A friend has tried to cheer me up about Richard Gere hanging with the doddering, over-the-hill Marigold gang. He assures me that Gere ‘is brilliant as a homeless man on the streets of NYC in Oren Moverman’s Time Out Of Mind, which you will see in Toronto…but you didn’t hear from me since I haven’t ‘officially’ seen it.” Moverman directed and wrote the screenplay with Jeffrey Caine, who’s taken a “story” credit. Gere plays a grubby homeless guy trying to re-connect with his daughter (Jena Malone, who will turn 30 in November).

Richard Gere in Oren Moverman’s Time Out Of Mind, a drama about Bob Dylan’s artistic comeback in the late 1990s. I’m kidding. It has nothing to do with Dylan at all.

There are those who’ve become homeless by way of terrible misfortune or shitty luck or having made a few mistakes. My heart goes out, there but for God’s grace, etc. But the majority, I’ve long believed, are just “bums” — alcoholics, druggies (or ex-druggies), schizophrenics, depressives, compulsive-anger junkies, etc. Toward the end of his life my brother nearly fell into that hole, the poor guy. And yet in the eyes of the p.c. kneejerk crowd they’re all “homeless” — the catch-all term that one is obliged to use if you want to be regarded as a semi-compassionate type. If you use the term “bums”, which I frankly do when I’m talking to myself, you’re a heartless pig.

Back in the late ’60s or early ’70s, Esquire magazine ran a photo-spread piece called “Bums.” A staffer or two went down to the then-blighted Lower East Side and found a few winos, and brought them uptown and fed them and cleaned them up and dressed them in the best elegant-smoothie clothes that money could buy, and took portrait pictures in a studio. Some of the bums looked pretty good and pretty happy (at least while they were being photographed). If I was Oren Moverman, I would use this incident in my film. The sequence would pop and all kinds of social metaphors would rush in.