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If you came to my country, you not make it off the airport before they killed you and eat your children. All praise be to God! Love your site.
Nun Ovyerbiznis
Kabul, Afganistan -
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a <a>
a, USA -
I anjoy manny of you rantings! Kep on truckin'!
Bhig Azz <no thanks>
Zanzibar, BO Zaire -
I can't believe you still persist with your low-grade "mega-zine". Primiere or Entertainment Weekly are giants compared to your insect-like status. They are going to crush you underneath their enormous corporate boots. Prepare for death. p.s. - keep up the good work!
Chris Weddlemeyer <cweddlemeyer@hotmail.com>
Tulsa, OK USA -
guy men i Guy men i greet))))))))))))))))))))))))) greet))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
A.S.K <ashans20002001>
togo -
I am disappointed to hear that you've resorted to a color cover. I'm color blind and Hollywood Outsider was the only movie publication I would get that I felt that I was seeing as intended. Looks like it's back to Primiere for me. Adios.
Skippy Magoo <skippymagoo@hottmail.com>
Caulamet, Oh USA -
Fuck you!
Kevin Smith <don'temailme@yahoo.com>
Paterson, NJ USA -
Fuck you! Your not nice.
Ben Affleck
Bronx, NY USA -
Greetings from Huston, TX. My name is Lisa. Let me thank you for such an informative site. I used it to compose for my class. Your site is indeed a wonderful source for all my future essays -
True friends are hard to come by...I need more money. -Calvin
Calvin_ Hobbes_ <calvinnnnnnhobbes@lycos.co.uk>
UK -
Douglas Adams said: If somebody thinks they're a hedgehog, presumably you just give 'em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves.
Douglas Said <douglassaid@lycos.it>
Italy -
Exactly, my friend. Hedgehogs... you don't hear enough about 'em. Thanks for stopping by.
Tom <info@hollywoodoutsider.com>
Astoria, NY USA -
Great idea! When will the next issue of HO be on the newstand? You fuckers take a long time getting an issue together. Are the Astoria boys to good for film festivals? Thought you might have an issue at Tribeca.
n01know$ <n01knowshow@yahoo.com>
Astoria, NY USA -
For those of you who are interested, I received a threat of legal action for some "defamatory statements" from the Creative Executive Apparatchik of Ad Hoc some two years after The Ad Hoc Affair was posted. An attempt was also made to intimidate Tom Graney. Instructed to remove the offending piece, Tom stood his ground and did the right thing for free speech. It was a test, and I think HO passed with flying colours. We should salute Tom and his colleagues, they're all that stand between us and the dictators. For those of you who have not had a chance to see this article, it's in the Archive. Read it and all this will become clear.
Richard Armstrong
-
I can't believe you didn't mention the pool hall scene in "My Nmae Is Nobody". Otherwise you got it all. I love this quirky, irreverant movie.
Particleman <strawbs47@hotmail.com>
Oshkosh, Wi USA -
Anyone got a dictionary? Oh. Guess not.
egg
USA -
Hmm... we had a dictionary somewhere around here. Oh, there it is, propping the door open. What am I looking up, Egg-head?
Tom Graney <info@hollywoodoutsider.com>
Astoria, NY USA -
Dear Tom, I'm glad to see Richard Armstrong championing free speech, and, having been 'described' in his article 'The Ad Hoc Affair', think that it's time I made proper use of that principle myself. Richard has certainly made ample use of it both in his article and on this bulletin board. Why, first I was just a bafflingly confused, egotistical monster – now I've also been revealed as an 'apparatchik', an 'intimidator' and a 'dictator' as well! I don't mind Richard having whatever fantasies he likes, but when he publishes a supposedly factual account using real names he is – or should be – bound by adherence to the truth. Freedom of speech isn't about saying what the hell you like, it's about exercising a right which also brings responsibility, which is precisely why laws of defamation, libel and slander exist. When I found his article on your website I was shocked. I knew perfectly well it was a distortion of the truth. But it was up there anyway, for all to see, forming opinions in people's minds on the basis of one person's rather peculiar prejudices. Because I was a UK citizen and it was published in the US, there was next to nothing I could do about it – except express my own opinion. So, to restore the balance, how about I give you my side of the story to go next to Richard's piece? Then people can make up their own minds. That's what freedom of speech is all about, after all.
Toby Venables
UK -
Boy does Richard Armstrong have a major problem or what?? His weird rant is just personal spleen vent, a bit unfair against this other guy who's got no way of defending himself (caught his response further down this response board and he actually sounds quite reasonable) and it doesn't even correspond to the title! I didn't learn ANYTHING about 'the press system' versus 'the struggling freelancer' - a worthy and interesting topic - I just learned that Richard uses his work to conduct nasty, personal vendettas!! Disappointing journalism, one sided and deeply unpleasant (plus badly written, if I want to read what amounts to little more than a list of stuff I'll look in the telephone directory, thanks) it made me really angry - what a moron...
puzzled film fan
USA -
Still waiting for a reply to my suggestion, Tom – there seem to be replies from you to the jokier messages on this board, but not where it matters. I'm sure, judging by your comments on the Iraq conflict, that you would want the truth to be established. And I'm sure visitors to your site would want to read it. As you rightly quoted , "People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both."
Toby Venables
UK -
Wow Is Toby Venables comparing the Armstrong-v-Venables summit to the Iraq conflict? Or have I missed something? Puzzled...
another puzzled film fan
London, UK -
I think if you read Richard Armstrong’s piece, you’ll find there’s a lot more to it than personal spleen. I’ll tease out a few key points, in order to help Mr Puzzled get the gist. Anyone who has written for an editor who seems to have a problem with his / her writers articulating opinions about a film will relate to RA’s point about Blair Witch. Armstrong had written a review that TV didn’t agree with, therefore TV insisted on running his own review – several times the size – next to it. Sounds like blustering idiocy to me. The man talks about freedom of speech – how much more does he want? You’ll notice RA’s point about the Tim Roth vs Catherine Breillat fall-out, too – Ad Hoc running that laddy chancer Roth rather than the more challenging (like her films or not) Breillat, even though the Roth film had been and gone. This is a pertinent point, it seems to me: many people who have written for even high profile film magazines will be all too familiar with editors getting shirty about people’s reviews on the basis of a personal whim and then trying to pass it off as "what’s right for the magazine". I occasionally contribute to a reasonably high profile UK film magazine, and there’s been a couple of instances where I’ve had reviews tweaked or taken away from me and the films in question slagged off on the grounds that "we are a mainstream film magazine, after all" – even though the films in question were well reviewed elsewhere! Editors frequently try to pass off their personal whims as objectivity, and it’s pretty galling when you’re on the receiving end, wondering how or why these people got into positions of power, and at which point it went to their heads. What’s more, it is galling to see your own income pushed to one side in favour of less experienced writers who don’t need paying – TV would probably say THAT was good for the magazine. Probably would be financially, given that they’d blown so much dosh on jeeps. And then there is the money issue. As a freelance writer, how are you supposed to eat and keep writing without reliable paymasters? As a freelancer who has been shafted several times for money, I can vouch for Armstrong’s frustration in trying to keep a career ticking over. Anyway, as Armstrong says: "This is not a rant against one particular magazine. This is a rant against an entire culture within film journalism whose proponents feel the need to glister and perform as showily as many of the films that they take as their subject matter." It’s also a closely argued, amusing, intelligent piece, and a call for a critically engaged, knowledgeable culture of film writing that isn't simply an opportunity to blow your own trumpet.
Dana Andrews
UK -
I refuse to be associated with Mr. Graney and his "publication." I'm currently looking into legal action of my own to disassociate myself from the homo-erotic magazine "Hollywood Outsider", and take great offense to be referred to as a "colleague." I, in fact, am opposed to free speech and whole-heartedly agree that Tom Graney should be intimidated, eviscerated, then drawn and quartered in a public square. That he calls himself the editor of anything is totally amazing. -- Sincerely, Douglas Dimsdale (Mrs. -- deceased)
Douglas Dimsdale <defaultuser@kazaa.com>
Windsor Terrace, NY USA -
Dear 'Dana' (!), Your point of view is an entirely reasonable one and, since I too work as a freelance writer and have done for several years, I can certainly sympathise with the plight of writers who are 'shafted' or - as seems more often the case – completely ignored by big publications. I think what we need to separate out here to get a clearer picture are the issues about film writing in general (with which I agree), RA's issues with the magazine itself (with which I largely agree – I was an editor, not the publisher or a director of the company, so had no finger on the purse strings and no absolute say in anything else if it was decided I shouldn't), and his issues with me personally (with which I have a few issues myself...). RA has dealt with these as if they are all the somehow the same thing. For that reason alone I would suggest it is not a tightly argued piece. It's hardly flattering to me either, of course – but what you think of that in turn depends on the truth or otherwise of the picture RA paints. And there we have the problem. I have had all the people who are either named or referred to in this piece read it, and their recollection of events is somewhat different, which makes it a serious matter. It makes it an attempt to do petty damage to an individual, when exactly the same piece could have been written (with RA making whatever wild claims he liked) without anyone being named. But he chose to name me, so I think I have a reasonable right to call him on it. He doesn't mention that he worked for me for several years, that adhoc wasn't a film magazine, or that he never once chose to tackle any of the issues face to face with me (he just stopped submitting his stuff or turning up, and ignored the messages I left for him). He also submitted invoices incorrectly, couldn't remember what he should invoice for, said he'd dropped off pieces when he hadn't and said he'd had conversations with people that I knew hadn't actually taken place. The bottom line is, there are people to whose professionalism I am happy to bow, and who can (and probably should) lecture me all they like. Then there are those whose views I am bound to treat with a little more scepticism. I sincerely doubt that anyone who lives in Richard Armstrong's alternate universe is likely to effect any real change for the better. Except for after the event, and in their own heads.
Toby Venables
UK -
Eh, Yo! I just looked at "City of Industry". What the fuck? I never said anything I said, and you know it! Back off or you and I are going to have problems. You know what I'm saying? Good. I just want everything clear as mud. You know what I'm talking about. Stop the nonsense. Stop it. I'M TALKING TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!
Harvard Keitel <hkeitel@ny.gov>
Brooklyn, NY USA -
How easy it is to accuse your enemies of insanity simply becuase you disagree with them! Did Toby Venables actually read Richard Armstrong's article? If I remember rightly, it was published a whole two years ago. If Richard's mad, Toby's bloody obsessed! Did this joker run away from his parents, or did they run away from him? Ted
Ted
Melbourne, USA -
This is incredible! This Toby bloke's exploits seem to be everywhere. I swear this is the third website I've seen since Monday where his notoriety is a topic of debate! What gives?
Adrienne
Plaxtol, UK -
As a former - and I stress former - AdHoc writer, I must endorse Richard Armstrong's rant against the editorial people at that company. I wish I'd seen it earlier! And Toby talks about legal action! Thank goodness the law is for everyone, not a department at Toby's fiefdom.
Anon
London, UK -
Just stumbled in here and thought I'd relate my experience. I both like and hate your site. The colors make reading difficult. The text stretches too long across the page. However, I could resize the window to get it to be manageable. This means the text flows and refits to any size window which is good. I enjoy reading your reviews despite the many grammatical errors. You do seem to use spell check so all is not lost. There's something worthy here but it needs improvement. B-
Mahatma Kane Jeeves <wouldntyouliketoknow@hotmail.com>
Reading, CA USA -
Yeah, Toby. I too was a teenage adhoc writer (well, not teenage, but y'know, I liked the phrase....) but I left out of solidarity when Richard did. Should've left at the time of the Blair Witch debacle! This is what gets me about Touchy Toby's last entry. He responds to (not the real, I imagine) Dana Andrews' entry but doesn't pick up on the points s/he pulls out - that Toby's decision to run his "leviathan" of a BWP review next to Richard's review and his dumping of Breillat in favour of Roth are symptomatic of a broader set of "peacockery" problems in writing about film. And the seeming presumption that anyone who is anyone, regardless of what they do or don't know about film, can just chip their two penneths worth in, so long as they don't have to be paid. That attitude's all too prevalent about film writing: I'm all in favour of democratic journalism, but you don't hire a plumber to fix your brain tumour, do you? Richard doesn't say ad hoc was a film mag - he says it was a "pretentious style mag". Now Toby might disagree with that, but there's no claims that it was a film magazine anywhere on RA's piece. By the by, does anyone have any links to the websites where Toby's mischief is up for debate? I'd love to read 'em. I like this website by the way, it's ace. Cheers!
Anon
UK -
Yes, it's *almost* convincing... Why, I wonder, do these many and varied people not put their names to their pieces? I assume the 'obsessed' tag is an attempt to get me to stop. If Richard was correct, I'd cut and run. But he isn't. So I won't. My point about adhoc not being a film mag is that it seems a bit pointless to use it as an example of the dereliction of film writing and talk about it in the same breath as Empire and Total Film. The latter are massive, glossy international film mags. The former was a free weekly listings guide for Cambridge. I'm sure there are better examples out there – but the fact that Richard uses adhoc really only reflects on his lack of experience. Richard just seemed to take against me personally as a result of bad practices by a company which (rightly) paid the price by going out of business. This did, and does, seem irrational to me. I dismissed it at the time, then years later found his piece. Hmm. I am not claiming that Richard is 'insane' (I've no way of knowing that). Just unprofessional. And untruthful. And incapable of handling any form of direct confrontation. When he 'left' adhoc (which he turns into a dramatic 'sacking' of the company, but actually he just sort of slunk away without a word), I wrote to him in an attempt to understand what had gone on. He gave no real clue, except that I was clearly to blame for everything. Then he sent creepy, Lecter-esque e-mails to an Associate Editor. Then he fled to Powys. As to the various other film writers, Richard's job was to organise these, and I had virtually no contact with them (a couple who I did have direct contact with continued to phone for many months after this strange affair, apparently still happy to talk to me and offer work). Presumably he could have told them pretty much anything about what had happened. But if they have issues with editorial practices – well, he was their editor. As far as Catherine Breillat goes, yes she's an important and controversial director. But the interview was three years old. The Tim Roth interview was fresh and good, regardless of whether the film was still showing (Sight and Sound don't drop interesting pieces the minute the film stops showing – to me that's one of the problems with current film coverage). And as for Blair Witch, I discussed at length a brief for this, which was intended to deal with its release on video, taking into account the specifics of the format. When it came it didn't do that at all. It was a lacklustre, straight review of the film which was also shorter than I had asked for. It had missed the point, and failed to meet the brief. So I wrote one myself – and then used both so Richard would still get paid for his piece. I shouldn't have bothered. He certainly didn't bother to mention that in his article. So much for Richard's heroic stance. If you would like responses from the others mentioned or referred to in the piece, let me know. But I don't think Richard would like them.
Toby Venables
UK -
With a name like 'Toby', if that is your name, you're in no position to take the piss out of other people's names. As for accusing your writers of lacking professionalism, it sounds like this other guy pissed off because you didn't beleive in paying people. Incidentally, why don't you piss off back to Our Dog, or whatever you call yourselves!
Ted (wanna check my passport!)
Melbourne, Australia -
Yeah, 'Toby', go and write another poem.
Chris
London, UK -
Bloody Tobus seems to have got it arse about face. One minute he's saying that Ad Hoc was just a free listings mag, the next he's talking about it in the same breath as Sight And Sound! What a dork. As someone who works on a listings mag, I think the point of a listings mag is to provide info and whathaveyou on what's showing at that particular time, to guide people as to what they might want to see and then provide them with info on where they can see it. Which is why the Breillat-Roth debacle sounds like a bit of a farce to me. Besides, are you saying that an old interview can't be relevant? And put another way, yes, Ad Hoc isn't Empire or Total Film. But it's not Sight And Sound either, you bloody plonker! I'm sure there was something else I meant to say, but I can't remember now. Oh, Richard "fled to Powys" - he went to Hereford because he got a job there, if memory serves. Tobus, I'm 'avin u for libel and defamation and slander! You're a cheeky monkey who doesn't check his facts. What's all this about poems, anyway? Is Toby a poet? Somehow that doesn't surprise me.
Anonymous if I want to be, ta
UK -
I don't get it. Does Toby think Richard's a hedgehog, then? where's Powsy?
Sally Auster <thatsmyaffair@yahoo.com>
Des Moines, IA USA -
FWIW, at the cam.misc newsgroup, Janet McKnight has written of Adhoc II: "It looked like Adhoc only more bitty and less useful." And for Toby's info, Richard A. lives about a mile from me in Chesterton. Where is Powys, anyway? Facts, Toby, facts. After all, you're a big boy now!
Dan 'The Man'
Cambridge, England -
It may interest people to know that Toby's fiefdom (love that!) 'Realcity'is defunct. Go to www.realcity.co.uk and the truth is out there. Who ran away with the proceeds, we must ask? With all this time on his hands, it's no wonder Toby's obsessing over the past. "Where, oh where did I go wrong? Why did they leave my castle with such long faces?"
Sam 'The Man'
Cambridge, UK -
Interesting how quickly it's descended to 'you've got a silly name'! I think that probably speaks for itself. If you think legal action is in order, go for it. Mind out though – the last person to consider that in relation to this was me, because someone hadn't checked their facts (or had changed them to make themselves look better). That was seen by Richard Armstrong as some kind of evil, tyrannical act on my part... Ah probably he's right. I'm a monster. A fiend. I eat babies. Yeah, that's it. And apparently I write poetry too (???). I deserve to die. PS Apologies for the incorrect fact about Richard's whereabouts. Last I heard he *was* in Powys (quite a while ago now). If anyone is still interested after this rather unpromising display, the cam.misc bulletin board pointed out by Dan is definitely worth reading for a more balanced view of the whole adhoc thing. Plenty of well-informed stuff about the Cambridge scene – good bad and ugly – posted by readers of the mag and users of the website. Some of them actually enjoyed adhoc. I'd sue 'em if I were you.
Toby Venables
UK -
The bit about defamation and slander over where Richard moved to was a joke aimed at Toby's earlier talk of slander, defamation etc. J-o-k-e joke. Dictionary: "the humorous or ridiculous element in something." But seriously, joking aside, do you write poetry?
Still anon if I want to be
UK -
What's the url link to this cam-misc newsgroup? Could someone post it? And what's "realcity"? Cheers! DB
Dan Bevam
Birmingham, UK -
Hi Dan, You should find the goods on Toby and his men at chiark.greenend.org.uk, although this information was passed onto me by another of the ex-AdHoc people so I hope I've got it straight. Dan
Dan 'The Man'
Cambridge, UK -
As a lawyer affiliated to the NY Bar Association with a number of years' experience of defamation suits, I would advise Mr Venables that he has no case against Mr Armstrong, at least not in the US. I can't help feeling too that his grievance against Armstrong would carry more weight if his postings graduated beyond the personal and attempted to deal with real-world issues as Armstrong's piece, however searing, has tried to do. In addition, as a sometime psychiatric counsellor, can I suggest that Mr Venables asks himself what this little debate is really about? Just a suggestion. All the best, JK
Jennifer Kinsolving
New York, USA -
I have just seen "The AdHoc Affair" and think it's just great. SO typical of a certain kind of pomposity in provincial journalism. I wonder if Richard and Tom would let us at Multiple Miggs magazine - 'The Magazine for the Mad and Mental' - run it as I just know our readership would recognize Richard's frustration. Thanks Tiny f
Tiny Friedlander
London, Ontario -
Came across this scurrilous website. You people, really! I happen to know Toby Venables really well and he's an OK guy and I can't believe all these things that have been published here. Richard Armstrong should be ashamed of himself! And Toby, don't be ashamed of your poems! I used to read AdHoc back in the 90s and that one about "stepping into November" was rally poignant. Get it out, dust it down. After all, it's anniversary approaches! Take care, J.
Jackie
Cambridge, UK -
Yeah! Come on Toby! Show us your poetry!
Daniel
Cambridge, UK -
At least Toby is sufficiently in touch with himseldf that he can still write poetry! Unlke some of the morons here!!!! Takc no notice, I for one care about sensitive people. Saw you in Trumpington last Wednesday, Toby. It was at approximately 2:46. Have lunch lets...
Jackie
Cambridge, UK -
This thread is interesting! You lot might be interested to know that the word around the Cambridge campfire a couple of years back was that the very capable Communications Officer at the Arts Picturehouse here was hired by TV to become editor of AdHoc's Oxford operation. Having waited for him to uproot and relocate, TV then sacked him! Or so the wisdom runs. Scrolling down these posts, I'm not really surprised.
Sarah
Cambridge, UK -
I remember Toby. His review of Say it Isn't So spent about 500 words on Mr Toby Reviewer finding a damn seat in the cinema. Dullsville! The distributor should have sued him!
Lance Ainsworth
Babraham, UK -
No, no, no! This isn't fair. As my mother would would say, you're all accursed acorns! Richard Armstrong especially!
Jackie
Cambridge, UK -
Why don't you shut up with your damn poems and acorns, you crazy cow!
Adrienne
Plaxtol, UK -
This gets better all the time! Thanks to the NY lawyer who offered their free advice, but I've already had my own, thanks. Do real NY lawyers frequently suggest that people they've never met seek psychiatric help..? I've never met one over here who would do that publicly even if they thought it – they're generally a bit more cautious. By the way, for all those stressing 'the facts' in this whole sorry scene, let me clear one thing up about the 'Breillat-Roth Debacle'. For most of its life, adhoc was a weekly listings mag. But at the time of the Roth interview it wasn't – it was a weekly listings sheet with no editorial and a monthly mag with interviews and reviews. The monthly format can't deal with entertainment that efficiently (as Sight and Sound demonstrates) which is why the two eventually merged to become a weekly. So, that is why the Roth was after the event and why the protestations about 'listings' mags aren't relevant to this particular argument. Anyway, for the adhoc audience I judged the Roth interview to be of more general interest, partly because it was newer and partly because it had taken place at the screening at the Arts Picturehouse Cinema locally, which Roth had attended. It appeared in the magazine alongside an excellent review of Breillat's 'Romance' by Chris Milton – a review being more pertinent to a film that's still showing anyway – thus giving readers the widest and best spread of editorial content. That was just my opinion, of course, but I was the editor of the magazine at the time... Against that, it's hard to see exactly what point Richard Armstrong is seeking to make about it. But yes, direct comparison of adhoc with Sight and Sound – or Total Film, or Empire – is utterly, irredeemably mental. Going back to the subject of lawyers, when I got mine to read Richard Armstrong's now legendary piece, he responded by saying 'To be honest, anyone reading this article would come away thinking that this Armstrong character is a bit of an idiot'. So I thought maybe the best thing was to actually draw attention to it. Job done. Tom Graney should be pleased, anyway.
Toby Venables
UK -
Erm... accursed acorns?! I don't know what it means, but I love it...
Sarah
Cambridge, UK -
Yes, Sarah, "accursed acorns" my mother used to say. It reffers to the middle ages when the knights needed them for their feat. Anyway, we must defend Toby, Sarah. These people are not right. They don't know a sensitive man when they see one. I doubt if Richard Armstrong cares about anything. Not poetry, or even the little people in life. Toby, we must meet soon.......
Jackie
Cambridge, UK -
Acorn Woman, shut the fuck up! Toby, for pete's sake,stop droning on about conversations you had in 1947. At approx. 2:46. You and Acorns-for-brains are bloody made for each other!
Adrienne
Plaxtol, UK -
Adrienne, Look inside and ask what it is makes you say those things. Do we think you have designs on the enemy? Now Adrienne, look inside and see what you find. I don't say bad things here unless it's true.
Jackie
Cambridge, UK -
Shut up, you silly old bat! No-one's listening anymore. Go back to your acorns and your poems and your tobies.
Adrienne
Plaxtol, UK -
Jackie's after Toby isn't she? I love all this "We must meet up soon". I think it's sweet. If two people can find love in the Ad Hoc trenches, then some good will have come of this. All the accusations of people being "mental" are a bit silly, though. Mind you, not any more silly than a publication that employs someone with the sole responsibility of "commissioning" film stuff. Whoever heard of the post "film commissioner"?! You're either a film editor or you're not. I think Ad Hoc sounds like a pretty cock-eyed organisation, and the impression I get - it's only an impression mind, not an attempt at a statement of fact, so please don't sue me!! (NB I didn't say Toby eats babies, okay? All right???) - is that Toby only gave Richard, like, half a job because he couldn't summon up the humility to leave him alone and let him get on with doing the job. Sure, section editors always act in liaison with editors (and okay, maybe there was a problem with communication there, but it takes two to tango, and from where I'm standing, it looks like Toby is dancing alone in an empty ballroom with only the cobwebs of his mind for company - so yes, call Jackie son!), but some degree of leeway has to be granted to section editors to do their job. I think Toby's reviews of Blair Witch and the one that I saw, Traffic, are suggestive of that peacockery and lack of humility people are talking about. I vaguely remember the opening sentence of his Traffic review - "The trouble with Sight And Sound is..." Clearly the man fancies himself as capable of contending with the big boys. Deary me! Still, it's amazing how this one's run and run, isn't it? What say you, Tom?
Steve
Cambridge, UK -
Steve, what me and Toby have will be special, is special! And odesn't need aby rudeness from you. Toby, I have a new heiku to show you.
Jackie
Cambridge, UK -
Jackie, in your bloody dreams, girl! Where's Richard? I wish he'd come and put these twerps straight. Bet your bottom dollar, HE doesn't write poetry. Or fiction, Mr T!
Adrienne
Plaxtol, UK -
Yes, Adrienne, where is this aggression coming from?
Jennifer Kinsolving
NYC, NY, USA -
In Mr T's review of Traffic, didn't he also label it a "work of genius". Fuck's sake, it's an efficiant and entertaining movie movie. It's not Citizen Kane or Rules of the Game! Jesus, come back to planet Earth.
Lance Ainsworth
Babraham, Cambs, UK -
Here is what I think is one of the most imaginative and felt poems I have read in a long while. Friday Nov. 1st; Heading Townwards I feel the pulse of days quicken As I step into November The wintry tang - like steel aginst skin - This is real. Nature stalks the streets as a mist Reminding us of all the city cannot be - I breathe its beauty. You and I talk in tongues of fog Our words dissove and are lost On the numb air - lost in darkness and distance. And in the protracete nothing of that moment I feel the dissatisfaction of being. Minds always struggle to connect meaning Through their dull thunder. I find clarity in nature's lack of intention." That was Toby's poem. I think it's good. Richard Armstrong doesn't write like things like that!
Jackie
Cambridge, UK -
No Jackie, I daresay Richard doesn't write things like that! You show 'em, girl!
Adrienne
Plaxtol, UK -
Gee, how revealing!
Jennifer
NY, NYC, USA -
Jesus bloody wept!
Chris
London, UK -
Hedgehogs and mirrors? Accursed acorns? Is the referred to “hedgehog” Toby Venables or Ron Jeremy? I don’t get it. Are Toby Venables and his sucky poems real? At the risk of courting threats of legal action, I’m going on the record as a doubter that there is such a person as “Toby Venables”. With that in mind here’s my contribution to bad poetry (plagiarized and garbled from “Jaws”) – This is the story of Molly Magee. She died in her sleep aged one hundred and three. For thirteen years she kept her virginity. Not a bad record in this vicinity. – Accursed acorns! Why won’t they leave me alone…? People, I think we all could use a bigger boat.
Bob Toffel <accursedacorn@mindspring.com>
Hell-in-a-Handbasket, NZ -
Nature stalks the street as a mist! I love it!! TV, please, tell me you didn't really write that. Having read the odd one or two RA piece here and there, I would put money on him never having written anything like that. Me neither, to be honest. Are we being mean?
Tim
Cambridge, UK -
Well, this all seems highly familiar in an 'Alice In Wonderland' type way. Let me go some way, as an independent witness, to setting some of this straight. I used to work for Adhoc magazine full time, in the office, and remember things like this: Toby Venables was an extremely well-liked colleague and a highly respected editor - yes, that's right, editor, not financial director, not publisher, so fact number one is that people not getting paid (as, I'm afraid, DID happen on a regular basis) upset and angered him as much as anyone else. In relation to that - fact number two: Toby Venables took a pay cut in order that I might get a pay rise, which I had been promised time and time again but was denied because there WAS a money crisis, thanks to the rather profligate publisher (remember, this was NOT Venables). Now, dealings with Armstrong were as follows: he would wander into the office with random items and talk to people who'd never met him, puzzling them no end with copies of DVDs, bits of paper with scribbles on (these were invoices, it turned out) which he would shove at them nervously - without looking them in the eye - before scurrying out again. He would insist that he'd given invoices directly to certain people, which puzzled them as it was often not the case, he would come in with new invoices half way through a month with new work added to them, which he would somehow expect to replace old invoices from the month before - confused? We were! Then there was the setting up of meetings with people that he had never actually ever spoken to, organising and commissioning things he wasn't asked to, failing to turn in work (to the extent that another editor, keen on films, took over the section off his own back in exasperation) then, finally, nothing - no grand 'sacking' to which he mysteriously refers - not a bang, not even a whimper really, he just shuffled off and stopped turning up. Let me say here and now that many people in the office were extremely disturbed and puzzled by his behaviour; several of us, and this is no word of a lie, spent days scratching our heads and wondering if we ourselves were going mad - conversations went along the lines of "So did he talk to you? "No!" "He says he did!" "Well he didn't" "Did he give you an invoice?" "No" "Did he give you a disk with that review he was supposed to do that never turned up?" "No!" etc, etc... He then sent a few nasty emails ('sleep well...' was one faux-Lecterish suggestion to a young female colleague, if I remember) to various people re £29 he was owed (which was remiss, he should not have been owed anything, but as I said, it happened. An amazingly talented photographer was owed hundreds of pounds by Adhoc and still meets and does business with Venables regularly, I'm told). Venables was puzzled, had previously explained the money situation to Richard, in front of people, and had tried to get the finance department to get their act together - Richard said he understood and was fine about it! Ultimatley, though, Venables just had better things to be getting on with... One final point - I am referred to in the article in question, and I resent being used to bolster an argument with which I do not agree and find highly distasteful.
Victoria
UK -
One thing I think it's worth pointing out is that editors, primarily, have to put their readers, and the business of which they are part, in front of the whims of writers; most experienced and professional journalists know this and expect to have their work changed, and accepting that some pieces wil never be run is also part of the game. Richard's anger is fairly typical of the way amateurish writers feel about their work and is quite common, they feel it is somehow 'precious' or 'sacrosanct', and it can sometimes lead to situations like this where instructions to the budding freelancer start to get ignored and both parties become increasingly frustrated. It would be unusual for any hardened journalist to write a piece like Richard's for several reasons (it's libellous for a start, and dull!)so my advice to Toby would be to not worry, I'm sure he's not the first or last editor to 'wound' a true and virtuous artiste!!
Grub Street
UK -
Blimey, I remember Richard Armstrong! He stalked one of the graphic designers at Adhoc! He used to follow her home and one time he jumped out on her and shouted when she was coming out of the supermarket and she nearly had a fit. He's about fifty as well, it freaked her out COMPLETELY! She was only about twenty-five - weirdorama!!
Jamie Sheldon
UK -
Puzzling people with DVDs? What in tarnation would that involve?
Steve
London, UK -
Now we know how wicked and sick that Richard is! What a terrible person! No artiste is he, just a mistaken and accursed person with nowhere to go!
Jackie
Cambridge, UK -
Richard spoke to people he didn't know? Crumbs almighty! I've an understanding that such wicked behaviour is illegal in certain countries. Or is it only for "acorns" who are "about 50", who may be moved to do their shopping at the supermarket occasionally? Funny bloody website this.
Simon
Cambridge, UK -
Richard followed somebody to a supermarket! God, what a sick fuck! (Mind you, I followed someone around ASDA once. I called it love). Those AdHoc people are pretty good at remembering who said what and shit. But not very scrupulous about paying people. And Toby's poetry stinks!
Adrienne
Plaxtol, UK -
'Don't slag off Richard Armstrong, I happen to know that he gets like this when he feels threatened, it's all to do with his childhood apprently he told me, and it was all to do with some woman who made him feel bad or something at the time, he can't really explain it, anyway, just want to say don't slag him off cos he's one of my nicest clients and most times he only wants to talk which is fine by me, i charge £50 an hour and it's up to him what he wants to do, at least he sticks to my one rule no kissing which most of the others don't!!! He is a gentleman and very discreet so leave him alone!!!' All Love Chelle X
Chelle
Cambridge, UUK -
In case no one knows, Chelle's entry is bogus. As a close friend of Richard's, of borderline sound mind and body, I would like to point out that we won't be celebrating his 50th for some years yet. Plans are afoot for this momentous event, nonetheless - Rome wasn't built in a day and all that. Stick your address up Toby, I'll bang off an invite. They're pretty swish, I can tell you. As for you, Jamie Sheldon, with your talk of "stalking", I'm afraid to tell you that you've queered your pitch, old bean, and you’ll just have to find something else to do that night. Sorry, but that’s the way it crumbles, cookiewise. And I simply fail to see how "being about fifty" could freak anyone out "COMPLETELY", especially when he’s not 50. Unless you mean 50ft tall, under which circumstances, I’d be pretty freaked out if said individual leapt out on me at a supermarket and shouted. Probably half deafened, too, come to think of it. Neither have I ever known Richard to wilfully befuddle anyone with home entertainment devices – and he’s got an ample video collection, believe me, so it’s not as if he hasn’t had the opportunity. Mind you, I did invite him to a friend’s party once, and I’m afraid to say that, yes, he did speak to people he didn’t know. It’s his "thing", don’t you know. Oddly enough, they didn’t seem to mind, and were later moved to comment that he seemed like a very nice person. I know, I know, it’s a funny old world.
Kevin
London, UK -
I think I need an English to American dictionary. We really are two people separated by a common language. How do you "blokes" and "birds" pronounce Powys? Is it "Pows" with the "y" silent, or "Powis"? I'm not getting snotty, just wondering.
Ken
USA -
You're right. As if Richard Armstrong could possibly do ANYTHING incorrect or silly. I mean, 'Chocolate Biscuits and Italian Neo-Realism: Confessions of a Cinephile' Pretentious? Moi? Ha ha ha!
insider
USA -
Did you know that Richard Armstrong had actually written a book on Billy Wilder? Funny how he rails against employing 'friends' in his article. When it came to a review of his own book, he comissioned it himself, from one of his own writers, to appear in 'pretentious style mag' Ad Hoc! Apparently even that wasn't safe. Here's an extract : 'Sadly, the proof-reading leaves something to be desired (the sentences that end p. 28 are incomprehensible, while on p. 34 we find a reference to GOING MY WAY's Bong Crosby), and there are several factual errors (Francois Truffaut's review of THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH was written in 1956, not 1975, while BUDDY, BUDDY began not as a film by Edouard Molinaro, but as a play by Francis Veber), as well as one curious reference to the palm trees in BUDDY, BUDDY's opening sequence, which Armstrong claims "appear (on television) elongated", an effect he attributes to "the Panavision lens", though he is clearly referring to the hideous British video release, in which the opening credits are squeezed to fit the TV screen.' Facts, Richard. Facts!
Book Him, Dan-o
USA -
At least there's an outlet for Richard Armstrong's multiple personality disorder. Thank God his hugely limited literary style shines through!
Richard Armstrong
UK -
"Bong Crosby!!!" Freudian slip or what?
anon
USA -
It's actually not that unusual for regional magazines to publish reviews of published books by local writers, and if you ask me, probably quite bold of Richard to put the review up for publication, even though the writer had one or two critical comments to make. I take it he didn't say ANYTHING complimentary about the book whatsoever, then, "Dan-O"? As adverse to, say, a glowing review the book received in Uncut magazine, if I remember rightly... And if I remember rightly, too, the "friend" who wrote the review is a pretty well-respected film journalist and film historian who contributes to Sight And Sound from time to time... again, all kudos to Richard for commissioning someone who would take to the book with a wealth of knowledge and experience behind him. When's Venables' book out?
Sam
Cambridge, UK -
Ooh! Handbags at twenty paces! I see his other book is 'seeking a suitable publishing deal'. Well, we all know what that means... No, you're right. The man's brave brave brave for putting his own book forward to be reviewed and I'm sure the 'friendship' meant nothing. But please Kevin – messages on this bulletin board *fake*? Say it isn't so! Tread carefully, for you tread on my dreams!
Book Him, Dan-O
USA -
I don't know these people from Adam, but an 'outsider's view is that Mr Armstrong seems to be avoiding dealing with some (if genuine) pertinent and reasonably expressed points. He wrote something, and someone's taken issue with it. If there's a genuine grievance – which it appears there may be – then it should be dealt with. So why not can the pointless insults, nail your colors to the mast and deal with the actual issues?
leonard
USA -
You know, of course, that this is mostly Richard talking about himself... How bizarre is THAT?
anon
UK -
Wait a minute Steve. You say 'it takes two to tango' and then you say 'Toby is dancing alone in an empty ballroom with only the cobwebs of his mind for company...' So does it take two or not? And what happened between one phrase and the next? A bee flew past your goldfish bowl and distracted you?
oops!
USA -
Yawn. The point being that Toby was talking as if he was utterly without culpability in a debate in which lack of communication between two people was a central issue, and my point being that, often, lack of communication takes two people, so Toby's as culpable as Richard. Geddit? And don't bring my goldfish bowl into this, smart arse. And stop rapping on it too, please, while you're about your incessant buzzing. I'm trying to sleep. And don't blame me, it's you what sent me there.
Steve
Cambridge, UK -
Rrrrrrrright... I'm starting to fully appreciate those communication difficulties you mentioned...
oops!
USA -
So Steve, what you're saying is you're – sorry, *they're* – both equally to blame? It's not the fault of one or the other necessarily, but perhaps just a misunderstanding between the two? Folks, this is a breakthrough!
anon
UK -
Whatever happened to the Snowdens of yesteryear? Whatever happened to the Venables of yore? I'd tell you but I can't because there's a catch. If you really want to know go ask Orr, or Major Major, Doc Deneeka, or Appleby. The problem is they don't know. Snowden knows the answers to all the secrets but he can't tell anyone.
Yossarian <256thSquadron@usairforce.com>
USA -
Just a quick PS regarding Richard Armstrong's piece on film writing. It's worth noting his statements about his time at The Cambridge Insider magazine. He says 'the money was crap' and talks of the time they stopped paying him. He also says the writers he gathered 'didn't make a penny'. So why did he get paid and they didn't? The truth was, he was given a small budget to use as he saw fit – some of which could have gone to other writers. He elected to keep it all, and tell the writers there was no money available. That's the truth of his heroic stance, despite his claim to the moral high ground. He's welcome to dispute that with me in person if he wishes.
NR
UK -
Hi all, My best-friend is a film professor at University of Pittsburgh. She wants to move to New York and get out of teaching, but doesn't know what options are out there for her. It seems a lot of people who write on this site are pretty knowledgable when it comes to the film world. Any suggestions where an ex-film professor might be likely to find a job in NY?
M.C. <ruppert@provost.pitt.edu>
New York, NY USA -
This place reads like bad text files...but it's all good. So this is where Guido Sanchez ended up all these years later. Go post yourself on BBSMates.com someday, Gweeds. There you will find a few dozen chattermonkey twits looking to pound you into insignificant goo...and a few folk who really give a flying fiddle-dee-dee. Au revoir, Mark.
Lady CatNinja <indycat71@hotmail.com>
Chicago, IL USA -
"Lady CatNinja", I don't think Guido Sanchez at Hollywood Outsider is your "Guido Sanchez"... I think... Well, la de da, la de da... Does that answer your question? Did you have a question? Oh, look at the time...
Tom <info@hollywoodoutsider.com>
New York, NY USA -
I can't stand all these cutesy comments that bash your fucking rag then turn around and say “keep up the good work.” What the fuck is that? This rag sucks big fucking elephant slong! Go fuck yourself! I hate you! I hate your rag-of-a-fucking-web-site! Fuck you and your whole fucking family! Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck! Oh, and yeah, I really like your writing, why the fuck don't you write more? You fucker!!!!!!!!
Balls <balls@hotballs.com>
what the fuck do you care, USA -
Well said, Balls. Exactly. And let me extend to you and yours in 2004 a hearty and heartfelt "Go fuck yourself"! Keep up the good work! - TG
Tom Graney <info@hollywoodoutsider.com>
New York, NY USA -
Dear "Jillbag", thanks for your wonderful letter. In answer to your query, most of the "HO" staff (male and female) are in their thirties. A surprising number are also "available" to date you regardless of marital/significant-other status or even plumbing, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Also, thank you for your concern with my reading habits. Right now, I'm plowing through "Tropic of Capricorn" by Henry Miller (my favorite author). Is that mature enough, you bitch you? -- T.G. Editor/Publisher of "HO"
Tom Graney <ho@hollywoodoutsider.com>
Astoria, NY USA -
Dear HO (Homophobic Obsessives), Are there any women working at your trash sheet? There is certainly an intellegent voice missing in your pages. How old are you "boys" anyway? Six? My God, grow up already! May I point out that just because you have an opinion doesn't mean that it's worthy of expression. It is quite obvious that you've seen your share of "flicks" but maybe you should crack open a book and try to regenerate some of your atrophied brain cells. Just a thought. J.O.
Jillbag O'Doughnuts
Independence, MO USA -
Dear a-hole -- Are you stupid? Answer the question, moron! You give "Eyes Wide Shut" a $4.00 rating and Steven Seagal's "The Patriot" $9.50! That's insane! Fatboy isn't worthy of licking Stanely Kubrick's ass. Stop smoking crack before reviewing a movie! Sincerely -- A. Reader
A. Reader <none_of_your_business@hotmail.com>
Oz, Ka USA -
Dear B. McKenna, In response to your previous message. I look forward to the day that I can introduce your butt to my boot. Of course, no interest in employing you is a given. "When do start?"... Just open the nearest window and you're halfway there. "Sincerly" T.G. (Editor/Publisher of "HO")
Tom Graney <ho@hollywoodoutsider.com>
New York, NY USA -
Dear editer or head of highering, I am looking forward to introdusing you to me. I am a writer siking for imployment in the littery field and think that I have the skills nessassary to werk for The Hollywood Insider Magagine. I don't have what you would call an exspearance but am good werker, too! I am looking to start small as a assistent editer, assistent manger or something like that and will go on up from there. I am willing to start for as little as 95K a year which, and I am sure you will agree, is very responsable. Of course, full health coverage is given because of all my fisical and emotional problems. All I can say is "When do start?" I'm looking forward to the day. Sincerly, B.M.
Bebe McKenna
Auburn, NY USA -
Dear freak, What is that dumb expression on your sorry mug? It seems to be the same in every single issue of your low-grade zine! What gives?
Your Mother
Toxic Lake, AL USA -
Hey Tim (or whatever your name is), Something scary just happened to me. I actually went to a back issue of Hollywood Whatever-you-call-it, and looked up a movie review of a film I wanted to rent. This means (*GASP*) that the publication is a USEFUL reference tool! Until now, the only use I had for it (after toilet reading) was killing flies, which used to be the job of People Magazine. Now, I'll have to unroll the other back issues, scrap off the dead fly parts, and put them on my bookshelf! I hate you! -- Leo
Leo Maultin
Hollywood, CA USA -