’m really much too cool for this room". Still, after the second show, he condescended to take part in a short Q&A session. Though I enjoyed Chungking Express, I had found Days of Beaing Wild disappointingly pointless... and yes, even artless. As such, I was feeling a little feisty. This mood was made worse by the questions posed by others in the audience. Maybe Wong Kar-wai was too cool for this room. One after another, guys would stand up and make pretentious little comments about Kar-wai’s "engaging use of color to evoke mood", his "stunning punctuation of silence", and my favorite... the guy who kept referring to Bridgette Lin and Andy Lau by their Cantonese names. Please! Naturally, I quickly started formulating a few questions of my own. My first impulse was to ask Kar-wai if it had been his experience that the screenings on his tour were packed with lame film snobs with a desperate need to draw attention to themselves. I then thought of asking if he were not afraid that Quentin Tarantino would remake Chungking Express, while publicly citing Wong Jing as his primary influence. Of course, I then gave some serious thought of getting out of the theater alive. Finally, I had it! Waiting until the very end, I shot up my hand and got in the last question: "In Chungking Express, one of the characters comments that people who wear dark glasses indoors are either pretenders, have been crying, or else their blind. You’re wearing dark glasses and you’re obviously not blind... Do your movies make you cry or are you just a pretender?" Kar-wai just stared at me for a few moments, sputtered "You'll have to guess", and started to turn away. Realizing that his response had been inadequate, he turned back and said "Actually, it’s all just fashion". "Precisely", I thought, as the guy to my left nudged me and remarked, "I wanted to ask him the very same thing".
It Plumps When You Cook It!
Paul Kazee
Brooklyn, NY

Mike -
Got the copy of Cashiers du Cinemart.
Good interview—it didn’t suck!
Bruce Campbell
Sherman Oaks, CA

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