Diana Dares

Foiling Chicanery with Boundless Intelligence, Fashionable Outfits, Moxie, and One Sporty Blue Roadster.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

...and the Gift of the Swaggering Suzerain

Now is the time of year when resolutions are sorely tested. It's easy enough to glide through the first week or two on the excitement of the New Year -- new resolutions and routines, clean slates...anyone can eat healthily and floss every day for two weeks. But now...now is the trying time.

I believe in resolutions. Yes, everyone fails at them in some measure. But if you fail at your resolution 30% of the time, you've still created a positive new habit in your life 70% of the time. Less smoking is better than more smoking; some exercise is better than none; every little bit counts, and we should be proud of all those little efforts. This year, in addition to my Resolutions for 2007 and my Goals for 2007 and my '101 in 1001 Days' List (essentially, a Just-Under-Three-Years Plan), I made my first group resolution. Along with several old chums from school, I pledged to emulate Brett Ratner --

Wait! Where are you going?! Don't leave! Keep reading!

I know what you're thinking. Oh god, no. It's bad enough to have to deal with one of him...I can't deal with the idea of others trying to copy him -- striving to turn themselves into pervy hacks.

But here's the thing: yeah, he kinda sucks. We all know it. Everyone knows it. I'm sure that when Al Quaeda guys are asked "Now why exactly do you hate America?", they simply sigh, open their laptops, click on his bookmarked IMDB page and rest their case with exhibit A. Below is just a sampling of Brett Ratner on Brett Ratner:

on X-Men: The Last Stand:
INTERVIEWER: So what do you think the people criticizing you will say when they actually see the film?

RATNER: Oh, I think they'll be eating crow! I think so. Because the movie came out great. I'm really proud of it.

on Rush Hour 3:
INTERVIEWER: Can you give us any idea what the storyline will be in this one?

RATNER: Well, in the first one, Jackie [Chan] was in LA; he was the fish out of water. In the second one, Chris [Tucker] went to Hong Kong. In this one, they're both going to Paris. So they're both gonna be the fish out of water; they're both not going to speak the language.

on just how good he is:
People who get to know me not on a superficial level, not by my work, but get to know me for who I am – shows that I’m not just the hack or the commercial sell out. I have respect from Toback and Polanski and all these guys because I’m a real filmmaker. Whether or not you like the genre I’m in, you can’t deny I know what I’m doing. I’m not leaving it up to the actors. There’s some point of view. And you’ll see it in the making of – I was watching it the other day, and you see me coming up with this idea, that idea, I piece it together and how I make it work.

If you really, really know films and you watch my films you’ll know my inspirations. It’s like if you watch Boogie Nights, although his are a little more obvious....Every scene in [my] movie comes from another film.

on assessing his work:
RATNER: But I’ll tell you what, and I swear to God I don’t know any other filmmaker of who this is true – there is not one frame of any movie I’ve done that I go, ‘Ugh.’
INTERVIEWER: Really? You always hear directors saying, ‘I love that movie except…’
RATNER: Even Michael Mann will say, ‘I’ll look at it but there are things I would change.’ The point is that when I see my editor’s assembly – and there is not another director, and I want you to ask every director you talk to, say, ‘How do you feel when you watch your editor’s assembly?’ I guarantee to you that 99.99% of them will say, ‘I feel like hanging myself. I want to die. I couldn’t live with what I saw. It was painful.’ When I walk out of the room after my editor’s cut? ‘My God! I made a movie! I made a movie that works!’ It’s not that I can’t believe it, it’s just that I’m so fucking psyched.

God bless him, he has never had a moment of self-doubt. He is where he is today because he truly thinks he is legen-wait for it-dary. He wholly believes in his legen-wait for it-dary-ness. Not for him the myth of the tortured, doubting artist. He goes full-throttle after whatever he wants and never lets himself be plagued by the notion that he isn't good enough, or an idea of his is played out or derivative, or that a story doesn't make sense/has been seen before/isn't that imaginative/shows a want of taste and subtlety.

And he gets his movies made. And people -- very talented people -- want to work with him. His faults don't hurt him -- he's Teflon. He is truly a testament to where one can go if one decides not to listen to self-doubt.

So in 2007, my (delightful and very talented) friends and I have pledged to follow the Way of the Ratner.

No more putting off a good idea because we can't get it just right. No more procrastination out of a secret fear that we are not ready to pull off the story yet. No more looking at a film or story or script we've finished and cringing because it's not perfect. No way! It's 2007 and we are so awesome! We are totally fucking psyched! And in 2008, we'll be directing X-Men features and executive producing television shows, while still directing music videos for the crazy lady who thinks she is like a butterfly.


  • At 3:42 PM, Blogger procrastinatrix said…

    Quite possibly the greatest advice ever! Will absolutely have to give it a try. We are fucking awesome. We are undisputed geniuses. Genii. Everything we do is amazing. Nothing can stop us, babe. We're on the Ratner train. (Just watch where you sit.)



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