TORONTO -- Joe Eszterhas hasn't become history's highest-paid screenwriter by penning quirky little stories about coming of age in Cleveland - but one of the big hits of the Toronto Film Festival's closing weekend is just such a film.
Q. Apparently there is a new movie coming out named "An Alan Smithee Film," written by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Arthur Hiller, and it has led to a lot of publicity about "Alan Smithee" and his checkered career. What is your favorite Alan Smithee film? (Casey Anderson, Schaumberg)
Q. I was watching "Judge Dredd" on video, and I noticed something. You know those glare spots on camera shots of cars' headlights, etc., that appear on the screen? Well, film technology technique has managed to almost weed them out entirely. Then I notice that on occasion where a computer generated light source is filmed, those spots are artificially added! That's not the only time I've seen this, either! Why add such a flaw on purpose? (Matt Perry, Rocky Hill, Conn.)
Q. Re your discussion of the time travel paradox in "12 Monkeys:" To understand what's going on, one merely needs to disregard the common perception of time as a linear dimension. The time theory at work in "12 Monkeys" is that time does not start at point A and travel along to point B, but rather that all moments in time occur simultaneously. Time is not like a line, extending, stretching, and leaving a path behind, but rather like a painting, with each point and brushstroke being a different moment in time. At any given moment in time, we only see one little point in the painting, but all the others are still there, including present, future and past, and together they make up the universe, which is timeless. (Dominic M. Armato, Winnetka, Ill.)
`I have this terminal condition called bitchiness, right?" Linda Fiorentino smiled, and tossed her hair back from her forehead. Straight, black hair, framing dark eyes that level with you. Just the way she looked in "The Last Seduction," and just the way she looks in "Jade."
The new thriller "Basic Instinct" is under attack from a gay coalition because all of the women in it are possibly lesbian thrill-killers. Enough is enough, the coalition says. Hollywood has been casting homosexuals in bizarre and depraved roles for so long now that maybe it's time to add a little balance to the picture.