Dear Mel...

by Matthew Curtis
August 7, 2006 4:59 AM
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Jesus Christ! No, not your last movie which, to be honest, I have avoided like the plague since its release in 2004. You are in some deep do-do my friend. It's bad enough having a father who's a notorious anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, but I'm guessing your recent "episode" while getting arrested for drunken driving will not enhance your reputation as an open-minded individual who is also not anti-Semitic. True, your "Sugar Tits" comment to a female police officer on the scene was probably not appreciated at the time, though in the proper context, one's girlfriend might find the term cute and affectionate (you did star in WHAT WOMEN WANT after all). The Jewish stuff on the other hand, was incredibly ugly and in bad taste, and alcohol or not, may have finally proved (as the saying goes) that the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. I guess maybe ABC dropping its plans to produce a Holocaust-themed romance/mini-series from your company was a good idea.

Still, you did apologize profusely (though the old "it was the alcohol talking" routine is a bit weak don't you think?) and went into rehab immediately, which is to be commended. You were also quoted as saying that you are not a bigot and asked the Jewish community to help you in your recovery from alcohol addiction. Well, this middle-aged Jewish film programmer believes in forgiveness and second chances (and doesn't drink hard alcohol, though I do love my microbrews and a nice bottle of wine occasionally), so I have a proposition for you: commit to coming to next year's 16th annual Florida Film Festival (March 23 - April 1, 2007, open for submissions now at www.floridafilmfestival.com) along with an archival print of THE ROAD WARRIOR or something else exceptional from your filmography, and I will do everything in my power to lend assistance to your recovery efforts.

Let me know if this works out schedule-wise for you. You should also be aware that our unique and lovely cinema, the Enzian Theater, does serve wine and beer (and gourmet food) during screenings but they're entirely optional. Good luck with APOCALYPTO (an appropriate term for the current state of your career?) and that forgiveness thing from the public.

--Matthew

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