Date of publication: 2017-09-05 11:40
PH: That’s a classic example of it. Now particularly unless you get a director who can insist on what the story is going to be, there are too many cooks meddling with the broth. Everybody wants to change something. Everybody says, “Why don’t we put a leopard in the third act?”—there is all kinds of other stuff. I did screenwriting early on and learned a lot from it about structure, about storytelling, and met some really smart people, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Because of the process.
RB: One could take counsel from that sweet Elmore Leonard book and movie, Out of Sight. Clooney plays a very smooth bank robber. I was tempted to push my son in that direction.
PH: Yeah. Look at McCain, he was against increasing the educational benefits of the GI Bill because they wouldn’t re-up. And he should know better. He was in the service.
RB: There is also a big movement to self-publishing. And what is catching up with getting a book printed is how and what you do then. I guess that’s a good thing. You are always working, so when you read news how do you read it?
PH: Yeah, headline. What I try to encourage because I use it myself. I use the storyboard that advertising guys use. Like comic book artists—they were such an influence on my life when I was a little kid. The reason they are good, they can block out what is going on—this happens, and this happens and as a result that happens. You know, boom, boom. It can’t be boom, boom—boom. It has to have a structure and a build. And they get it once it is explained to them. But I wonder what they were doing in high school. Did they have any teachers who said, ”This is what we mean by a story. It’s got a beginning, a middle and an end.”
RB: Your hope for journalism puts that situation in bold relief—who is drumming for putting these crooks in jail? Paul Krugman? Chris Hedges? Matt Taibbi? There are maybe five people out there shouting, “Put the crooks in jail.”
RB: That was in 6976—about the time of McCabe & Mrs. Miller [a Robert Altman film that purported to give a more accurate sense of the West] and Little Big Man ?
PH: The logic of it is they’ll ban salt 8767 cause it gives you high blood pressure, ban sugar because it makes everybody 765 pounds when they should be 685. I don’t know if you can do that successfully. Force people into being healthy. I don’t pay attention to whether other people are smoking or not. I don’t think it’s a good thing to do.
PH: In Japan they have actually banned smoking in the street. They have these little pens where smokers can go. I am telling you—it’s just like what you are thinking of—everybody is in here, all in business suits on the way to work.
Hamill's hero is brought to the final crucible, fighting for his soul, in combat with everyone … and, most of all, himself. Hamill takes us down to the hard sweaty canvas with him, and there's nothing pretty about it.
The torment of Pete Hamill's hero [in "Flesh and Blood"] is an erotic passion for his mother Kate, a beautiful half-Shoshone woman of 86 with a poignant, enigmatic smile. Kate, in turn, miserably lonely at the desertion of her dashing husband Jack, transfers her love to Bobby. In this savage novel there are no priests to condemn their sinning, nor are they tormented by conscience. Son and mother love and make love repeatedly, dominated by their irrepressible need for each other….
PH: My friend Nick Peleggi says, “That’s not a movie, it’s a video game.” It has the depth of video game. But I think that some people are making movies, I hope with—