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WARREN BEATTY DIARY
by Daren Foster

Warren Beatty Diary

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DAREN FOSTER PODCAST about his recent columns - July 21 2009!

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WARREN BEATTYWARREN BEATTY DIARY
by Daren Foster

Dear diary,

Finally got Ella off to her summer equestrian camp this morning. Man, can that girl dawdle! On the way to meet her bus, I asked why she decided on riding horses for the summer over, say, drama camp, given her parental pedigree in that field. She said while she liked acting and stuff, she didnít want to become a has-been like her mom and dad. Ouch! The mouth on her. From the mouths of babesÖ

Had a long conversation on the phone with Jack about upcoming projects. He suggested that, maybe, 8 years between films might not be so good for the career and I should think about doing something. But what? Heís so easily impressed by substandard material these days. Can I help it if Iím overly discerning? Scripts like Town and Country donít cross your desk every day. (I kid. I kid. It was a good script, though. I just shouldíve taken a more hands-on approach during the filming. And post. And pre-production for that matter. A mistake I wonít ever make again. If I ever make another film, that is. Maybe I could muscle my way onto one of the umpteen movies Annetteís making right now. Sheís become a regular Gene Hackman since the kids all got older and are off doing their thing.)

Called Ed Norton after lunch just so heíd feel important. Good to know I still have that effect on some people although I do wish it was someone a little more in the loop.

Watched Ishtar. Donít care what anyone says, itís not that bad a film. A lot funnier than Anger Management.

Dear diary,

Slipped in unnoticed to a showing of Public Enemies. Not sure why I keep doing that. I havenít been noticed out in public by anyone since.. since.. well, letís just say the 21st century has not been kind with my fame. People do stop me when Iím out with Annette and ask if they should know who I am too. I used to get all huffy when that happened but try and just let it slide past these days. I even make light of it sometimes, telling people Iím Denzel Washington. Rarely do they ask for an autograph. Rarely. There was the one time, though. I probably shouldnít have yelled at the old lady for being so fucking dimly star struck. Led to a spat afterwards with Annette. I really didnít think the woman was that old.

Donít know what to make of Public Enemies except that itís a good example of why I canít bring myself to make movies in Hollywood these days. I mean, 2Ĺ hours for what? Every character was a gangster movie clichť and thatís being WARREN BEATTYgrotesquely unfair to clichťs everywhere. (Donít even start thinking youíre funny if you immediately thought, hey, if anyone knows about clichťs, heís the guy. Itís not a clichť if you did it, lived it first. I donít think it too bold a statement to say I defined the 70s, pussycats.)

What gets me about Public Enemies is that itís one of those movies that seem to equate length with importance. Letís call it penis envy filmmaking. It touched on any number of interesting ideas without taking time to fully explore any of them. I swear to Christ, the next time somebody feebly drags a torturous War on Terror analogy across the screen without actually dealing with it in any meaningful way, Iíll vomit right there in the back row of the theatre. I donít care who sees me.. not that theyíd recognize me.

And derivative? Check out the scenes in the movie house. Weíre watching the audience watching a movie. Anybody see Bonnie and Clyde recently? OK, stupid question. Of course you havenít. Well, trust me. Pretty well shot-for-shot. Call it an Ďhomageí all you want. Pure flat out laziness if you ask me not that anybody does anymore. Or how about that one bank hold-up where a customer empties his pockets and Deppís Dillinger tells him to take it back? Itís the bankís money heís after not the plain folksí Straight outta BíníC, niggas. (I say that in my best Jay Bullworth rapper voice, mofos. So donít be getting up all in my face. WB bleeds the reddest of Hollywood liberal red.) Back in the day, Townie told me he lifted that scene for Bonnie and Clyde from some old 30s gangster film. Canít recall which one because I usually stop listening whenever he starts waxing on about old movies, trying to prove he knows more about the business than I do.

I come out of movies like Public Enemies thinking that theyíre not even trying to entertain grown-ups anymore. Called Johnny to ask him if itís all about a Pirates of the Caribbean cash grab now. As soon as he found out who it was, he put on a terrible French accent and told me I had the wrong number. Before he could hang up, I managed to say that I might not speak French but I can still smell the merde when itís on display. Then tried getting hold of Mann. He just told me to go fuck myself and asked me the last time I made anything of note. Had a point but I couldnít resist asking him where he kept his Best Director Oscar. Told me to go fuck myself again and hung up on me. I get a lot of that these days.

So had to watch Bonnie and Clyde. Not to toot my own horn but the fact of the matter is, without it, Johnny D. and MM would be toiling away under an oppressive and stodgy studio system intent on pigeonholing them in the kind of roles they played and movies they directed. Oh wait. Clearly, thatís what they are doing. What the fuck happened? Watched Reds. I really should try directing something else again before I die.

WARREN BEATTYDear diary,

The Prez was in town today and made a point of not calling me. Didnít even BB me. Obviously still pissed I didnít take him up on the cabinet post offer. It wasnít like I didnít want it. It was just.. thatís a pretty big step and would mean Iíd be walking away from the movies for good. Not a decision to make lightly and as my filmography shows, I am not one to make any decision lightly. Thought the Prez didnít need any heavier liberal weight hanging around his neck if he was going to try and make a go of it. Although, based on what weíve seen so far, he could use a bigger push from the left. But, at this stage, thatís true of the entire political system in this country.

Kathlyn showed up late with the Prius again tonight. The proverbial straw, Iím afraid to say. As punishment, locked her in the AV center in the basement and forced her to watch Town and Country. By what was a mere semblance of a third act, she was absolutely in tears, banging on the doors, begging to be let out. Promised never to miss a curfew again for as long as she lives under my roof. Good thing Annette was away filming. She never wouldíve let me get away with inflicting that kind of punishment on a child. She draws the line at Love Affair. Anything worse constitutes abuse.

Watched the last of Town and Country. That really shouldnít be the last movie I make before I die.

Dear diary,

Woke up in a cold sweat this morning in the home theatre after falling asleep watching Dick Tracy. Itís not a terrible movie but Iím not sure it stands up to repeated viewings, and by repeated I mean 15, 16 hundred times. I like to figure what worked and what didnít, alright? I had this terrible dream sometime during the night where both Madonna and I were naked and we chased Jon Voight off the stage of that Republican Senate fundraising event. I always knew Voight was nuts. I told Jane Fonda that years ago when they were doing Coming Home together. Assured her he was a whole lot crazier than Bruce Dern. Should give her call now, see if she agrees with me after that performance of his.

WARREN BEATTYIn the dream, Madonna captures Voight, takes him up in her arms, adopts him, and calls him Malawi. Iím just standing there, butt assed naked with all these Republicans looking at me. Hey, it wouldnít be the first time. Out of nowhere, Hal Ashby appears and gives me a pair of pants. As I put them on, weíre sitting together on a magic carpet and flying through the air. Again, that wouldnít be the first time thatís happened when Iím with Ashby. Man, he loved his drugs. We wind up on Robert Altmanís roof and drop in on him down the chimney. Itís me, Ashby, Altman and Jay Leno. For some reason, Lenoís always crashing my dreams. I hate Jay Leno! Even though theyíre both dead, Ashby and Altman hate him too. Ashby really, really hates Leno. When we all tell him how much we hate him, he just laughs.. cackles really. Yeah, yeah. I love you guys, too. Letís have some more reefer. What do you say? I canít tell you how much I hate Jay Leno.

After we kill Leno, cut him up and feed him to Shelley Duvallís pigs (Altman insists the pigs are hers not his although sheís nowhere to be seen), we all lie in a circle with our heads touching talking about the old days. Remember when what we did was important? Remember when we changed Hollywood and made movies that actually mattered? We strode across the cultural map WARREN BEATTYlike colossus because of what we did, not who we were rather than the other way around. (I think that made sense although Iím quoting Ashby and there were lots of times that man was impenetrably obtuse.)

What the fuck happened? How is it that Iíve wound up in my golden years, sitting alone in my basement, watching my old movies in near obscurity? Did I fail Hollywood or did it fail me? Yes, yes. Point to Town and Country or Love Affair or Ishtar as evidence of the culprit. I probably shouldíve seen the writing on the wall with the tepid response to Bulworth, taken the snub, and pulled a Cary and announced my retirement, hinting strongly that what Hollywood had become was no longer worthy of my efforts. Left them wanting more rather than have them wonder who it was I used to be. I used to be somebody and if you donít know who, you know jack shit about films.

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