The idea of hiding behind a secret identity was something I found terribly attractive.
May 4, 2012 10:42 PM   Subscribe

A very long interview with screenwriter Lem Dobbs. Single link to text on a page but it's a wonderful interview and those who love film, culture, the arts... will dig it I think.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy (8 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
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awww yeah.
posted by birdherder at 10:51 PM on May 4, 2012

Studio types even realized at some point that the term “high concept” was making them look ridiculous, so now they say they want movies with “big ideas.” This does not mean new hope for your script about Jürgen Habermas and the Frankfurt School.
posted by Wolof at 2:05 AM on May 5, 2012

I love Dobbs, if only for writing one of my favorite movies and then grousing about it on the commentary.
posted by Toby Dammit X at 3:03 AM on May 5, 2012 [5 favorites]

Me too. Even though i think Soderbergh made the right call on that porn monologue.
posted by steinsaltz at 8:22 AM on May 5, 2012

...which I feel even more sure of after reading Dobbs's outbursts about the "totalitarian PC sewer." For those of you who haven't read the Limey script, there's a part where Peter Fonda, as the oily but sympathetic L.A. record producer bad guy, drives up the coast to Big Sur to lay low for a while at a house that turns out to be his ex's. She then begins a monologue accusing of Fonda by taking the 1960s too far by polluting our culture with porn.

Soderbergh cut this and Dobbs was upset about it. I love everything else about The Limey but sometimes you just have to hit delete on stuff like that. Dobbs himself, after all, is the one who complains here about scripts that hit you over the head with politics.
posted by steinsaltz at 9:14 AM on May 5, 2012

meant to type, accusing Fonda of taking the 1960s too far.
posted by steinsaltz at 9:15 AM on May 5, 2012

The most interesting argument on the Limey commentary, to me, is about the picture at the top of the stairs. Soderbergh had a picture of the dead Jenny in a frame on the stairs, so Terrence Stamp could find it while at the party. Dobbs pointed out that it makes no damn sense that Fonda's character would keep a picture of her up, especially in such a prominent place. Which underlines the difference between something making narrative sense and making visual sense. It's true that if you were writing a novel, you'd have to account for why that picture stayed. But in a movie, it makes perfect sense that a picture of Jenny would be hovering over the party, and that Stamp would find it as soon as he stepped away.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:03 AM on May 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I had no idea that Dobbs was the son of the painter R. B. Kitaj -- which probably explains how he could write Kafka in the '70s and afford to let it it sit on a shelf for nearly 20 years before Soderbergh picked it up.
posted by vhsiv at 2:49 AM on May 7, 2012

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