Skip

Jack Valenti, adieau
April 26, 2007 5:07 PM   Subscribe


 
I would post a dot, but the MPAA has copyrighted all punctuation.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:10 PM on April 26, 2007 [5 favorites]


Interview in The Tech. In Endgadget. In PC World.

If you cannot own, if what you own cannot be protected, you don't own anything and that goes for Clint Eastwood or the most obscure person in this industry or anybody in any industry. If what you own cannot be protected, you own nothing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:11 PM on April 26, 2007


Because he's so wrapped up in the movie industry, it's always weird, seeing him in a documentary about Vietnam or about LBJ. I didn't know that he was aboard Air Force One when LBJ was sworn in.

Oh, and:

.
posted by John of Michigan at 5:13 PM on April 26, 2007


Rupert Murdoch's sockpuppet dies. Film at 11.
posted by phaedon at 5:13 PM on April 26, 2007


He was a lobbyist's lobbyist...and cut a mean figure in a tux.
posted by mrmojoflying at 5:16 PM on April 26, 2007


Dang it, AZ. I was putting together an obit post with those exact links.
posted by brundlefly at 5:17 PM on April 26, 2007




.

The film The Last Mogul: Life and times of Lew Wasserman" has the best interview with Valenti I've seen. +torrent
posted by acro at 5:18 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


[This Period Blocked by Macrovision]
posted by WCityMike at 5:19 PM on April 26, 2007 [7 favorites]


Dang it, AZ. I was putting together an obit post with those exact links.

Well, they are the first ones that show up in a Google search.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:23 PM on April 26, 2007


What is the opposite of dot?
posted by ed at 5:27 PM on April 26, 2007


He was one of the greatest guest stars to appear on Freakazoid! (loved those cheeks)
posted by wendell at 5:28 PM on April 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


 
posted by eyeballkid at 5:30 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


If I can only remember Jack Valenti for one thing, and one thing alone, it would be, without a doubt:

"You know we get a lot of letters here at the Motion Picture Association of America, and most of them are about my cheeks."

RIP, Jack, and your bear wrestling a man for no reason.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:31 PM on April 26, 2007


"What is the opposite of dot?"

-
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:31 PM on April 26, 2007


Dammit wendell.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:31 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Washington Post had a nice article about him. And yeah, I didn't know he was in JFK's motorcade when he was shot.
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 5:36 PM on April 26, 2007


You know, while he's pretty fairly criticized for a lot of his later work, he introduced the ratings system, which got rid of the Hays code. Which, to be quite honest, was very much a good thing.

Next time you see two actors sharing a bed together in a scene, or hear profanity onscreen, thank him.
posted by MythMaker at 5:37 PM on April 26, 2007


Oh, and
.
posted by MythMaker at 5:38 PM on April 26, 2007


X
posted by pruner at 5:38 PM on April 26, 2007


"What is the opposite of dot?"

0
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:41 PM on April 26, 2007


MythMaker, if you watch This Film is not Yet Rated you might think differently of the MPAA's rating system. Nevertheless,

.
posted by reformedjerk at 5:46 PM on April 26, 2007


This film not yet rated explains how one can setup a move rating system racket while pretending to be doing it to protect the children and whatnot.

mythmaker: dude, I didn't know about hayes code , but it seems to suck will to live. I am going to pick just some lines

The ridicule of religion was forbidden, and ministers of religion were not to be represented as comic characters or villains.

Uh, what about talibans ? And they are to be exposed, ridiculed not less than any other religious asshole, catholic or whatnot.

The flag of the United States was to be treated respectfully, and the people and history of other nations were to be presented "fairly."

Yeah right, jingoism protection. Good idea.

Anyway this is about Valenti and so far his predictions about VCR being destructor of profits were wrong, the movie industry is still up and running and pretty much cashing billions and billions ; curiously, the quality (imho) has dropped drastically, which is not what one would expect in a competing marketplace, but why try if producing lowest common denominator costs a lot less ?

on preview: reformedjerk saw the film too, apparently
posted by elpapacito at 5:50 PM on April 26, 2007


Which, to be quite honest, was very much a good thing.
Oh yeh, because untrammelled violence with puritanically restrained sexuality is a really good thing.

As is this leading to the X rating becoming functionally equivalent to saying "it's porn", thus making it really difficult for the creators of films for actual grown-ups.
posted by bonaldi at 5:53 PM on April 26, 2007


I just saw "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" last week.

2 thumbs up.
posted by pruner at 5:55 PM on April 26, 2007


-
posted by briank at 5:58 PM on April 26, 2007


> I didn't know he was in JFK's motorcade when he was shot. ... I didn't know that
> he was aboard Air Force One when LBJ was sworn in.

Appearing as Zelig, both times.

posted by jfuller at 5:59 PM on April 26, 2007


A scene with XQUZYPHYR wrestling wendell for not reason....

If it helps, XQ, I like your cheeks too.
posted by wendell at 6:02 PM on April 26, 2007


Jack Valenti's death will be to the funeral industry what the Boston Strangler was to the woman home alone.
posted by Malor at 6:03 PM on April 26, 2007


the MPAA sucks dinosaur balls allright, but this dude used to work for LBJ -- that makes him cooler than any of us here (unless you worked for FDR, but I doubt it)
posted by matteo at 6:03 PM on April 26, 2007


They always come in threes....

Better watch out, Ron Popeil!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:09 PM on April 26, 2007


He was there when JFK was shot, on the plane when LBJ was sworn in, privy to more oval office meetings than anyone will ever know, and oversaw the rise and dominance of Hollywood as the world's leading producer of mass culture.

He lived in interesting times.

.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:21 PM on April 26, 2007



They always come in threes....

Better watch out, Ron Popeil!


Lucky for him, he can set it and forget it. The third one was this guy with a very familiar last name. Oh yes, the hearses will be asked to refill their tanks on the way back, or they will be charged $5 a gallon.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:29 PM on April 26, 2007


-
posted by ColdChef at 6:29 PM on April 26, 2007


Takedown notices always suck.
posted by 31d1 at 6:29 PM on April 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


You can click, but you can't hide.
posted by ColdChef at 6:33 PM on April 26, 2007


As Moms Mabley said about her husband:

"They say you should only speak good about the dead."

"He's dead."

"Good."
posted by hexatron at 6:53 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I miss the days when people like Jack Valenti seemed like the biggest villains in the world.
posted by Anything at 7:07 PM on April 26, 2007


RIPG-13
posted by planetkyoto at 7:10 PM on April 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


"...but why try if producing lowest common denominator costs a lot less ?"

If your currency is brain-power, then ok, I'm with you on that, but otherwise: what the hell? Budgets for movies are sky-high. It's just that, while pandering to the lowest common denominator is hella expensive, it sure gets a lot of people in the theaters.
posted by invitapriore at 7:32 PM on April 26, 2007


Per jtron's response to my question:

o
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:36 PM on April 26, 2007


I'll tip a forty download a torrent tonight, for old time's sake.
posted by four panels at 7:41 PM on April 26, 2007


o
posted by Ber at 7:41 PM on April 26, 2007


"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

- Buckminster Fuller

posted by phaedon at 7:56 PM on April 26, 2007


I'm having a promotion in the video store I run-- the "Jack Valenti is dead" discount: a select list of NC-17 and NR movies are a dollar off.

(Also discounted are a list of movies that were forced to be cut down after first getting an NC-17, but I feel like that's cheating. I was considering making them a dollar extra.)
posted by supercres at 8:05 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nothing to say about Valenti's death other than to chime in with the others about This Film Is Not Yet Rated; it's pretty much a must-see for anyone interested in American movies. I liked it a lot.
posted by mediareport at 8:15 PM on April 26, 2007


the MPAA sucks dinosaur balls allright, but this dude used to work for LBJ -- that makes him cooler than any of us here

no, it doesn't ... lbj sucked dinosaur balls, too
posted by pyramid termite at 8:31 PM on April 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


*
posted by R. Mutt at 8:43 PM on April 26, 2007


^ opposite of a dot.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:45 PM on April 26, 2007


—   
posted by spock at 8:50 PM on April 26, 2007



My mama taught me, if you can't say something nice don't say nuttin' at all.
posted by spock at 8:50 PM on April 26, 2007


No dot for him

X
posted by mike3k at 9:02 PM on April 26, 2007


$
posted by bru at 9:04 PM on April 26, 2007


say hello to Satan for us, you rotting pile of shit
posted by FreedomTickler at 9:09 PM on April 26, 2007


We should really get together on this and decide on a solid anti-dot before the next villian dies (I don't really think Valenti qualifies as a villian, for the record, but Hart did, we were just as disorganized then, and we should straighten this out in advance of the next time we need it.)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:17 PM on April 26, 2007


A dot is one-dimensional, as are the folks who, rather than using it to express a sadness and sense of loss so wrenching that it robs them of words, or to gesture at a 'moment of silence', dump it into every obituary thread they stumble into in some misguided attempt to co-opt the grief of those who actually did care about the person in question.

The anti-dot is, you know, using Your Words to express yourself, like Miss Kennedy taught you back in grammar school. Preferably without pissing on fresh graves, because even if the dead person really was a big sack of turd, civilized people do not do that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:27 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or, what spock said.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:28 PM on April 26, 2007


Stav. me and others have tried fighting that battle. People don't wanna know.
posted by jonmc at 9:34 PM on April 26, 2007


No battling here, amigo. Just being curmudgeonly, which sometimes gives me great pleasure.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:40 PM on April 26, 2007


I know, I know: if you can't say something nice don't say nuttin' at all, but the first thing that came to mind when I read this was:

Ding-dong the witch is dead!
Which old witch? The wicked witch.
Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead!

Wake up you sleepyhead!
Rub your eyes, get out of bed!
Wake up, the wicked witch is dead!

She's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below.

Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out!
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low!
Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead!

posted by moonbiter at 10:01 PM on April 26, 2007


So how'd it happen? The Boston Strangler finally get him?

Sorry, Jack - no dot for you.

This death is rated [G] for Good Riddance.
posted by bashos_frog at 10:07 PM on April 26, 2007


 
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 10:22 PM on April 26, 2007


©
posted by deCadmus at 10:22 PM on April 26, 2007


8212;
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:26 PM on April 26, 2007


Well that previewed correctly, but posted less so. Apparently mefi doesn't like 8212; 8212;
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:27 PM on April 26, 2007


Part of me realizes that Jack Valenti was (at least somewhat) human, and had a wife and kids and a house and dogs and things. And there's probably people who are very sad to see someone they loved go...

I have trouble saying bad things in situations like that. At least temporarily.

Because, man, sometimes it's really hard shut up the part of me that thinks things like: "RIP, Jack. I hope Satan gives you lots of hugs... Right before he has you sodomized by big, purple demons for several hundred years..."
posted by sparkletone at 10:27 PM on April 26, 2007



posted by Tenuki at 10:44 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd go and download a torrent in his memory...except his entire industry pumps out crapcrapcrap that's not even worth stealing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:47 PM on April 26, 2007


I remember reading an interview or a story about Jack Valenti in which the author or journalist quotes Valenti as saying to him, in regards to the workers losing jobs due to piracy, something along the lines of "some of these people are only making $80,000 a year, which I don't have to tell you isn't a lot of money..."

Does anyone know the source of this story? I think the author then goes on to vow to continue downloading movies off the Internet.
posted by Robot Johnny at 11:28 PM on April 26, 2007


When I asked Motion Picture Association of America president Jack Valenti whether the director of the highest-grossing movie of all time was the ideal spokesperson against petty theft, he tap-danced. 'I found the most convincing part to be the working stiffs,' said Valenti of the PSA, 'the guys who have a modest home and kids who go to public schools. They make $75,000 to $100,000 a year. That's not much to live on. I don't have to tell you that,'

Joel Stein - Entertainment Weekly
posted by Tenuki at 11:53 PM on April 26, 2007


I didn't care much for what he said, but I will give him one thing he always looked good. In every picture of him he is always wearing a suit.
posted by nibaq at 12:10 AM on April 27, 2007


I think he was wrong about pretty much everything I ever heard him talking about, but his name is an anagram of "can talk jive", and that's enough for me.
posted by flashboy at 12:45 AM on April 27, 2007


I miss the days when people like Jack Valenti seemed like the biggest villains in the world.

You don't have to miss them. Just stop in to MeFi, apparently. (shrug)
posted by dreamsign at 12:54 AM on April 27, 2007


.

Wait... Wait...

!
posted by Samizdata at 12:55 AM on April 27, 2007


Well, he got the MPAA to oppose pretty much every civil rights bill in the California legislature that I (and many others) worked on over the past twelve years.

Other than that, um, I guess he knew a lot of people. That was probably nice.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:06 AM on April 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


©unt
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:48 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


© is definitely what's called for here, good call Tacos.
posted by mek at 2:00 AM on April 27, 2007


.
posted by seanyboy at 2:37 AM on April 27, 2007


This . is a work of fiction
posted by DaRiLo at 3:31 AM on April 27, 2007


I heard he returned library books on time and enjoyed puppies.

Well, I'm sorta out of nice things to say now.
posted by RavinDave at 3:33 AM on April 27, 2007


©
posted by Onanist at 4:03 AM on April 27, 2007


For those of you racking your brains to think of something nice to say, feel free to check out Lessig's take on the man.
posted by Partial Law at 5:43 AM on April 27, 2007


Well, he got the MPAA to oppose pretty much every civil rights bill in the California legislature that I (and many others) worked on over the past twelve years.

ClaudiaCenter, I'm curious about that statement; can you give a few details?
posted by mediareport at 5:58 AM on April 27, 2007


As far as I'm concerned, Anything's pretty much won the thread.
posted by pax digita at 6:12 AM on April 27, 2007


I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone. - Jack Valenti

Well, he was dead wrong about that.

Now he's just dead.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:11 AM on April 27, 2007


RIP
posted by breezeway at 7:46 AM on April 27, 2007


Wow, a lot of vindictive juvenile cunts showed up on the Internet today to piss on the dead!

thank god for the internet
posted by waxbanks at 8:22 AM on April 27, 2007


You guys, the thing is that the ratings system is imperfect, no question. But it is *soooo* much better than what it replaced, which is the Hays code, which was *real* movie censorship. Sure, an NC-17 is commercial death to a movie, but at least you're legally allowed to make that film.

Under the Hays Code, which Valenti GOT RID OF, you were not allowed to do anything mildly transgressive, including any profanity or showing a married couple sharing a bed together (!).
posted by MythMaker at 8:44 AM on April 27, 2007


Thanks Tenuki!
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:51 AM on April 27, 2007


Actually, the Hays code was mostly the same thing as the rating system in that sense. You were legally allowed to make whatever film you wanted, just not with a studio that was part of the MPAA. That's basically the same as the rating system, where you're free to make a movie that'll get an NC-17 rating, but no movie theater will show it. Neither is government censorship, both are quite stifling in terms of what's possible to do practically.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:21 PM on April 27, 2007


Valenti technically did replace the Hays Code, but the vile thing was already dead and mouldering by the time he superseded it with his "advisory" MPAA ratings system, so he should hardly get credit for getting rid of something that was already a total joke by the early 60s. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and other gritty adult fare was released while the HC was still officially in force.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:20 PM on April 27, 2007


Addendum: What got rid of the the Hays Code was the filmmakers who subtly and then more forcefully pushed and pushed against its restrictions from the 1930s-60s.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:23 PM on April 27, 2007


... Adam Curtis' thesis that advertisers needed sexy movies and film stars, likely also played a role.
posted by acro at 4:32 PM on April 27, 2007


« Older Get Down With The Sickness.   |   Classic Short Stories Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post