Thursday, January 6, 2011


As I watched the tarmac of LAX shrinking beneath the clouds on that fateful day in 1981, many tears salted the first martini of the flight.  The first-class one-way ticket to Geneva was on the house.  So was the Gucci attach√© case stuffed with Krugerrands and back issues of Hustler Magazine for bathroom reading. I had even more money waiting for me at the Zurich branch of Credit Suisse. The boys back East hadn’t loaded me on that plane without a golden parachute.

But I was never coming home. Nearly a half-century worth of dreams died that day. All of my life had been writing, shooting, editing, directing, living and breathing the movies. Whether buying bear claws for the grips before dawn, pitching “the best film ever” to a bored junior executive at Universal, or waking up nose down in the shag carpet of an unknown hotel room (though I could tell by the weave that I was at the Chateau Marmont), the beat never stopped.  Life was film and film was life and that was that.

And now it was over. There had been a scandal. Then a cover-up. I became the damage to be controlled.

Thirty years passed in exile and not a day went by without waiting for the call. I knew sooner or later my contributions to the art of cinema would be recognized. Hollywood would someday let me back into its precious fold.

And, finally, vindication.  

It recently came to my attention that the Slamdance Film Festival will be presenting a retrospective of my work. I would like to personally thank Robert Redford for inviting me to once more be a part of the Industry that has shunned me for so long. Further, I want to praise him for overlooking my disgraceful conduct during the notorious “spaghetti incident.” 

Dear readers, I am afraid I cannot go into details on the events that transpired that evening. However, rest assured Redford is quite a mensch to offer his tacit forgiveness. Now, please let me get back to packing. I bought a new flask and thermal socks for Park City!

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