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Toback on life, death, Tyson and his own personal hit list

James Toback

By James Toback

Lightly edited transcript of James Toback in conversation with Ebert on April 27, 2009.

Age is not a friend to health. I’ve got radical diabetes and my arteries are getting screwed up and I just keep thinking, I still feel as if I was 12 years old, what’s happening? It’s because I haven’t matured at all. My grandfather, when he was in his late 80s and 90s, started getting confused. "I’d say, how old are you?" He would say, "72." "No, guess again." "64?" "No." And finally he’d get so low, I’d say, "Gramp, you’re much older than that." He’d say, "how old?" And I’d say "95" and he’d say, that’s not possible. He'd say, "seems like only yesterday I was 4. And he would flashback to the winter of 1888 when he woke up and the snow was over the top of the window and he remembered it still, through this haze of senility when nothing else registered. He didn’t know what city he was in but he remembered that, so he still would think four-years-old was just yesterday.

I’ve allowed myself to become dependent on medications. I take 175 pills a day, about half vitamins and half prescribed medications. With diabetes I’m on three medications and somehow part of my brain says it’s okay to have diabetes because I’m taking three medications, which is, of course, ridiculous. The thing to do would be to control the diabetes. But I get sucked in by these drug commercials and think, well, it’s wonderful because I’m taking all these medications so everything’s fine.

I used to go to Pritikin. I was an out-patient there in the mid-1980s, and Buddy Hackett was next to me on the treadmill and we were slogging along and he said to me, I’ll never forget this, “Which one of us you think is gonna drop dead on this treadmill first?”

I said, well, why do either of us have to? And he said, “Well, I don’t know about you but this is definitely killing me.” I said, "It isn’t the treadmill that’s killing us, it’s the need to be on the treadmill." It's funny. I can laugh thinking about him. He’s one of those guys that just to flash his face you start to crack up.

I know Pritikin would work and I’ve gotta do it. This is getting ridiculous. I mean, I look in the mirror, I see side views of myself and I say, that’s an imposter! You remember me when I used to weigh 145, until I was 33 years old. And I remember when I hit 150, I panicked. I would think, "Oh, my God, I’m getting so fat!" and I would diet fanatically to get to 147. Now I’m 270. I’m 120 pounds over what I used to be. I’m an extra human being.

I remember on the set of “Bugsy,” Elliott Gould, who had put on about 70 pounds at that point, said, “I’m eating the same things I’ve always eaten, I’m doing the same moderate exercises I’ve always done but my metabolism is not what it was and just keep gaining a pound a week, doing the same stuff.” And I said, "Well, you gotta change it." I was lecturing him and then he looked at me and he said, “You’re on your way too, you know.” And I wasn’t fully there yet so I had a little smugness left. Now I go in a room and I look to see who’s fatter than I am. I’m lucky if I find one person.

We’ve been getting a terrific response to "Tyson." I think it’s because he’s so human and there’s a depth and an open admission of suffering--which moves people, because there’s no attempt to hide it and he doesn’t speak with a sense of self-censorship which most people do. In fact, he’s got so many voices going on in his brain he’s lucky for one voice to get out.

When I was in editing, I started thinking, I bet this movie is gonna to appeal to more than just the obvious audience. So I decided to pick women who looked as if they would hate the movie and hate him and what I did was, I’d say, “Do you like boxing, do you like Mike Tyson, do you wanna see a movie about Mike Tyson?” And if there were three vehement "no’s." I’d say, “Well, come to the editing room and if after five minutes you wanna leave, I’ll give you $100 for having come; but if you stay, I won’t give you anything and then you have to tell me what you thought about the movie when it’s over.”

And every single woman, 35 out of 35, stayed, and in every case were moved to tears, were fascinated by how it held them. So that’s when I realized something special was going on, and I told Mike that and he said, “Who are these women? Save their numbers for me.”

Although now he’s monogamous; he has a girl that he’s been with for the last four months and he says he’s been monogamous for the first time in his life. Has a four-year-old daughter who looks just like him; in fact, I said, “She looks just like you.” He said, “I would hope so.”

He really came very close to giving up himself in the movie, you know; I mean, to just surrendering. I think that’s something that people respond to--in an interesting person; you don’t want someone to surrender who has nothing to say. But someone who’s been keeping all that stuff in and all those voices repressed, now letting them out and showing you he’s actually a rather gentle soul in many ways and kind of intellectually refined in the distinctions he makes and not the sort of blunt instrument as he is portrayed as. It was a great experience to do and I have in mind that going around talking about it, which usually it’s a little awkward.

I think he has never escaped from that sense that he is a short, fat, pushed-around kid and that everyone is aware of it and ready to bully him again. That’s why "fear" is the word that comes up most of all. He keeps saying, “I was afraid, I was so afraid, I was afraid of this, I was afraid of that, I was….” I mean, I’ve never heard anyone talk about fear so much as a defining reality of his consciousness and to deal with fear by first admitting it, and then deciding that you’re gonna fortify yourself against anyone who’s gonna exploit it by becoming homicidally enraged. And managing your rage so you can literally destroy the person who’s trying to exploit his fear seems to me to be the whole center of his life and personality.

One of the reasons he feels like the survivor of an earthquake now who doesn’t quite have his bearings, is that he doesn’t quite know what to do with that personality that has been put to rest, because he doesn’t have that anymore, he doesn’t have the degree of rage, he doesn’t have the degree of confidence to come back at people who would bully him and I think he thinks less about it now because he doesn’t have the defenses anymore to deal with it, so he’s walking around like a kind of slightly shell-shocked person.

And he’s a complete loner; that’s why I wanted to shoot at the beach house. An image of him walking alone on the beach seem to me to be emblematic of his relationship to the world; alone, contemplative, self-reflective and ready to wander off to the edge of the earth and end it once and for all.

The phone was the main instrument in building our friendship. We met on the set of “The Pick-Up Artist” in 1985 and we talked a lot on the phone. He was usually provoked by his curiosity about subjects that he thought I would have some wisdom to impart; anything from God, identity, sanity, insanity to murder, gambling, crime. He read a lot; he started to read and then, of course, in prison read omnivorously and we had these late-night conversations.

It’s very funny because obviously, his voice, I would recognize right away and yet, he always started with, “Jim Toback, Mike Tyson,” as if I needed to guess which Mike it was or even that it was Mike. And then we would always pick up in mid-stream, it was as if the last conversation, which might have been eight months ago or two years ago, had been three minutes ago. And when we saw each other, the same thing.

But the real kind of turning point in the relationship came on the first night we met. We walked through Central Park and we talked about many things, including my LSD flip-out and what madness was, which he couldn’t quite understand, not having experienced it, and when he came out of prison I was determined to get in touch with him to ask him to be in “Black and White.” I was coming down from my mother’s apartment on 72nd and Central Park West, turned the corner on Columbus Avenue and was thinking, how am I gonna get hold of Tyson’s number, and at that moment there was a knock on the window of the City Grill and there’s Tyson sitting with a guy and waving so I go into the restaurant and I said, "You’re not gonna believe this; I was just literally just thinking about you and how to get in touch with you because I wanted to talk to you about being in this movie called 'Black and White' I’m doing with Wu-Tang Clan and Downey and Ben Stiller. He said, “I’m in. I wanna do it.” He said, “But now you’re gonna be shocked,” and he said to the fellow he was sitting with, “Who was I just talking about two seconds ago?” The guy says, “James Toback.” He says, “This is James Toback.” So I said, “In a movie no one would believe these coincidences; it’s like out of a Hardy novel.”

So I sat down, and then he said, “You know, when I was in solitary confinement about 19 months into my incarceration, I was sitting alone in the corner of my cell and all of a sudden I said to myself, this is what Toback was talking about that night when he was describing madness; I am now insane.” And he had snapped, and the fascinating thing to me was that the first thing he thought about was that conversation 12 years ago, it made me feel very close to him and as if we had exactly the bond that I had felt we had but hadn’t seen actual practical evidence of until that moment. That always stayed with me, that that was his first thought when the madness clicked in. And I think he sort of goes back and forth with it. I mean, unlike me, he didn’t get an intravenous antidote from the guy who synthesized LSD in Switzerland in 1938 at Sanders Laboratory. And without that, I would have been dead.

The LSD, it’s very interesting. I got a text message today from Zan Cassavetes, John Cassavetes daughter, who made a very good documentary on Harvey, the man who founded the Z Channel. He killed himself. She came to a screening of "Tyson" the other night, and I did a Q&A afterwards and I was talking about madness and this whole question of loss of self and she sent a text message today asking what I meant by madness and was it that feeling that no one understands who you are or has no clue as to who you are, and I was gonna call her and tell her it’s more than that, although that’s part of it. It was the sense that the "I' itself doesn’t exist; that it’s a fiction. R. D. Lang says sanity is a cozy lie.

That we make this assumption about our own existence and the assumption, of course, is based on the fact that we’re here. Of course we exist, this is my knee, this is my head. But then we say, yeah, but we need more than that. When we say "I’m here," we don’t just mean, we’re a body. We’re also a consciousness. But then Watson (you know Watson of Watson and Crick), has that great book about the mythology of the soul, the spirit, the mind, the self; it’s all the brain, the brain. A three-and-a-half-pound object encased in a skull. But to admit that, that you’re just a function of biochemical configurations that causes consciousness, is something that most of us don’t want to admit.

And also we don’t want to admit our mortality and the thing that madness does is force you into that recognition. But you know, I dealt with it, apart from getting the injection, by accepting death. Accepting death is something everybody assumes he or she has already done. You say, of course, I know I’m gonna die; we’re all gonna die. But very few people really, I think, understand it or mean it. They don’t believe it because if they did, they would know they might die in 30 seconds.

If you say to someone, "Are you gonna die?" he says, “Of course; everyone’s gonna die.” And then you say, "You know you might die in 30 seconds." If they’re truthful, they’ll say, "No, no, no, that’s not gonna happen." "Well, how do you know it’s not gonna happen?" "It’s just not gonna happen." "Well, you think it might happen?" "No." "How about 10 minutes?" "No." "How about this afternoon?" "No." "What do you mean, no? How do you know you’re not gonna die this afternoon?" "I’m just not going to, that’s all there is to it."

Well, of course, that’s ludicrous. You have a very good chance of, it might be small, but it’s real and someone just like you is dying at that moment somewhere and he was just as sure that he wasn’t gonna die. So that’s when you really start to expose the delusion we’re walking around with about our immortality or our quasi-immortality. Until you actually harmonize with your own fate, which is that death is a second-by-second potential reality, I think you’re existing in a state where the rug can be pulled out from under you at any minute and that void sets in and that shock sets in.

What you’re really saying is, "Oh my God, I don’t really exist and I might be gone at any given second and the people who are screaming in horror at that are the people who haven’t accepted it." So what do you do? You narcotize them; they’re given thorazine, they’re given various kinds of medication make them a zombie. And a lot of people deal with it by getting into addiction; they get into food, they get into alcohol, they get into drugs, and that’s another way of narcotizing yourself from it. As opposed to just saying it’s okay, I am all right with death; that’s fine, it’s nothing to fear.

There’s the whole notion that you need to persist in the illusion of immortality. Because we say, well, yeah, but I’m not really dying because I’m going on to the next life. I don’t mean just to be cute about it, but people like that need to look at the Hubble telescope photographs and say, and say, this is where we live. We are in an invisible speck of dust. "We," meaning our whole solar system but if you wanna narrow it down further, our planet, and if you wanna narrow it down further, ourselves. We are almost invisible specks of dust in this great huge, vast, expanding cosmos. And once you actually say, that is what’s real, that’s where we are, then you can say, well, then what purpose is there in life? Well, you’re here so you make the best of it; you do what you can. You enjoy what you can, you create what you can and then when it’s time you don’t whine and you go. We’re never conditioned to think that way. It’s never taught; I mean, parents don’t teach it, schools don’t teach it, religions don’t teach it. It’s a kind of warped need to mythologize death into everything but what it actually is.

I think that underlying understanding is what has drawn me to Tyson and Tyson to me. We’ve had that feeling about it and each other all along and it’s very hard not to feel close to somebody who has shared that understanding because there are so few people who do. And I think that one of the things that enabled him to open up the way he did in the movie was that he knew he was talking to someone who would understand everything he was saying and not take it in the wrong way and not exploit it and use it in the wrong way. Although I have to say he was shocked at some of the things he said. When he first saw it, he said “It’s like a Greek tragedy. The only problem is, I’m the subject.” I know he was watching himself almost as if not remembering he said those things, because he truth is, he was in a quasi-psychoanalysis. I was standing behind him and I was just a kind of voice and he was sitting there on the couch allowing all of his repressed voices to come out.

I had an experience, I actually had two experiences. One when my car, when I was 19, was rolling down the cliff on Route 128 in Massachusetts and time stopped or it slowed down radically. I had an absolutely blissful sense of release and I felt a kind of joy that I was now going to know what it was like actually to be dead. And then it hit a tree and I was aware that I was gonna have to climb up through all this snow.

But the more extreme version was when I was drowning about 25 years ago when I had that house in Malibu Colony for a summer and I was swimming with Jeff Silverman, who used to write for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and there was a terrible rip-tide and we were trying to get back; he’d been a lifeguard and he was having trouble getting back, and a wave came over and I was going around as I were in a washing machine and my face hit the sand and I remember thinking, just before it hit the sand, I am going to be dead very soon. I had the same sense I’d had when I was rolling down the cliff, except this time I blacked out totally and my face hit the sand and I thought, I’m now gonna be dead and then the next thing I knew my head was above water.

Well, that must have taken a good 10 seconds at least to get up there and I was dead for those 10 seconds. My brain shut down, there was no consciousness; it was black. In fact, to this day, I have no idea what happened between the time my face was in the sand, my feet was sticking up, there were ten feet of ocean above me and then I was above water again. I have no memory of what happened. I remember my face being in the sand, but then all of a sudden I was up again.

I think death is like general anesthesia; you’re going, you’re going and you’re gone. And then the difference is you wake up after general anesthesia. But just think, if you didn’t wake up after general anesthesia. Suppose they overdosed you on general anesthesia, that would just continue; the nothingness in your consciousness would just stop.

I normally like rooms freezing. I always turn the air-conditioning at 65 and if they can make it lower, I’ll make it lower and everybody’s always saying it’s freezing in here. And I say, not to me. Deneuve gave an interview once in which she talked about how horrible air-conditioners were and that she didn’t have an air-conditioner in her apartment even though it was a 100 degrees she would sit there and I thought, boy, oh, boy, I couldn’t spend any time with her. That would be the end of it right there, just the one fact in wanting to be in hot rooms. I can’t breathe; I can’t breathe.

And I have sleep apnea, you know, where you wake up because you don’t breathe, you forget to breathe and you wake up and you breathe and you don’t know you’re doing it and you fall back to sleep. If it’s a cool room and I’m sitting sort of propped up it’s much better. Or I have to put the apnea mask on but I usually pull the mask off during the night without knowing it. I was in a sleep clinic, they did a test and they asked me how many times I thought I’d awakened during the night, and I said I don’t know, maybe 8, 9 times. They said, 647 times. They showed me the video and you know, you don’t know you’re doing it but it went on the whole night.

One of the doctors I went to, I said, do you really think I need the C-pap, and he said, "Not really, as long as you have a pact with God in which God said to you, 'Jim, even though everybody else needs to be able to breathe while sleeping, you don’t; you have a free pass and you cansleep and not breathe and everything will be fine when you wake up.' So as long as you have that agreement you don’t need it. On the other hand, if you don’t have that agreement, yes, you do need it.”

Tyson's mind is endlessly self-analytical and analytical and confessional. His primary subject of philosophical analysis is himself and his perceptions of the world, but he doesn’t take any of them at face-value; he’s always analyzing them and scrutinizing them. And he does it with other people too. He starts with the concrete and goes to the general.

For instance, he was fascinated when Joe Frazier did a mike-check and instead of counting down, five, four, three, two, one, he said, “Smoking Joe Frazier will shock and amaze you, he’ll defeat Ali, he’ll beat Ali, he’s great than Ali ever was.” And Mike said, “You believe how pathetic that after all this time, his only identity is his relationship with Ali. That’s what gives him a place on earth. And the reason is, that Ali took away his social standing. Joe Frazier had a place in the world and Muhammad Ali altered it completely and Frazier’s never been able to accept that. He doesn't understand how Ali made his identity permanently something else and he can’t adjust to it, he can’t forgive him, he can’t forget it. It’s still eating away at him.”

In that same sense, whenever any subject comes up, there’s that kind of analysis of it. That's if he’s interested in somebody. But if he’s not, then it’s just a sort of slow and monosyllabic response. But if he interested, then he’s always analytical. That’s why I thought he would be such a good subject for the film.

I didn’t really question him. I raised subjects. I thought that this voice behind him triggering thoughts, stimulating the unconscious, would be better than specific questions that would tend to limit him and limit his scope of answering. So, for instance, I started the first day by saying, "Why don’t you just talk about your earliest memories." That was it. We had two hi-def cameras, and for 40 minutes we just let them both run even though there were long gaps of silence, which I didn’t mind at all because I knew with that very expressive face that a lot of the expressions that would come across his face would be useful.

So I allowed his mind just to drift. and some of the things he would say didn’t necessarily relate back to the question, because he would get off the subject but would come up with fascinating things. And after the first 40 minutes, I knew this was gonna work as a technique. Once in while, I’d come in because I needed something very particular and say, well, what about that, but almost always it was just, here’s the subject and then just do whatever riffs on it you can.

I was brought up as a boxing fanatic. My grandfather loved it, my father loved it, my uncle loved it, so there were fights all the time. I used to watch them regularly, the Friday Night Fights, and I went to a lot of fights and by the time I was 15, I had my own obsession with boxing. I always was, you know, intrigued by it, by the sport, and by certain fighters that I really responded to.

In fact, Mike was so excited the other day; he never realized that I’d met Jack Dempsey but I used to go to Jack Dempsey’s restaurant on 49th and Broadway just to see Jack Dempsey in his blue suit, his white shirt and his red tie, starring out on Broadway. I would order something just so it didn’t look as if I just there to gawk ,and ask him for his autograph. And anyway, Mike was so wasted. “You know Jack Dempsey? You met Jack Dempsey? I can’t believe that.” He said, “You know what that means?” because he used to check into hotels under Jack Dempsey’s name, that was his pseudonym. He got the whole thing of no socks and the brute force. Boxing was very big in my consciousness and it’s diminished as a sport since Tyson’s retirement, I feel quite badly about it, but it's as if he ended the sport as it was. You had Corbett, Sullivan, Jack Johnson, Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, the great heavyweights. And that era is over and the sport as what it was is over. Now you have ultimate fighting and all the other stuff but nothing’s gonna replace the heyday of boxing. I think it had a great run.

I tried to hold on to my energy, which is difficult because I feel age taking over and there are these emblems of it, with my knees, both of which need to be replaced, and my weight and my eyesight and the diabetes. But I still feel the strength of mind, you know, and I have an absolute conviction in my understanding of things and I know that I’m wiser than I’ve ever been before. I’ve learned more over the years than I ever thought I would and I’ve applied it--not in practical ways; I still have the practical sense of a immature 13-year-old--but as an artist and as a person who understands human nature and life and death. I think I’ve advanced way beyond where I was earlier and I feel in a very good place because I fully accept my own mortality and to me, that is the point.

And there’s that great line which I didn’t appreciate when I first saw it, even though I appreciated the movie, in “Breathless,” when Jean Pierre Melville is asked what his goal is when he comes off the plane and he says, “To become immortal and then to die.” Do what you were meant to do, achieve what you can achieve and then accept your own death; in fact, even relish it.

I often wondered why I responded with such joy and tears to the end of The Brothers Karamazov. It’s one of the great endings in world literature and as I’ve read it over again recently, I realize because it is the great unsentimental but overwhelmingly human powerful acceptance and eventaking joy in death. Of course, Dostoyevsky passes on an idea that there’s an afterlife, which I don’t believe, but it’s the acceptance of death and the celebration of it as opposed to the fear of it. I think there’s something so poisonous about infecting the mind with death as something fearful and awful and terrible. In reality, it’s only that you miss the person, you know.

I actually felt very selfish. My mother died two years ago and I was with her most of the time the last three years of her life and she went through misery. She was in the hospital five times, long hospitalizations, and one time she said, they were trying to stick a catheter in her and this very clumsy and aggressive and belligerent nurse was kinda torturing her for half-an-hour trying to ram a catheter in and my mother looked at me, and it was the an emergency room, and she said, “Just let me go.”

And I felt awful, I said, "Absolutely not." And I realized if I were in her shoes, I would have said, “No, I wanna go, I don’t wanna do this anymore.” Now, she had a nice two years after that but I realized at that moment she wasn’t afraid of death, she was perfectly okay with it. It’s that I wasn’t okay with it because I selfishly wanted to keep her around. You go back to when you were a child and there was no fear. I remember I was fascinated by it; when I was four years old, I stood outside the terrace of our building, 19 floors up and I was thinking of jumping. I associated it with death and I was very curious about it and my father saw me and he came running over and lifted me up and put me back on the terrace and said, “Don’t ever do that again. Don’t ever do that again. What is wrong with you? How could you have done that?”

And I felt that I’d been cheated of what I was interested in doing, which was finding out about death. And they put up a huge additional fence, four feet higher, later that day so that I would not do it again. But I remember thinking I didn’t understand death, I mean, at four you don’t, but whatever it was the going over seemed fine to me and I don’t know why. Over the years became this thing that I dreaded to the point that when I flipped out on LSD, I was totally unprepared to deal with it, or I wouldn’t have flipped out. It wasn’t the size of the dose of the drug, it was my psychological lack of preparation for it which is why I shouldn’t have taken it.

On the other hand, the ones who harmonize with it basically go off on that channel permanently. And on the one hand, they’re not afraid of death, and the other, it’s not great for socially productive work. You know, the dilemma that these poets have who are writing about death and thinking about death all the time, like Sylvia Plath and Lowell and John Betjeman and John Berryman. I often thought there’s a lack of resolution in their own attitude towards death. There’s the awareness of it, there’s the poeticizing of it but there’s not the full acceptance of it or they wouldn’t crack the way they did.

Lowell used to go in and out and back and forth. I was with him when he had an episode. He used to go check into McLean’s, which is a kind of rich person’s mental hospital outside Boston, and he was in the middle of a sentence talking about Wallace Stevens and he went insane and then he was in McLean’s for the next 11 months. He was there but not quite there. If he was really there he would have been able to deal with that moment but the fear of death stopped him.

I regard Dr. Kevorkian as a heroic figure. I feel that it’s the most disgusting example of American law, and I could certainly come up with a laundry list of them--including Tyson’s rape conviction which was complete railroading--but the most despicable was this greedy prosecution of Kevorkian. I don’t care what anybody thinks about him as an individual, but he was enabling people who needed the help to go, and then he was locked up for it. That is a barbaric, literally barbaric, atrocity. I remember listening to that prosecutor talking about it and justifying it on television. I have a homicidal nature at the core anyway, I mean, one of my great desires is to know that I’m gonna die in advance so that I have a chance to kill the people I really want to get rid of before I die, because if I’m going, why should they be around. My homicidal nature was activated. I literally wanted to go through the television and kill this guy who was justifying incarcerating Kevorkian.

It was such moral smugness and such certainty of his religious rightness and that Kevorkian was this absolutely unforgivably evil twisted being that was murdering these people. Murdering them! Every one of whom was begging to do it. I thought the fact that this prosecution was acceptable and legal is an indication that we have not advanced as a society past the lowest level of barbarism.

I was going to do a movie about making a list of people to kill before you died. I was going to do it with Alain Delon, who is my most desired. In fact, I wrote an article, when they asked a bunch of directors to pick the actor they most wanted to work with. My essay on Alain Delon stared with this sentence, “I am not to my knowledge a homosexual.” Then I go on for pages on Alain Delon. But anyway, we had a great rapport and I told him that I had a list of people that I planned to kill before I died and he said, “So do I,” and he lit up. It was as if he’d found a soul mate.

Then unfortunately, the part of him apparently wants to control everything he does set in and when I sent him a treatment he gave me a list of things to do. He didn’t want me to come to Paris, he didn’t want to talk about it; it was just do them, change them; that’s what I’ll do, that’s what I won’t do. And I said I can’t work that way, you know, it has to be a collaboration, not that I’m a recording secretary. So, unfortunately, it didn’t work out.

But it was fascinating to me that this guy that I’d always had this intrigue about had the same notion exactly that I did which, of course, shouldn’t surprise me given the history with that event in his life--do you remember with his Yugoslavian bodyguard in the early ‘80’s? Delon had a bodyguard who wrote a letter to his brother saying, if anything happens to me, Alain Delon is responsible. The guy was found two days later in a bag, chopped up, and his brother went running around trying to imply that Delon had something to do with it. But nothing ever came of it.

Transcribed by Carol Iwata.

Chaz Ebert from Cannes 2008, about "Tyson":

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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