This just in via e-mail, director Dan Ireland's counterpoint to my Jolene review:
Subject: Lindy West's review of JOLENE
To the editor: Dan Savage
TITTY TITTY BANG BANG
Re Lindy West's vile hypocritical excuse for a review of my film Jolene... what can I do but laugh, and perhaps projectile vomit in her face at the same time. For you guys to keep such a lame brained single-minded, ill informed, frustrated moron employed says it all, anything for controversy, even at the cost of journalism. And we’re not even talking bad journalism here, but the word journalism itself. Sad state, but hey, what ever makes 'em read the papers, right, Dan? And she's your film editor? In a city like Seattle? You're selling your paper (and your audience) short.
More battle of the sexes (RAWR!) after the jump!
I was incredibly curious what The Stranger would say on this particular film, as I'm usually a pretty easy target for you guys in the first place. And then I found out that Ms. West was (sic) "reviewing" yet again another of my films. After her "the youth of today reject the saccharine Mrs Palfrey at The Claremont" review that I garnished on my last film, I could hardly wait to see what she'd do with this one.
So, at the end of the screening when our publicist asked Ms. West what she thought about the film, she replied, "I liked it for the most part". Direct quote. There were even witnesses. Well, blow me over with a tear sheet from The Stranger. We were all kind of stunned that after her last 'youthful' attack on my manipulative sugar lacquered granny film (one of the more entertaining reviews of my career) that maybe Ms. West enjoyed the fact that my new cast was under 60.
So, we waited for the review to appear. And waited, and waited and waited. Then, finally, last night on the final evening of the films run in Seattle, Ms. West’s self proclaimed procrastination period of writing the actual review ended.
But a funny thing happened (aside from her endless blogging) on the way to her Mac Book Pro. She read some positive reviews by some male chauvinist pig reviewers (aren't they all), like Rex Reed, Tom Keogh, Charles Taylor, Wade Majors, David Edelstein, Stephen Farber, Bill Arnold, Armond White - all members of The New York Film Critics Circle, or The National Society of Film Critics or The L.A. Film Critics, and suddenly decided to take a new tact - HATE the film, proclaim it's vulgarity, center on its exploitation of women, but more than that, insinuate the only reason the other reviewers liked the film was that they were infatuated by “titties, titties, titties, titties, titties, and more titties”. Good angle, right? Let's take on the other critics.
Well, if that was the case with the other critics, why bother when you can go on line and get more mojo by typing in on a web site that'll show you more in ten seconds than my film does during it's two hour running time. Hey, did Ms. West ever consider that one of these reviewers might be gay... but more to the point, maybe even the filmmaker might be gay, too. Imagine what she could do with that… titties, titties and more titties in a film by a gay director who was secretly using those titties to hide behind his latent subtext of really wanting to put... Willies, willies and more willies in the frame. Now there's an angle you could really run with, Dan, and get a few more readers to respond. It makes about as much sense as Ms West's issue.
Perhaps when the Blu Ray/DVD comes out in March 2011 (another fact Ms W got wrong) you can have another go at it. Why not? In fact, let's burn every DVD we can get ahold of before we damage the tender moral fiber of "The Stranger's" readers. Right.
In closing, I'm glad that Ms. West got to work out her angst/rage, and rouse her troops to common decency, and even get paid the 40 bucks she probably got paid for writing her blog disguised as a review. And even though it has absolutely nothing to do with my film, or E.L. Doctorow's story, which she obviously never read, your vicious dismissal was beyond dishonest, exploitive, cowardly and lame. If there was an ounce of journalism in Ms. West's body, it might have stuck with people, or me even. Perhaps as Ms. West suggested to potential future male customers, rent the DVD in the privacy of your own home, pull out your "Johnsons" and do your business. Perhaps Ms. West might well consider doing likewise, and while she's down there, she might consider going one step further, having an overdue enema to remove the 37 piece luggage set that seem to have been stuck up there a mighty long time. She’s a little long in the tooth to be playing the angry young girl from The Stranger anymore.
And for the record, our film opened in New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Seattle, and to date has only played one Landmark Theatre. So the insinuation that my film played because I have some kind of hold over Landmark in Seattle is yet another fabrication in Ms. West's "review", and I use that term loosely.
I never writer reviewers or editors about my films reviews, good or bad, but in this case, I'll make an exception because considering the source, Ms. West doesn't qualify as a reviewer.
She's a self-proclaimed blogger, at best, (and a hateful, spiteful little one at that) with deep issues that almost every single one of her reviews addresses.
Your paper, your readers and Seattle deserve better.
I don't have time to respond to all of Ireland's many "points" here (there were "witnesses"? Curses!!!), so I'll just let them stand. But it's great to learn that gay men are categorically incapable of demeaning women. Except, apparently, in letters-to-the-editor.