Consider these excerpts from Vulture‘s “Scott Rudin As Told By His Assistants” story — a must-read. In and of themselves and for my money they convey a fuller, franker and more revelatory portrait of Rudin‘s explosive personality and management style (as well as the transactionally expedient showbiz value system) than anything Tatiana Siegel has reported thus far in The Hollywood Reporter.
Siegel’s Rudin article is basically an indictment piece — the Vulture thing is an exploration with all kinds of traumatic side tangents.
Apart from the rage, physical assaults, flying potatoes and whatnot, lessons in two major films, Full Metal Jacket and The Bad and the Beautiful, apply to some extent.
Remember the feeling of chilly irony that followed Matthew Modine‘s shooting of the female Vietnamese sniper at the finale of Stanley Kubrick‘s 1987 war classic? Throughout the film Modine’s “Joker” had been depicted as a resident of his own sardonic, smart-ass planet, but after plugging the sniper Joker stops assessing from a distance and becomes, in the words of Rafterman, “fucking hardcore, man.” A portion of his humanity has left him or least been put aside and sealed away, but he’s also crossed over into the warrior realm — “I am in world of shit, yes, but I am alive and I am not afraid.”
This is what the #15 quote is basically about, rough and tumble-wise. Working for Scott Rudin is like carrying an M16 through the hills and rice paddies of Vietnam, in a sense, and so “the only way to succeed [is] to dedicate yourself to it fully, and that often meant losing your ability to see the situation for what it is…you start to lose your own humanity.”
Vincente Minnelli‘s The Bad and the Beautiful is about a ruthless, abusive producer (Kirk Douglas) who’s fucked over a trio of famous ex-colleagues (Lana Turner, Barry Sullivan, Dick Powell) in his climb to the top. The basic idea is that even though Douglas is a bad, brutal person in many respects, he still has a certain combustible spark and a relentless hunger to succeed that sometimes leads to making great films, and so, at the very end, his ex-colleagues still want to hear his latest idea.