Tag Archives: Venice Film Festival

#WarOnWomen: Director James Toback accused of sexual misconduct by 38 women

james toback and alec baldwin

James Toback and his friend Alec Baldwin

Gee, I wonder how many in Hollyweird “had no idea” about this? Oh wait, they did (read below). Cowards and enablers.

From Yahoo: In a new Los Angeles Times report, 38 women accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment.

The allegations against Toback somewhat resemble those against producer Harvey Weinstein, who was fired from his own company earlier this month after scores of women said the career-making mogul assaulted, harassed or intimidated them. Toback, 72, stands accused of harassing women he employed and women he approached on the street.

It’s long been said that Toback was a sexual predator. In 1989, Spy Magazine reported that he would approach women, brag about being a Hollywood director, ask whether they’d like to consider a role in one of his forthcoming films and then ask them to meet him at late hours. Gawker echoed these claims in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Now, days after the #MeToo hashtag encouraged survivors of sexual assault to speak out on social media, more than three dozen women told the Los Angeles Times that Toback ejaculated in front of them, probed their masturbation habits, demanded they disrobe and/or rubbed his groin against their bodies. These incidents allegedly occurred in hotel rooms, on movie sets and in offices.

Toback was a notorious name in Hollywood circles, even though he never achieved widespread household fame. In 1991, he received an Oscar nomination for writing the Warren Beatty gangster movie “Bugsy.” Many of his films, including “Fingers,” “The Pick-Up Artist,” “Two Girls and a Guy” and “Harvard Man,” revolve around womanizers, the mafia or both. “The idea is not to have a separation between my life and my movies,” Toback said in a 2002 Salon interview.

HuffPost contacted Toback’s agent, Jeff Berg, for comment on Sunday. “Best to speak directly to him,” Berg said in an email, providing Toback’s “mobile” number. When reached, Toback said he is “writing something” in response and declined to comment further.

Toback’s accusers include Louise Post, the guitarist and vocalist for the rock band Veruca Salt. “He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes,” she said.

Actress Chantal Cousineau said, while rehearsing a monologue for “Harvard Man” in 2001, she heard Toback masturbating. Another woman, whom the Times called a “well-known actress,” said Toback ignored her protestations and would not let her leave his hotel room until she pinched his nipples and stared into his eyes as he ejaculated in his pants.

Mere days before the Times’ report, onetime aspiring actress Sari Kamin recounted the harassment she suffered at the hands of Toback. “With sauce on his face and pieces of pasta dangling from his goatee, Toback told me he needed to masturbate seven times a day to feel steady in the world,” Kamin wrote in a blog post on Medium. The director allegedly accompanied her to a hotel room, where he asked her to remove her clothes to prove she could handle filming a nude scene.

Toback denied the allegations in a statement provided to Variety: “All I can tell you is I’ve never heard of this woman, and it’s totally defamatory on her part to invent them. This is totally distressing to me. I’m 72 years old, but I’m not even close to having Alzheimer’s, and I don’t have trouble remembering things in great detail.”

Actress Melissa Sagemiller, who told HuffPost that Weinstein made innuendoes or harassed her on three separate occasions, said, when asked whether she’d interacted with other predatory men in the business, “Well, my first movie was a James Toback movie, and he was blackballed out of Hollywood for indecent activity, so that’s no surprise.”

Toback wasn’t fully blackballed, despite the years of reports about his behavior. In 2008, he directed a sympathetic documentary about boxer Mike Tyson. In 2013, Toback and friend Alec Baldwin made “Seduced and Abandoned,” a documentary about trying to secure financing for an updated version of the classic erotic film “Last Tango in Paris.” (A representative for Baldwin declined to comment to HuffPost.)

Toback’s most recent project, “The Private Life of a Modern Woman,” starring Sienna Miller and Baldwin, premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

DCG

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George Clooney: “There’s a dark cloud hanging over our country right now”

george clooney and libtards

Damon, Clooney and Moore: Bunch of angry libtards

Feel free to keep your butt in Italy, George.

Bonus: Julianne Moore wants “re-education” for everyone.

From NY Post: George Clooney’s “Suburbicon” has a timely subplot — based both on present times and a 1957 incident — about racism in white America. That subplot, however, resounded deeply during the Venice Film Festival press conference for the film, which stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore.

“I was watching a lot of speeches on the campaign trail about building fences and scapegoating minorities and I started looking around at other times in our history when we’ve unfortunately fallen back into these things,” said Clooney, talking about how the pic germinated.

While casting around for story ideas, Clooney found a 1957 incident that happened in Levittown, Pa., in which an African-American family moved into a suburban development; however, many white residents in the area reacted with violence. Then, while looking to try to make a film out of the Levittown story, he remembered that the Coen brothers had written a script called “Suburbicon,” so those two elements were meshed together.

Of course at that stage the Charlottesville, Va., race riots had yet to happen, noted Damon, who in the film plays a bad guy who goes all the way, to an extent that he’s “never been able to do so far” in his career.

“When we were filming we obviously could not have predicted the race riots,” said Damon. “We weren’t literally thinking that race riots would erupt in America right before this came out. But it does speak to the fact that these issues have not, and are not, going away. So there’s an honest reckoning in our country.”

As to the character Damon plays: “It’s kind the definition of white privilege when you are riding around your neighborhood on a bike covered in blood murdering people and the African-American family [who are his neighbors] is getting blamed for it,” he said.

Clooney pointed out that the film’s very dark tone reflects the anger he sees in the U.S. today.

“If you go to our country…depending on what side of the aisle you sit on, it’s probably the angriest I’ve ever seen it,” he noted. “There’s a dark cloud hanging over our country right now.” But he added: “I’m an optimist…I believe that we will get through all these things…but people are angry; a lot of us are angry.”

The “Suburbicon” director also underlined that the film “isn’t a movie about Donald Trump. … This is a movie about our coming to terms constantly with the idea that we have never fully addressed our issues with race.”

Moore, who plays a double role in the pic, made a clear-cut a statement on the issues being raised by Charlottesville.

“We are living in the United States where people are arguing about removing Confederate monuments: They must be removed,” she said. “You simply cannot have these figures from the Civil War in town squares and in universities for our children to see. As a parent and as a citizen I need to be active in the eradication of those, in the re-education of everyone. We have to take responsibility for it.”

Clooney joined her on a similar note: “This is something that is really festering right now in the United States: Talking about the Confederate flag, and the Jefferson Davis monument,” he noted.

“Now, if you want to wear it [a confederate flag] on your T-shirt or if you want to hang it on your front lawn…have at it. But to hang it on a public building where possibly African American tax payers are paying for it — and it’s a symbol of hate — that cannot stand.”

DCG

Medusa

It was meant to be a loving gesture from an adoring fan.

At the recent Venice Film Festival press conference for her new film W.E. — already panned as a dud by critics — a man presented Madonna (real name Madonna Louise Ciccone) with a cluster of purple hydrangea flowers.

But the 53-year-old material girl Medusa repaid her fan’s gift with derision.

She first turned to the woman seated on her left and rolled her eyes:

Then she turned to another woman seated on her right to voice her disgust at the gift: “I absolutely loathe hydrangeas.”

Her words were captured by the conference’s microphone.

Source: Daily Mail

Medusa is a fitting moniker for this woman who is an acolyte of the Satan-worshipping Kabbalah.

UPDATE (Sept. 13): Madonna Medusa has a “F-you” reaction to the publicity over her hateful hydrangea remark. What a class act she is!

~Eowyn