Speaking Truth To Hollywood. Or Not.

What you’re about to read is a true story.

I just got a phone call from an old friend of mine. He was calling from a bar in Puerto Rico, and asked what I knew about director Stephen Soderberg. “Why?” I asked. “You in some kind of trivia contest?”

“No,” my friend said. “He’s three seats away from me at the bar. You go to more movies than anybody else I know, so what could I ask the dude about?”

“Oh,” I said, and proceeded to rack my brains. Then it hit me. “The first thing he ever did was a Yes concert movie. Ask him how the hell you can get somebody as tall as Chris Squire and as short as Jon Anderson in the same shot.”

“That’s pretty good,” my friend said. “But get this. He’s down here making a movie about Che Guevara.”

There was a pause. Finally I said, “Forget the Yes question. Ask him whether the movie is going to show any of the concentration camps that murderous son of a bitch set up for Castro.”

I could practically hear my friend nod through the phone, “Yeah, I don’t think that’s the movie they’re making. Sounds from here like it’s pretty reverential.” He paused himself. “Now that I think about it, I don’t want to ask the guy any questions. Don’t want to talk to him at all, actually.”

“Good call,” I said. “Have a nice time down there.”

“Yep, see you later.”


5 Responses to “Speaking Truth To Hollywood. Or Not.”

  1. bgates Says:

    Why not ask him that question? Better yet, ask the Yes question first, then follow up with ‘why are you glorifying a fascist murderer’?

  2. peter jackson Says:

    I actually knew Steve back in Baton Rouge though I haven’t run into him since just after Sex, Lies and Videotape was theatrically released. I don’t recall him being very political back then, much less leftist. But who knows what 17 years of success in the movie business does to one’s politics. I’m very keen to see how this project of his turns out. Whatever his politics are, he does know how to make movies.


  3. rbj Says:

    And Kevin Spacey meets with Hugo Chavez.

  4. Shaprshooter Says:


    Evidently nothing has changed in over 40 years.

  5. cliffg Says:

    Yeah, I remember him from my days at LSU in the early 80’s. He worked at one of the video arcades in Tigertown, I think. (My friend worked at the other one.)

    I’m not surprised about his movie-making subject, though, nor the outlook of the film.

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