October 27, 2017

“There is a girl who went against me. She was going to talk about something I did. I am going to tell you, and this is a promise, if she ever tells anybody..."

"... no matter how much time she thinks went by, I have people who will pull up in a car, kidnap her and throw her in the Hudson river with cement blocks on her feet. You understand what I’m talking about, right?”

Said the movie director James Toback, according to the actress Selma Blair, reported in The Guardian, "Selma Blair: James Toback threatened to kill me after sexual harassment/The Hellboy star claims the disgraced film-maker sexually harassed her and then suggested that he could have her killed if she told her story."

So movie directors talk like characters in bad movies.

There's something so sad about referring to Blair as "The Hellboy star." It's a boy's world.

IN THE COMMENTS: Laslo Spatula wrote:
From the article:

"When he asked her to have sex with him, Blair refused, but Toback insisted she let him pleasure himself in front of her and said: “You cannot leave until I have release.”

“You cannot leave until I have release.”

Say what you want, but that is a great line. Very Ming the Merciless.

67 comments:

Kevin said...

So movie directors talk like characters in bad movies.

Who did you think was writing the dialogue?

Laslo Spatula said...

From the article:

"When he asked her to have sex with him, Blair refused, but Toback insisted she let him pleasure himself in front of her and said: “You cannot leave until I have release.”

“You cannot leave until I have release.”

Say what you want, but that is a great line. Very Ming the Merciless.

I am Laslo.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

So movie directors talk like characters in bad movies.

Who did you think was writing the dialogue?


He is most famous for being a writer. I think I read he won an Oscar for Bugsy (or something like that). This may explain why Hwood movies are so bad.

Kevin said...

Rocky: "That's it. I'm, like, you know, out of here."

Drago: “You cannot leave until I have release.”

Ann Althouse said...

I would think a movie director would either try to do dialogue from a better class of movie or at least have contempt for bad movie dialogue and choose to speak more like a normal person. But I'm not surprised that a man who makes movies is perhaps incapable of approximating normal or saying something intelligent and articulate. You'd think he'd be embarrassed to be such a cheeseball as he tries to sell this threat.

SeanF said...

Althouse: There's something so sad about referring to Blair as "The Hellboy star." It's a boy's world.

How about "the girl who kissed Sarah Michelle Gellar in 'Cruel Intentions'"? They're both not boys. At all.

Kate said...

This explains why Blair, an interesting actress, has disappeared from mainstream movies.

We lost Mira and Rosanna Arquette due to Harvey. How many talented women with principles have minimized their careers? Horrible for them and sad for art.

Otto said...

"Toback admitted that he revered black culture as an antidote to the sterility of middle-class white existence. Toback said that he was bored with his life and his wife after graduating from Harvard, and he saw Jim Brown as a symbol of the freedom he wanted to achieve."

"For a long time, he was a compulsive gambler, albeit from a well-heeled New York garment-district family"

"Taught writing at the City College of New York (CCNY) in the early 1970s"

"He had such a reputation as a ladies man, that a 1989 Spy magazine article detailed some of his exploits."

Another 60s nos·tal·gie de la boue.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Dude sounds like Dirty John.

richlb said...

How about "the girl who kissed Sarah Michelle Gellar in 'Cruel Intentions'"? They're both not boys. At all.

She also got pounded up against a wall in the movie "Storytelling".

Laslo Spatula said...

Some Toback film themes:

The Pick-up Artist: (from Wiki):

"...Randy is too busy for romance, trying to keep her alcoholic gambler father, Flash Jensen, out of harm's way. Jack's persistence soon pays off when he offers to help rescue Randy's dad from the mob."

Fingers: (from Wiki):

"...He gets further sidetracked when collecting a large debt from a mafioso named Riccamonza (Tony Sirico), who eventually threatens Ben's life. This forces Jimmy to seek retribution."


Harvard Man: (from Wiki):

"Alan is desperate for $100,000 to replace their home. He is approached by his girlfriend Cindy Bandolino, whose father is an organized crime boss."


Black and White: (from Wiki):

"He is offered a deal by a bookmaker, Mark (Stiller) to throw a few games for a price. Dean takes the money against his better judgment, and he soon realizes how much of a mistake he made when Mark turns out to be a cop hoping to dig up dirt on Rich."

When Will I Be Loved: (from Wiki):

"Her boyfriend, Ford (Frederick Weller), is a fast-talking hustler prepared to do anything to make a buck..."


The mob, crime bosses, bookmakers, hustlers: Toback likes pretending he is of that world.

Gangster Wannabe.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

Use the -tard suffix for -ster, gangtard.

rhhardin said...

The only one I have is The Pick-Up Artist, which had no good moments.

The others were not ever suggested by the "you may also like" app.

William said...

You'd think an act like Weinstein's would be tough to top, then along cones Toback. I read that three hundred women have come forward to complain about him. How is it possible to be such a pig and have such a long career?

Todd said...

I can't wait for all of the folks to come out and say that even if the women involved did NOT complain, it was still wrong do to the power dynamic involved and fully expect them to be many of the same folks that said NOTHING about the Clinton/Lewinsky incident...

William said...

I saw the Netflix movie on the Mexican actress who visited El Chappo. She started as an actress on a Univision telenovela. Apparently the girls on these shows were expected to "entertain" sponsors and publicists. The problem is not unique to Hollywood, but rather has more to do with show business. I wonder if Jorge Ramos knows of these problems.

holdfast said...

Didn't Blair get some guy's cock stuck in her throat in The Sweetest Thing?

tim in vermont said...

Read the interview with HW's driver, he was threatened like that too for a screwup about a couple of hookers.

tim in vermont said...

Apparently having your life credibly threatened isn't as bad as being forced to witness masturbation or give up your dreams of Hollywood.

Drago said...

Kevin: "Rocky: "That's it. I'm, like, you know, out of here."
Drago: “You cannot leave until I have release."
For the record, I said no such thing...though I wish I had.

Drago said...

holdfast: "Didn't Blair get some guy's cock stuck in her throat in The Sweetest Thing?"

Man, if I had a nickel for each time that happened to Titus....

rcocean said...

"well-heeled New York garment-district family"

Is a subtle way of saying nouveau riche Jewish.

Leslie Graves said...

I have my own #metoo stories, as does nearly every woman I know. Even with the abundance of stories I've heard over the years, what's new to me is the insistence on or interest in having the woman watch the guy masturbate. The Weinstein, Wieseltier, Toback and Halperin stories all feature this element. Count me nonplussed.

rcocean said...

"The Weinstein, Wieseltier, Toback and Halperin stories all feature this element."

In the case of Weinstein, he was going to high-priced hookers and had a good looking wife, so the exposure thing seems to have been a power play and a way to humiliate the victim.

OTOH, Judging by his picture Wieseltier & his weird vibe, he probably never had sex with a real woman, so the masturbation thing was normal practice.

CStanley said...

You'd think he'd be embarrassed...

I think it's been established that the embarrassment circuit was malfunctioning.

CStanley said...

Even with the abundance of stories I've heard over the years, what's new to me is the insistence on or interest in having the woman watch the guy masturbate

It seems like the next level of depravity- total objectification with the woman simply present as 3D porn.

Jeff Brokaw said...

I think we now have a more complete understanding of exactly why John Hughes, the famous writer/director of all those classic movies, just up and left Hollywood to raise his family on a farm in Illinois.

walter said...

Did he go with a Pesci or Brando accent?

Professional lady said...

Jeff Daniels lives in Chelsea, Michigan where he grew up. He was interviewed on TV a while ago and he said that he and his wife probably wouldn't still be married if they had stayed in Hollywood. He has a theatre there and produces and acts in plays - The Purple Rose. I'm going to have to go some time. I think there's a lot to be said for the so called "sterility" of middle class existence.

madAsHell said...

Wieseltier??

Do they get their names straight from central casting? In English, we would say Weasel Zoo.

William said...

Probably not a lot of Kimmel fans here, but he has a skit where famous actors read the mean tweets that they receive. It's pretty funny. I have a suggestion for Hollywood, At the next Academy Awards, they could have famous actors read aloud the nastiest propositions they've ever received from people in power. It would lighten the mood at that otherwise funereal event. But don't have any of the child actors do that. That would be disturbing.......They could also have a kind of In Memoriam segment where the faces of famous Hollywood big shots pass by with the length of their recommended prison sentences posted underneath their names.

Big Mike said...

James, if my friend disappears under strange circumstances, you better kill yourself quickly or long before you die you be pleading to be allowed to die.

See! Anyone can write cheesy Hollywood dialog! And that sentence is better than anything you find in most of today’s movies.

Unknown said...

William said "They could also have a kind of In Memoriam segment where the faces of famous Hollywood big shots pass by with the length of their recommended prison sentences posted underneath their names."

The assumption that the Rogues' Gallery would consist exclusively of ugly but (formerly) powerful men should be questioned. How long would you recommend for Meryl Steep for her role as leading cheerleader for Polanski?

rhhardin said...

There must be a bestiality form, wanking in view of a horse.

Earnest Prole said...

I Shall Have Release

They say everything can be replaced
They say every distance is not near
So I remember every face
Of every man who put me here

I see my light come shinin'
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall have release

They say every man needs protection
They say that every man must fall
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Somewhere so high above this wall

I see my light come shinin'
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall have release

Now yonder stands a man in this lonely crowd
A man who swears he's not to blame
All day long I hear him shouting so loud
Just crying out that he was framed

I see my light come shinin'
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall have release

Temujin said...

This guy Toback hits the trifecta of awful. He's a horrible example of a man, a horrible person, and a horrible filmmaker. What kind of industry would provide money to a person like this to 'hone his craft' more than once? I mean, beside politics. And the media. OK ...and the NFL. Academia. Big Banks. The Church. The Police. Subway Subs. Hertz. Heinz.

That is a great line he used, however.

madAsHell said...

“You cannot leave until I have release.”

Math and physics were infinitely easier after sex. My girlfriend, now wife, could never understand sex before homework.
Maybe the same applies to writing, and directing....

No, masturbation never provided such clarity.

Roughcoat said...

The mob, crime bosses, bookmakers, hustlers: Toback likes pretending he is of that world.

Like Sean Penn, graduate of Santa Monica High School, growing up on Santa Monica's mean streets. Tough guy wannabe.

mockturtle said...

When it becomes publicized that many, if not most, male child actors were truly sexually victimized by Hollywood moguls, there will be even more outrage.

William said...

The Catholic Church for a number of years had a great deal of success in keeping the lid on its scandals. But that very success worked against it when the dam burst. You couldn't help but wonder if they were all complicit in those crimes. Characters like Toback and Weinstein are sicko, pervert pigs with flashing neon signs advertising the fact that they are sicko, pervert pigs. The fact that they had such long successful careers implicates everybody assciated with them.......I don't ordinarily watch the Academy Awards, but I'll be watching this year, if only out of morbid curiosity. Will the gowns on the red carpet be less revealing this year to protest against the sexism of Hollywood? Will Meryl Streep be contrite, defiant, or absent?.....It's hard to accept the moral pronouncements of some prelate who coverered up for a bunch of pedophiles. It's hard to accept the heroic screen poses of someone like Harrison Ford who takes the trouble of traveling to France to personally present Roman Polanski with his Oscar.

mockturtle said...

The mob, crime bosses, bookmakers, hustlers: Toback likes pretending he is of that world.

Pretending, Laslo?

Ann Althouse said...

"I have my own #metoo stories, as does nearly every woman I know. Even with the abundance of stories I've heard over the years, what's new to me is the insistence on or interest in having the woman watch the guy masturbate. The Weinstein, Wieseltier, Toback and Halperin stories all feature this element. Count me nonplussed."

We've been talking about that subject a lot here at Meadhouse -- mostly me coming up with theories and asking if this sounds plausible.

Anyway, I've thought of this:

1. These men are boys. They're stunted, stuck in adolescence. They don't want a sex partner so much as they want to make masturbation fresh again by recreating the sense of mother opening the door on them. The woman is shocked.

2. These men know they are ugly and unattractive to the woman and they are leaning into it. They couldn't pursue a good relationship, built on mutual love and sexual response, so they go for a comical, self-humiliating performance.

3. Safe sex. No disease. No pregnancy.

Ralph L said...

make masturbation fresh again by recreating the sense of mother opening the door on them
Not a chance, unless the mother was a whore.

Shocking the woman is it, without offending her so much she goes to the police.
Plus the power trip.

Big Mike said...

Your theories are pretty solid, but I would add (4) humiliation of the woman. He gets a sort of ego boost from her humiliation and disgust.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

what's new to me is the insistence on or interest in having the woman watch the guy masturbate

You are overthinking this...it is about exerting power and control over the woman...it is the same motivation that drives most rapists.

William said...

I go with number two. Big Mike's number four supplements number two. Their ugliness is a two sided weapon that cuts both ways, as is, their exhibitionism........There's also the possibility that this is foreplay. If they get away wth this, they can move on to other things in a later encounter. .

buwaya said...

I must differ.
Flash Gordon is a silly movie, not a bad movie.
No movie can be bad that brings us the splendor that was Ornella Muti.

n.n said...

It's a Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice world.

The female chauvinists threw babies under the bus, women and men, too, for social progress and secular gain. So, it's selective, unprincipled, and opportunistic all the way down.

Ralph L said...

Neil Degrasse Tyson is next on the list. Accused of a rape 30 years ago in grad school.
Is no one safe?

walter said...

Whatever the reason/motivation, it's far from a "common preference".
That's giving Hollyweird what they want.

Ann Althouse said...

"Your theories are pretty solid, but I would add (4) humiliation of the woman. He gets a sort of ego boost from her humiliation and disgust."

That's kind an aspect of the first theory, and really all of the theories are about disgust, aren't they?

Notice that he is making HIMSELF disgusting, so that she will be disgusted. How does he feel big causing her to feel disgust?

You would think that the powerful man would have the wherewithal to induce the woman to offer sex, to cross the line for him. He has so much to offer. What's in it in having her not to want it? You're suggesting an idea that it's more exciting if she doesn't want him but somehow has to be around, but I don't see how he feels an "ego boost" from her rejection.

Another theory is: The modus operandi works on other women and he gets more than masturbation, so he keeps using the method, and with the woman who don't play their parts according to his script, he still feels sexual excitement and can masturbate and he chooses to do it in a way that makes her feel that she's a useless throwaway to him.

Leslie Graves said...

This sounds right to me: "The modus operandi works on other women and he gets more than masturbation, so he keeps using the method, and with the woman who don't play their parts according to his script, he still feels sexual excitement and can masturbate and he chooses to do it in a way that makes her feel that she's a useless throwaway to him."

"Behavior that repels or at least certainly does not attract any women ever" also might be related to the non-creation of any kind of long-term, fun, playful, romantic fling that two people might want to engage in for awhile on a quasi-mutual basis even if there is a warped power dynamic.

I.e., another part of the prevalent modus operandi with the masturbators is that they didn't seem to be going after even a month-long -- or heck, even a week-long -- kind of fun fling. If that's what they had wanted, I think they could have pretty easily secured that. Thus, I have to infer they definitely didn't want that.

walter said...

It's time to reconsider Conan's Masturbating Bear...

Bill said...

They don't want a sex partner so much as they want to make masturbation fresh again by recreating the sense of mother opening the door on them.

Bingo! I'm no psychologist, but perhaps there's an element of wanting to humiliate oneself as well as the victim.

mockturtle said...

He can truthfully say, "I never touched her".

Fabi said...

"Houston: this is Eagle -- we have release."

MadisonMan said...

"You cannot leave 'til I have release"

"Watch me"

Known Unknown said...

"You cannot leave until I have release ...


form. Would you please sign the form? It's a standard release, really."

Ralph L said...

he is making HIMSELF disgusting

Not from his point of view. He's just being an alpha male.

Char Char Binks said...

Gordon's ALIVE!

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francisco D said...

"Bingo! I'm no psychologist, but perhaps there's an element of wanting to humiliate oneself as well as the victim."

As a psychologist, I beg to differ.

The process of ejaculation stimulates serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that have been long associated with (the alleviation of) depression. Guys who are "addicted" (I use the word loosely) to that sort of neurotransmitter stimulation take option #2 (masturbation) when option #1 (some sort of sex with a wannabe Hollywood starlet) has been frustrated.

It seems humiliating to you and me, but I suspect we are relatively normal. I am more turned on by my girlfriend's orgasms than my own. It's something that has developed with age and experience.

Leslie Graves said...

Well, I get that there are sexually compulsive exhibitionists who ply their trade in parks and malls across this great land of ours. I think this is a small % of men.

Take the subset of rich-and-powerful men, and then the much smaller subset of them that wish to engage in chronic sexual harassment. It surprises me that in this already tiny tiny pool, we have a lot of masturbators.

mockturtle said...

I still think it's the Portnoy Syndrome.

Charles Rector said...

If you want to see a really good Ming the Merciless, you should have seen the one in the NBC Saturday Morning Flash Gordon TV show that was running about the same time that this movie came out. Now, that Ming the Merciless was one nasty piece of work while the one in the movie comes across like pudding in comparison.