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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Kicking a man when he's down - Harvey Weinstein gets both barrels

Harvey Weinstein's fall from whatever grace he had has brought back some memories and brought on some swift actions. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which has lavished Oscars on Harvey in the past as well as on Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Louis B Mayer and Harry Cohn, very promptly withdrew Harvey's membership.

So did the BFI which at one stage gave Harvey its highest accolade, a BFI Fellowship. Harvey was held in awe and was quite intimidating a presence to those who might have to even deal with his name or might hold a less than fulsome view of some of Harvey's work and activities. 

But I digress because for those of you who don't read the Fairfax papers there is a story to tell about Harvey and the land down under. Most of it has told by Fairfax journalist Megan Doherty and has appeared in their publications after first appearing in The Canberra Times

In the story, former Canberra Film Festival director Simon Weaving  pulls no punches in revealing that "he resigned from the festival in late 2012 - when Weinstein had been locked in as the guest - partly due to his concerns about the financial risks around Body of Work." Body of Work was one gong that Harvey was to have bestowed upon him way back then.

Weaving went on to say: "He also held grave concerns about the festival honouring Weinstein, saying the heavyweight producer "was known in the industry as not a pleasant
person", the event was likely to be an exercise in sycophancy at a considerable financial cost to a relatively small arts organisation and Weinstein, in any case, was more a businessman than true artist.

"I've never been a fan of him for Body of Work because he doesn't have a body of work, he's a producer and a wheeler and dealer and well known for screwing over screenwriters and filmmakers and forcing people to change their films." 

The story says that as well HW would be presented "with the inaugural Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts International Fellowship for championing Australian film".

I guess I missed that championing though I do recall someone telling me that the crappy happy ending of the movie version of Louis Nowra's Cosi was imposed on the producers by the US distributor Miramax which I guess might mean Harvey. Oh well, just kicking a man when he's down.

Anyway the story goes that then PM Julia Gillard was to make the AACTA presentation which would have made for a nice photo, but not to be. 

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