Oscar-Winner Doesn't Like That One Director You're Also Tired Of

james_marsh_sff_getty225.jpgMan on Wire director James Marsh had harsh words recently for a certain self-obsessed hack filmmaker who shall not be named. The cretinous slob known for such films as $27,000 Black-and-White Gonzo Exercise, Quasi-Deep Religious Half-Comedy, Ben Affleck's Second-Worst Pile of Crap After Gigli and Stunning Flop About Porn earned the Oscar-winner's scorn at the Sundance Film Festival, where both men premiered new work -- but where only one of them embarrassed himself with an execrable dog-and-pony show, a distribution-auction hoax, and a subsequent stream of self-aggrandizing gibberish on Twitter.

While discussing his fine new documentary Project Nim with Cinema Blend, Oscar-winner James Marsh candidly riffed on the corpulent narcissist twat behind Mediocre Politically-Tinged Horror Film. Like most of the rest of the industry observers in Park City, Marsh expressed dismay over the vaguely talented clown's promotional antics and bloviating, self-pitying tendencies:

"You can't try to control response to your film, nor should you. ...Unless you're [a certain despicable, hockey-stick wielding cult demigod], I guess. Whole other story. What's his problem, anyway? Why [does he have a chip on his shoulder]? He's had such a great run. You know, he's not Orson Welles. And, I mean he gets his films made, he's rich... he's got money... Now he turns around and says suddenly, 'I'm so hard done?' What's his f*cking problem?"

"He should be so f*cking lucky. It makes me so mad to have someone doing that. It's wrong. It's a total hypocrisy. He's had loads of films made, and most of them are sh*t, quite honestly. I mean, I shouldn't say that... Films are quite hard to make and anyone who does needs our respect, but... I have a big problem with all of this self-promoting narcissism.

"(To camera) Maybe the films aren't very good, [tedious wanker]. You can't have the kind of career he's had and turn around and start complaining about it. There are many other... can I say it... vastly better filmmakers who haven't been able to make as many films as him. So, you know, be a bit more f*cking humble."

To say nothing of coaxing every distributor at the festival to the world premiere of his endlessly hyped acquisition title You Paid WHAT to Get In Here?, only to stage a fake auction and buy the film's rights his slovenly damn self for $20.

Anyway, if Twitter crashes on you this morning, it won't be because of Egypt news or Australia news or US weather-emergency news. It'll be because a 40-something baby in New Jersey woke up with a diaper full of crap and won't stop wailing, 140 characters at a time, until it's changed. Be prepared.

· Sundance Interview: James Marsh Talks Project Nim And Criticizes Kevin Smith [Cinema Blend via FilmDrunk; transcription via FilmDrunk]


  • NP says:

    This made my morning. Thank you, James Marsh.

  • schwien says:

    Every time I read an article like this lately I have to wonder if he personally did something to the writer. Even if he did I'm not sure you can publish an article like this and still call yourself a respectable journalist. I guess a lot of people respect Perez Hilton so I guess you can. This article is the written equivalent or scrawling insults across pictures of a celebrities face in Microsoft paint.

  • Who's calling himself a respectable journalist?

  • John says:

    Get off your fucking high horse

  • Tommy Marx says:

    While I think S.T. Vanairsdale may have gone just the tiniest bit overboard, I don't think anything he said was wrong. "Dogma" was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It's like Smith took plot points from a Vertigo comic book series, eliminated any characterization, meaning, or logic, than made a controversial pseudo-religious film with no controversy and a mythology that often contradicted itself. As for Kevin Smith himself, he often comes across as a whiny, self-important creep. But hey, that's just my opinion. Guess I need to get off my fucking high horse too, right John?

  • David Cake says:

    Fair play all around, from both Vanairsdale and Marsh.

  • Sarah says:

    What's sad is, I actually like (some of) Smith's films. I really do. Maybe I'm not super discerning, but I think he injects a certain amount of heart into his films, and I find it charming. But then he goes and ruins it with his 'woe is me you're dumb if you don' t get my movie so I'm going to yell and scream and cry until you change your mind' crap.

  • schwien says:

    I would have thought that people who use the title editor at a large entertainment website would. I'm happy you cleared that misconception up for me. Entertainment blogging isn't journalism is it?
    At least we agree right.

  • Jennifer says:

    Anyone who thinks Smith is whiny or egocentric has never actually read his Tweets or listened to one of his podcasts. I'm pretty sure this article was meant to be clever and better-than-thou. Sadly, it reads as whiny and childish as he apparently thinks 'that one director' is.

  • In actuality my job description entails many things, including reporting, editing, assigning stories, administration and the occasional bit of commentary, as seen here. Honestly, though? "Pissing off anonymous trolls named schwien" has surpassed all of them for the time being.
    Any other questions?

  • Tommy Marx says:

    I don't know that your comment is actually correct, but I will freely admit that I have never read his tweets (or anyone else's, for that matter) or listened to his podcasts. I am not a fan of Kevin Smith. I saw "Dogma" and I read his Green Arrow and Daredevil work, and that was enough to stop me from being interested in anything else he was responsible for. But when a man can succeed in coming across as narcissistic and incredibly annoying as Michael Moore, then I'm thinking he deserves every criticism he gets.

  • Jojo says:

    Marsh's comments were so right-on in their honesty and harshness, the article didn't necessarily 'need' STA's extra-acidic barbs...
    but who cares, the asides were brutal and funny and correct... and this is not a journalism website, if it was, I probably wouldn't read it... I have Nikki Finke to keep me informed, and Movieline to keep me entertained with analysis, commentary, and occasional flights into delightful bitchiness.

  • Me says:

    James Marsh posted an apology on that site.

  • Andy says:

    Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah. Blah blah, condescending, blah blah blah, pretentious. Blah blah? Blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah? Blah!

  • Marcus says:

    While Kevin Smith may have started out strong with a fresh POV and take on film making with his first few outings, but I think he exhausted his one good idea and then some, not to mention his talent already.

  • maliu says:

    Wow, most of the responses to this vitriol are whiny & self-important. What type of movies are you people watching? At least Kevin Smith continually tries to learn from his experiences which he shares so that you might as well. "Clerks," an amazing POV which anyone who has ever worked in retail can relate; "Mallrats" a tongue in check love letter to the mall & comic book subculture BEFORE comic book movies became de rigeur & a time capsule to the 90's; "Chasing Amy," a romantic comedy dealing with human sexuality and the ramifications from decisions made by fear using the comic book culture as a backdrop, this movie still holds up; "Dogma," an entertaining review of many of the big questions discerning Catholics grow up with but never get answers for; "Zack & Miri Make A Porno," unfortunate name but a much better written, acted and directed romantic comedy than what it sounds like the rest of you whiners seem to watch. And yeah sure his "Jay & Silent Bob" characters & movies are stoners, but you know what hella funny to non-stoners too. I for one can't wait to see his take on the horror genre.

  • Charlie says:

    That's definitely not so. I today find him an wretched, despicable, emotionally-childish and delusional character and yet I once was a fan on some level and was also an avid listener of The SModcast Network. For a couple of years I listened to every episode of SModcast every time they came out and found him thoroughly entertaining.
    For a long time I couldn't understand how people could hate him either - I didn't really care for his movies but he seemed like a pretty good-natured and pleasant person - but eventually I started to see what others were seeing. Despite the "good guy" front he often puts up he is underneath a rather hate-filled, horribly self-entitled, highly hypocritical and plainly unpleasant person in many respects, someone who always puts the blame on others and never takes responsibility for the part they played. There's good in him but there's also an incredible lot of bad and, thinking back now, I believe this really started coming to the surface when he started smoking pot heavily. For me, the last straw, the final point, was when he went on the rant about the airlines after he was late arriving at the boarding lounge and missed his flight and he named the airport staff and started stomping up and down. Somehow, in his eyes, everyone was to blame but him. At that point I decided I couldn't listen to this person anymore, that completely soured Smith for me.
    That's a long comment, I know, but I just wanted to explain that the negative response to Smith can definitely come from those who have read his tweets, listened to his podcasts, etc, and I'd say more often than not is from people like myself, who once regarded him well.

  • Nic says:

    this writer obviously has some kind of beef against Kevin Smith. I'm not his biggest fan either, but this whole thing was unnecessarily harsh.

  • Mike says:

    Whose james marsh is all i have to say lol

  • John Lang says:

    He doesn't live in New Jersey and hasn't for quite some time.

  • Dr. Hurt says:

    Actually, he doesn't try to learn from his movies. When his movies don't do well he goes off the handle and blames something else. Zack and Miri Make a Porno? That flopped because of the October 31st release date, not because it was uninspired trite. Cop Out flopped because Bruce Willis was horrible and uncontrollable on set. It's everyone else's problem, at least Wayne Gretzky understands him.
    I'm still a fan of Clerks, but in all honesty that's where I think he peaked. He's had such great opportunities to grow and learn as a film maker but he threw them out the window. Bruce Willis had to teach him about camera lenses on the set of Cop Out. Any indie filmmaker would kill for the chance that Kevin Smith has squandered over the years. The only "improvements" he's made over the years as a filmmaker is get colored film.

  • Danny says:

    Awwwww did mean old Kevin Smith make little baby cranky?

  • Pete Davis says:

    This person is just another hater trotting out all the old cliches. Kevin Smith made some good films and some bad ones--but the two or three good ones he made are two or three more than "S.T." has made. the same goes for the gang of haters filled with shame, misery and envy that hang around waiting to soothe their self-loathing by trashing others. How about humility? Forget humility, how about even a smidge of self-awareness from a guy in the cheap seats throwing bombs at people who actually work for a living.
    A good example is taking a shot at Ben Affleck. He has also made some bad movies but his work over the last seven or so years is a lot better than most--and the two movies he directed are better than anything mentioned here. If you are going to be asinine and juvenile talking about 'piles of crap' at least be right.

  • joe says:

    This all sounded so petty until I actually watched the video. It's much more off-the-cuff and impulsive. It's not like Marsh decided to let loose his well-rehearsed speech during the interview.
    I thought he made excellent points.

  • Sasu says:

    It is always compelling to observe how we, as pack animals, attack in numbers. The writer here seems to lack the testicular capasity to write original rants and even the self proclaimed ranter, the distinguished James Marsh, feels safe with his comments only whilst riding on a wave of condescending ill will by the (or some) community.