"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Topics: Harvey Weinstein, The Master, django unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, 2013 Awards, 2013 Awards Season, 2013 oscars, Quentin Tarantino, entertainment news, Movies, Film, cinema, Entertainment News
Harvey Weinstein doesn’t need to offer recriminations. The Weinstein Co. producer, whose films have won the last two best picture Oscars and may go on to win a third if “Silver Linings Playbook” goes the distance, has his eye on the rare dark spots in his portfolio in a recent interview with Deadline.
While “Django Unchained,” for instance, received an Oscar nomination for best picture, Weinstein takes the fall for Quentin Tarantino’s absence in the best director category. “We tried to show it to people in theaters, not on DVD,” he said, noting that the film’s “screeners” sent to voters went out later than is typical. “It’s an epic movie and that man put his whole life and heart into this. It’s his most important movie, his most important subject matter, and the idea of DVDs stopped me cold. And I stopped them. I wouldn’t do it.” Ah, well!
Weinstein’s interview only points out the importance of lavishing free DVDs on a voting body that’s resistant to go to movie theaters; his insistence on making the film a big-screen experience cost the film Oscar support — or, at least, that’s his ex post facto explanation. No interview with Weinstein can go without a little self-appreciation: The studio head claims that he encouraged Tarantino to write the nonexistent New Yorker piece that became the movie. If you liked “Django,” thank the visionary behind it, who did more than just put up money!
Weinstein further notes that he regrets that the P.T. Anderson film “The Master” will lose money, and notes that he should have been “a devil’s advocate instead of a cheerleader” — meaning he ought to have taken a firmer hand in controlling the cut and marketing of the movie. The interview’s a great glimpse into the mind of a Hollywood player — for whom every misstep is easily explained away and used as ammunition for future consolidation of power.
Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_More Daniel D'Addario.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)