^The achievement that I’m the most excited about is the film I’m finishing right now. It’s called Night at the Golden Eagle. The reason I think I’m the most excited about it is because first and foremost, I used my own money to finance it with my producing partner Steve Bing. The reason we did that was so that we had the control to greenlight it and not have to wait for other people to see if it would fit into their slate. If it was something that they felt they could make enough money on, or if it had foreign presale value or whatever. By financing it ourselves we cut through all of that and just greenlit the film in a five-minute conversation. It also afforded us complete creative control, which is very freeing when making a film. I was free to cast whoever I wanted which enabled me to cast the two leads which are 65 year-old unknowns who had never acted before. Freedom to be able to basically make the movie that I saw, the way I saw it without any compromise or interference. Because of that, I feel the most excited about that achievement right now.
The Dark Backward is a cult favorite. It’s such a bizarre film, I’m curious what the reaction was to that film was when it first came out? ^ At the time I couldn’t figure out why nobody would hire me after they saw that movie. Because I thought it looked so much more expensive than it cost, we had all these big actors in it that people recognized (James Caan, Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton), and we screened it for every studio. How could they not see what we were able to do for the money and hire me to do a bigger movie? It was only recently that I have seen it again, that I realized not only do I now understand why I didn’t get any jobs after I made that movie, I’m surprised that I wasn’t banned from all studio lots.
(LAUGH! My questions are interesting, but perhaps not as eye-catching as the blonde now dancing in the red G-string bikini, high heels and biker hat. Adam is listening to me, but not necessarily looking at me. I don’t hold it against him.)
Well for someone like myself that likes alternative, weird, cult or whatever, it was great, but from the studio standpoint, I can understand why they might freak out. ^ Well that’s what happened. Of all the people who saw it at the time, the people who were not involved in the inner Hollywood system really liked it. The production designers, the cinematographers, and other filmmakers, actors, the sort of, more arty side of Hollywood really liked it, because they saw what we were trying to do with it. Everybody at a studio hated it. (Laughs while guzzling water.)
By the way, what hell does “The Dark Backward” mean? ^ I swear to you, this is the truth. I didn’t have a title for the script when I finished writing it, and I have a book of the complete plays of Shakespeare. I just literally opened it to a random page and I closed my eyes and stuck my finger in the middle of the page. In the middle of one of the passages in The Tempest, the two words “dark backward” were there out of context. I used that. That was it.
No, really? I thought it had something to do with something like, “taking a dump.” ^ (Laughs) Really? I like that interpretation. Now, that’s what it means.
(Adam starts to make paper airplanes out of dollar bills.)
You went from doing that to a real mainstream movie, The Chase with Charlie Sheen which was released by 20th Century Fox. How did you make that leap? ^ I made that in direct response to The Dark Backward. Everybody who saw The Dark Backward said, “Not only will we not hire him for this movie, we won’t hire him ever!” (We both laugh!) So, I needed to make something that studio executives could watch and see money-making potential from. So, I wrote and directed, purposely, a really brightly lit, simplistic car crash movie that I wanted to be the polar opposite of The Dark Backward.
(Adam begins lobbing the dollar bill paper airplanes at the blonde in the biker hat. She seems pretty happy to receive them.)
Pam Anderson threatens to quit “Barb Wire,” Steven Spielberg pitches Adam a movie and more in the next installment of ADAM RIFKIN COMES CLEAN (part 3) >>>
Posted on February 8, 2001 in Interviews by Chris Gore
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