Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) Movie Script

The first Kurosawa film
I think I ever saw...
was "Throne of Blood,"
on the Z Channel.
Fellini film, "I Vitteloni."
There was a picture called
"Spider's Stratagem."
Sam Peckinpah's
"The Wild Bunch."
The "Straw Dogs"...
"Bring Me the Head
of Alfredo Garcia."
"The Story of Adele H."
"City Lights."
- "Rear Window."
- "Midnight Cowboy."
- "Ikiru."
- "Song Remains the Same."
"Johnny Guitar."
- "The Onion Field."
- "Los Olvidados."
"The Man Who Fell to Earth."
Every film that Marlon Brando
was ever in.
- Z Channel.
- Z Channel.
- Z Channel.
- Our salvation.
Uncharted territory.
Like tom-toms in the jungle.
- Jerry Harvey.
- Jerry Harvey.
- Programmer.
- Obsessive programmer.
Dark and negative.
- Maverick.
- Nurturing.
Skating that line between
insanity and genius.
What do you think the secret of
the Z Channel's success is?
I don't know.
If I told you,
then it wouldn't be a secret.
My father says there's
only right and wrong.
Good and evil.
Nothing in between.
It isn't that simple, is it?
No, it isn't.
It should be, but it isn't.
KNX News time, 6:06.
A Hollywood story with
a tragic ending this morning.
The bodies of Z Channel
programmer Jerry Harvey...
and his wife Deri Rudulph were
discovered Saturday Night...
in their Westwood home.
Police report Harvey shot
and killed Rudulph...
his wife of two years...
before turning the gun
on himself.
The motive is unknown.
Harvey had been chief programmer
at Z Channel...
which is known
throughout Los Angeles...
for its eclectic and innovative
Both Harvey and Rudulph
were 39 years old.
So it was back in 1974...
and I had just started
selling cable television...
and the Z Channel
had just started.
So we came up here
to the Hollywood hills.
And it was really great...
because these people
had terrible reception.
They couldn't see anything
on their television...
and not only were we offering
good reception...
we gave them movies...
uncut and no commercials...
in their bedroom,
in their living room...
wherever they wanted it.
They ate it up.
It was very, very successful.
It was amazing.
I had friends over
all the time...
because they showed
two movies a night...
as I recall.
And they were uncut,
It was this phenomenon
no one had ever seen.
Theta, the Z Channel, was the
only one in the major cities.
In other words...
New York did not have it
at the time.
Los Angeles was
the first one to do that.
That this actually existed,
you could see this stuff...
was incredible.
So I was like,
"We've got to get this!"
I was living in El Segundo
at the time.
And my mom called up, and, no,
Z Channel wasn't in our area.
Not only was Theta in that area
along the foothills...
but it was who was in the homes
along the foothills...
and those were the folks that
ran the movie industry.
They were films
for the whole family...
but I thought slanted to adults
a little bit.
And those were the films
I tried to get.
"Chinatown" was on a lot
in those days.
They used to run it a lot.
And that was one of
my favorite movies.
And I ended up seeing it
3 or 4 times a week...
at certain points.
I publicized the shows
that we were doing...
in the Hollywood trade papers,
"Variety" and "Reporter"...
and gradually,
word began to spread.
I think it's interesting, too,
to note that in that time...
it's hard to remember this.
I told my kids about it,
and they don't believe me...
but there was a time when there
was no Blockbuster stores.
There was no videocassettes.
None of that existed.
The thing you have to
this is before HBO, before
Showtime, before any of that...
and it was really, really
When I left, Hal Kaufman,
he took my place.
I remember he had an assistant,
who he hired, Jerry Harvey.
And that was my first contact
with Jerry Harvey.
The Z Channel hired a person...
that really made
the Z Channel...
probably put the Z Channel
on the map...
and that's Jerry Harvey.
Jerry probably is
one of those students...
that a teacher encounters
every so often and thinks...
"I think this student's probably
smarter than I am."
I had just broken up
with my girlfriend...
and so I was standing
at the Dickson Art Center...
Iooking rather forlorn,
and he kind of
recognized the look...
and walked up to me and said,
"I recognize the look."
And so we started talking,
and we spent the entire day...
having lunch and talking about
movies, and that's how we met.
So many of my students, when
they're interested in movies...
are only interested in
the art movies, the indies.
Jerry loved them all...
and hated them all
when they were bad.
With Jerry, you always
talked about movies.
Everything that he... his entire
frame of reference was films.
I started getting these weekly
telephone calls...
toward the end of each week...
from this obviously
very young, intense young man...
asking me for a rundown of what
the good pictures...
were going to be
that particular week.
I think the first contact...
or memory, I have
of Jerry Harvey...
was when he was
booking the Beverly Canon.
I heard about Jerry's work...
long before I heard
about Jerry...
because I heard about his work
for the Beverly Canon.
I was going to Cal Arts...
an art school 30 miles north
of Los Angeles...
and everybody was talking about
the Beverly Canon...
especially when he ran
the uncut "Wild Bunch."
I mean, that was like
missile blast.
Everybody, anybody
who loved film knew about this.
And on a rainy day,
in the Beverly Canon theater...
2,000 people, or however many
people showed up...
for the screening.
I think a great coup
in his life happened...
because Peckinpah arrived
with the print.
And it certainly was momentous
because it...
his bond with Peckinpah
just extended from there.
Jerry certainly was one of the
people that looked up to Sam...
as I guess kind of
a father figure.
Jerry felt that way about
a number of creative people...
that he admired and appreciated.
He was always surprising me.
It was Sam this and Bob that,
and I thought, " Whoa!
How did you get
to meet these people?"
That he arranged a screening for
"Some Call It Loving" there...
you can't help
but respect someone...
who has taken all the time
and effort...
to educate himself,
become familiar with...
with not only my films...
ones I did with Kubrick
of course weren't obscure...
but "Some Call It Loving"
was kind of an obscure film.
I met Jerry Harvey
in my mother's living room.
She worked with Jim Harris at
the time, and they were friends.
And I came bounding
into her house...
and he was standing there.
It was kind of love
at first sight, I think.
We stayed on the phone that
night after he left my house...
for 11 hours.
He came over the next night
after that...
and I don't think he ever left
for 3 years.
He had aspirations
to be a filmmaker...
or at least to start out
as a screenwriter.
We wrote a script together
about two college kids...
who were witness to a murder.
And that's how we really started
writing together.
And we ended up getting
the agency off of that...
meeting Monte Hellman.
Jerry was also involved
in the making of a film...
a western that he had written,
I believe, and that...
he was able to
raise the financing...
and went over to Italy to do it.
Are you satisfied now?
You ain't gonna last long, son.
There ain't no soft-hearted
"China 9" was really great fun.
I always remember,
we flew into Rome.
Landed in Rome...
was picked up by the limo
at the airport...
and then went to Almeria.
Had a great group of people.
Warren Oates was there.
Fabio Testi.
Jenny Agutter, Sam Peckinpah,
Monte Hellman.
We just had the best time, one
of the best times of my life.
There was of course
a tremendous black period...
when his sister, Anne,
committed suicide.
Jerry spoke to his sister
all the time.
They were very, very close.
Great friends.
And he adored her.
Anne checked herself into
a hospital when Jerry was gone.
And I believe that she was
waiting for him to come back.
She had left a suicide tape...
that was her talking to Jerry
while she died, explaining...
everything that had transpired
in her life...
that led to this decision.
She was really his anchor...
and not only did she go mad,
but now she was gone.
And he came back
to have this happen.
And by the time I saw him,
he was crazy.
I had never seen him so crazy.
We got married pretty quickly
after that.
We got married
in February 1978.
Part of what was really
attractive about it...
at the time...
was that we had already been
having this affair...
but then he was just so
vulnerable in reaching out.
And so I blamed...
the things that I saw that
seemed dark and scary to me...
I blamed on the fact
that he was in mourning...
over his sister...
and assumed that
my loving him...
would make those things go away
and be better.
We were still
very close friends...
but we weren't really
partners in activity.
We didn't write anything
together after that.
We never did.
At the time there was
only Select TV, and On TV...
as cable sources in the area
that I lived.
We had gotten Select TV.
And in the middle
of the night...
he would wake me up
yelling at the television...
because the programming sucked.
And at some point in time,
I just said...
"If you hate it so much...
"either don't watch it
or write a letter."
And so he wrote
a letter to them...
telling them what was wrong
with the programming.
And they called him, and said...
"How do you know so much,
and who are you?"
And, "We want to talk to you."
And Jerry had said
he had found these movies that...
since we were playing eclectic
things, here's some...
wanted to show me something.
Greece withdraws from NATO.
The third guarantor power,
with air force and troops
on the spot...
sticks to her policy of
strict non-involvement.
It was a documentary...
about the invasion
of Greece by the Turks...
and political content.
It was an interesting movie.
It had just been this guy
who'd written in this letter...
who was reading the reaction
and was like...
"Well, that didn't get them,
so let me try one more"...
and I think it was like
a Laura Antonelli film...
who I had never seen before,
who was staggeringly gorgeous.
And I thought anybody who could
go to these kind of...
those poles...
to the utter, pure documentary,
political documentary to sex...
is worth having,
so I hired him.
And so that sort of set Jerry
on his path...
which seemed really hopeful...
because then
there was something...
that really was
about his passion...
something that he could do
that was positive...
and that would give him
something to focus on...
besides his own struggle
with himself.
Hal Kaufman, the guy running Z
at the time...
called Jerry and approached him
about a job.
I left Select,
and weeks after I got to Z...
the head of programming fell ill
and left, and never came back.
Everything that predated Z
and his own eminence over Z...
was merely the prep.
It was the years in the desert.
Suddenly Jerry arrives
in the early eighties...
and he's known all through town.
He got me on the phone,
and he said... Jerry,
he said, " I've been hired,
and I want to do a new spin...
"on the pictures
that we're showing."
I think I got a call
from somebody once...
picked up the phone...
and somebody on the phone said
to me, " This is Jerry Harvey.
"I buy movies.
Do you have so-and-so?"
I think so-and-so was probably
"Black Orpheus."
When you first met him,
I think he was cold and distant.
We had to generate
a mutual respect...
which came quickly because
we found out that each of us...
had an interest in old movies,
different movies...
movies that were unloved,
movies that had been unscreened.
- Telephone, Ms. Gray.
- Thank you.
- Excuse...
- She'll take it here.
No, never mind.
Ask them to call me at home
later, please.
Bring the phone.
What was so brilliant about
what Jerry was doing...
was mixing the art film
with commercial fare.
I had to see everything
on this crash course.
It was like the Schick Center
for movie addiction.
And then I had to hear him
recite to me "Dr. Strangelove."
There was a month when I heard
scenes from "Dr. Strangelove"...
from the moment I woke up
to the moment I went to sleep.
I agree with you.
It's great to be fine.
Now, then, Dimitri...
you know how we've always
talked about the possibility...
of something going wrong
with the bomb.
Z was great for him.
Z was... Jerry sort of found
his place there...
because he could come in...
Jerry's favorite
way of dressing was...
a business shirt,
not tucked in; a nice jacket...
baggy, dirty jeans;
and Frye boots.
And he couldn't do that working
in a corporate situation.
So at Z Channel, he could do
what he liked to do best...
which is sit cross-legged
on the floor...
and make his phone calls
that way... smoking.
When did you start
looking at films?
To be honest with you,
when I was 4.
I remember vividly
a film I saw at 4...
and the impact it had on me.
For a great period in my life...
that meant more to me
than anything else, movies.
The history of the movies,
seeing them.
This man, Jerry Harvey,
this very sweet, very odd man...
called me up and very
tentatively asked me...
would I like "A Safe Place," my
first film, to be on television?
I was sure he made a mistake...
because it was a film that was
so trashed by all the critics...
when it opened that
nobody wanted to play it.
Yes. Yes, I have missed you.
Do you want to know why?
Because you're
very simple-minded.
Screw you.
I had a film called "lmages"
that I had done in...
shot in Ireland in '72.
And he was particularly...
Jerry liked that film a lot.
He said, " Let's run that
on the Z Channel."
But we couldn't find
who owned the title.
He said, " Well, I'll run it,
if you'll run it."
I said, " Well, I'll run it
if you'll run it.
So, here's the print.
Katherine! What are you talking
about, Katherine?
I love you!
You don't.
These films get lost in a hurry.
And I would get calls...
"They just played your movie
on Z Channel."
I'm naked now.
I mean, that was like
a big release for me.
If you couldn't get a studio
to release your picture...
your picture did not get seen.
One of the big things that
changed that was the Z Channel.
The Z Channel to me was the
first time I could speak French.
"Z Channel."
It was the first time you could
turn on your television...
and see something that you would
have to go to the cinema for.
What he was doing
was coming up with films...
that I had never heard of
or didn't know existed.
People saw movies that they
wouldn't have gone to see...
in a theater if they were free!
And consequently, I think it was
both a pleasurable experience...
and an educational experience...
and I think it widened
everybody's horizons.
It made, I think, even
the powers that be realize...
that there was this alternate
audience that was much larger...
than anybody knew.
Jerry found all these films...
and was able to program them
on the Z Channel.
And it sort of built
a big following.
I just think that he,
in a sense, had blinders on...
in which all he could see
through his blinders was film.
And you grew up where?
I grew up in Bakersfield.
How would you describe
In how many words?
Kind of a cross between
"American Graffiti"...
and "Two-Lane Blacktop."
Did you have
an enjoyable childhood?
When Jerry came aboard,
it was also the moment...
when HBO, Showtime,
and The Movie Channel...
all showed up in L.A.
He was a formidable competitor.
And he didn't say nice things...
about people he was
competing against...
because he lived
and slept this job.
They thought they were going to
carve up the territory...
that belonged to Z Channel.
Z Channel was the only one
in town at that time.
But all the others thought...
"Well, we're gonna
roll over this guy."
And in fact a lot of people had
told Jerry to his face...
"Well, you run
a nice little channel.
"It's too bad, you know."
And he said, "Well, we'll see."
And what happened was,
of course...
that HBO and those guys really
couldn't get a toehold.
Z Channel had what was called
a zero churn rate...
which means that nobody
would cancel the service.
Jerry loved Z Channel.
He loved everything
it was about...
but he felt a lot of
pressure to perform.
He would call you in the middle
of the night...
on a Saturday night.
On a Sunday morning
at 7:00 in the morning...
he would call you and say,
"You've got to get me this.
"The channel will go under."
It was always the sky is falling
if you don't get me this.
"I got to get this."
So he tried to take it all on,
and what he would always do...
to compensate in those
kind of situations...
is that he would self-medicate.
So he would go around with...
he'd drink, and then he'd
have No-Doze in his pocket.
He was manic, but he was
an obsessive programmer.
I want to say that that's not
a bad thing, by the way.
Basically, he would come back
from work at Z Channel...
and order pizza
and fall asleep on the floor...
because he was taking
a lot of medication.
So he wasn't really
functioning at home...
but nobody knew it at work...
because he would function
in the morning.
Met Jerry on the telephone.
He called me in London.
Woke me up
2:30 in the morning...
because he got
all the times wrong.
His first words to me were,
"How come I don't know you?"
So I get this lunatic on the
phone at 2:30 in the morning...
giving me this long monologue
what other films have I made?
He wants to see everything.
Can I send everything
over to him?
What documentaries have I made?
And all that.
Will you have a dance
with me, please?
I don't mind if I do.
Come on, then.
In the case of "Overlord,"
you have a World War II film...
which actually incorporates
footage from World War II...
but incorporates it
so artfully...
that you can't tell the staged
footage from the actual footage.
We began a process of
developing a screenplay...
based on real material...
both documented material
and footage.
And I began to construct
a dramatized documentary...
about a young English soldier.
He said, " We'll start by having
a month of Stuart Cooper.
"We'll show all the features.
"We'll do the documentaries
"We'll show all
your feature work...
"during the month,
different times.
"But the deal is, you have to
come a month ahead...
"and do one-on-one screenings
with the 4 or 5 key critics...
"and have lunch with them
or dinner...
"and talk about the work."
Gary Prebula
called me up, said...
they're showing two films
by Stuart Cooper...
who I had never heard of.
He said,
"Nobody's ever heard of him.
"Z Channel is gonna
premiere them."
I said,
"there's still a Z Channel?"
He said, "Oh, yeah."
I was debating
whether or not to go.
When I got there,
I was glad I showed up...
because I was the only one there
that I knew of.
There was this other guy named
Jerry Harvey...
who I didn't know, who I thought
might be a fellow critic.
I was fascinated by this guy
Stuart Cooper...
because I had just seen
"Overlord" for the first time...
and I was blown away by it.
But I'm sitting there
with Jerry...
and Jerry is the one
who's talking to me...
in this mild way, and I'm
getting along with him...
and we're laughing
at each other's jokes.
It was really a great
kismet moment...
because then he started doing
some reviews...
for Z Channel for Jerry.
It coincided with the period
that my mother was dying.
I got the news
of my mother's death.
And within a half-an-hour...
the phone rings,
and it's Jerry Harvey.
He's like the first call
I'm getting.
I don't know how he found out.
But he called me,
and he was consoling me.
He said, " Look...
"I've been through several
deaths in my family, and look...
"you can make it.
It doesn't have to kill you."
And I said, "It won't kill me."
I was feeling super strong.
I was not hearing
what he was saying.
Now it's unbearably poignant.
And that was the beginning
of their relationship.
And to the day Jerry died,
F.X. And he were very close.
When Jerry brought me aboard,
my concern was, as a critic...
I didn't want to be paid
to say good things...
about a movie I hated.
And Jerry liked
my style of reviewing...
because I wouldn't so much
punish the movie...
for not succeeding.
I would come from a place of,
"Well, I tried to like it."
I read "Z Magazine" religiously.
I used to write nasty letters
to F.X. Feeney.
I used to get
the angriest letters.
The angriest letters
of my life...
I got from Z Channel
Yes, I think I did write letters
to the "Z Mag"...
which I had forgotten until
contacted to participate...
in this documentary.
I wrote, I think,
complaining about...
the letterboxing bars
weren't big enough...
for Kurosawa's "High and Low"...
and that's how I got
this t-shirt.
I remember I couldn't wait...
when my "Z Channel Magazine"
would come every month...
because I wanted to read
all the reviews...
which weren't always good.
The people that wrote it knew
that their audience...
was keenly interested
in what they had to say.
And what they had to say
was a whole series...
of original and highly
controversial observations...
about the films
that were being shown.
It wasn't the usual pap that
you get in fan magazines.
My belief, and I know that this
is Jerry's belief, too...
is that if you appeal...
to the most intelligent member
of the audience...
everybody else follows along.
There's this feeling that
you have to appeal...
to the common denominator.
Jerry and I hit on the phrase,
"the uncommon denominator"...
that's what we want...
because we want to go
for the smart folks...
because everybody is smart.
That's my man!
I don't think we'll make it
past the cops.
We'll make it past the cops.
I just hope we don't
see no Muslims.
Listen, you owe
Ben Angelelli $4,000.
You tell Ben Angelelli
to suck my cock.
Wait a minute.
You lost that money,
you should pay your debts.
A double suck.
The first couple years of
Jerry's stewardship of Z...
are marked by just the ability
to do the unexpected.
So he was able to make simple
but effective use...
of his position there.
And then suddenly his reputation
started to take care of itself.
I have this fantasy that in the
year 2050 or the year 2075...
they're gonna read about...
the furor that attacked
"Heaven's Gate"...
the furor that came down
upon Heaven's Gate...
and they're not gonna
believe it.
It's gonna seem like
science fiction.
The Stock Growers'
has the names of some of
you people on a list.
A hundred and twenty-five names.
The then-current U.A. Management
decided to make the film...
at a budget of 12 million.
The 12 million turned out to be
40 before they were through.
The picture was
a commercial disaster.
Hastings Beak!
Jerry would get very heated...
about what had happened
to a movie...
what had happened
to a director...
or how a film had kind of
gotten off track...
or how somebody
had been slighted...
when they shouldn't have
been slighted...
or beaten up when they
shouldn't have been beaten up.
"Heaven's Gate"
was not only clobbered...
it was basically
burned at the stake.
The critics ganged up on it.
It became this huge
set of headlines.
It was in every paper.
The "Herald Examiner"
ran a story about it...
every day for 3 months.
Every day.
I was depressed for a year
after that movie.
I was depressed about it.
Really, it was just...
You do a work
and you think it's good...
and then nobody likes it,
no critics like it.
And it goes down
in the drain after two weeks...
they pull it out of the
theaters, and it disappears.
It was just...
It was cut immediately...
and lay there until such time
as Jerry approached Cimino...
and talked about reconstructing
his long version.
Without Jerry's prompting...
it would never have
occurred to me...
to try to find an intact print
of the original "Heaven's Gate."
It was his question that set
the whole process in motion.
It became a 4-hour special.
We had the first screening of
"Heaven's Gate"...
which was really an event,
and everybody tuned into it.
They wanted to know
what all the fuss was about.
And in a different atmosphere,
a different cultural climate...
the reassembled "Heaven's Gate"
got marvelous reviews.
It was a big event...
and it was the beginning
of sort of big events...
happening on cable.
It was really the first time
anything like that had happened.
You got to see the director's
vision of what the movie was.
Even after the fact,
it's very hard to get out...
but in some ways, that put him
20 years ahead of his time.
We had a great relationship
with Michael Cimino...
because of that...
because he really
gave life to a film...
that had been so unfairly...
whether in the end
you liked the movie or not...
it had been so unfairly treated.
The effort to do something like
that was a gargantuan effort.
It would be like saving
a great edifice...
that was designed by
Frank Lloyd Wright or something.
Jerry took great risks
in the films that he bought...
and that's why
he was so respected.
Suddenly he had this position...
where he was being interviewed
and quoted, and it was nice...
because he had this moment
of feeling like...
people were acknowledging him...
for what he wanted to be
acknowledged for.
But he would have liked to,
I think, be making movies.
Instead, he had such great
respect for great filmmakers...
that he provided a place
to showcase their works.
I remember walking
behind him one day...
as we were just taking a break.
I'd turned in
a bunch of stuff...
and he'd just made
a bunch of buys...
and just done
a bunch of business.
And he wanted to go out
and get some ice cream.
So we file out of this little
garden spot office...
that we had...
which was the first office
that I knew.
And we're hiking up along Bundy.
And I'm walking behind him.
It's just this very hot
California day.
He's wearing a tweed jacket.
He's got that cigarette lighter
around his neck...
and he's just bopping along.
I'm looking at him,
and I'm walking behind him...
and I'm thinking...
we've just come off of several
months of really happy work...
and I'm thinking...
"This is actually one of the
happiest times of my life."
What were your mother and father
doing when you were growing up?
My father was a judge.
My mother was a personnel
director for a hospital.
Were you able to see
your parents very often?
They sound as though
they were very busy people.
They were around.
Maybe too much.
I was at Select TV,
and Jerry called...
and said that he would like
to talk to me.
Would I be interested?
And would I meet him for dinner
to discuss...
working at the Z Channel?
We talked about what the duties
would entail...
and most of all,
he talked about his personality.
And he said to me,
"I'm crazy, you know."
And I said, "Oh, yeah, sure."
Jerry would be very honest with
you about his own needs.
He would say,
"Got to go to my shrink."
And he would just say it
in that plain way, like...
"Got to go see my doctor.
Got a doctor's appointment."
But it would happen to be
a shrink's appointment.
And he would go often.
You knew that he was devoting...
maybe a couple of afternoons
a week to going over there.
One day,
everything would be fine.
We'd be having a conversation.
Maybe he'd go to the bathroom
or go get a glass of water...
and he'd come back...
and he would be
incredibly depressed...
because he had looked
at the corner of the room...
and realized that
the workmanship was shoddy...
and start
getting depressed about...
how people don't care
about anything anymore.
And somehow in those moments...
that he would have had
that revelation...
it would sink him
into this depression...
about how the planet
was doomed...
and nobody gave a shit
about anything anymore.
And he said, in a very serious,
intense way...
"I'm really crazy.
I'm paranoid."
He wrote letters to me
at the time...
talking about what eventually
would happen to him...
that one day he would
lose the struggle.
Not in a threatening way,
but he talked about it.
And in rare moments
of lucidity...
what frightened him was
something inside of him...
that he didn't know how
to deal with.
I don't know how I got around
the "I'm crazy..."
and "I'm paranoid," line...
but I went to work there and
found that to be pretty true.
It's Black Flag.
I made the movie.
The guys that paid for it...
were a couple of independent
businessmen from the valley...
who wanted to make
a porno movie.
And I went in to talk to them...
and they didn't know
I was gonna come in...
and pitch a punk rock movie,
but I told them...
that punk rock was
the next best thing to porno.
So, "Hey, let's sign a check."
And they did!
We showed the film
one night, midnight.
They had to shut down
Hollywood Boulevard...
And 300 motorcycle cops came.
We had a letter from,
from Darryl Gates,
the Chief of Police, saying...
"Please don't ever show that
movie in Los Angeles again."
When I go to concerts,
it's like...
my friends get beat up
by my friends.
And it's like, "Fuck!"
It's because, like, they're not
beating up the right people.
They're not beating up
the fucking posers.
They're beating up
just my friends.
It's fucked.
The cops recognized Eugene from
having been in "The Decline"...
and arrested him.
Because they saw it on Z.
Yeah, because they saw it
on Z Channel.
Took you a little longer
than I thought.
I'm afraid it's going to take
a little longer than that.
I'm leaving now.
Road's wet.
It wasn't raining
when I got here.
Too bad.
People really did not
understand that film.
They didn't get it,
and the critics didn't get it.
You fucker! I hate you!
Stop that!
Blow it out your ass! Fuck you!
I was up for an audition
to go do "Star Wars"...
of all things.
And so I was reading
"Star Wars"...
and my agent was pressuring me,
"Go read for Star Wars!
"This is gonna be this thing."
And I'm going, "I don't know."
I always said
as my little actress prayer...
"If somebody just
gave me the chance...
"I could just show them.
I know it. I could.
"Please, God,
give me this chance."
And then, "Bad Timing"
fell in my lap...
and I was like,
"Holy... Should I do this?"
Alex! You want me?
Come on! Do it now, Alex!
Here it is, Alex.
Here it is, look at it, Alex.
Don't you want it?
There it is, Alex, Come here.
Take it. That's what you want.
Here it is, come on!
In terms of the Z Channel
showing it so much...
because it had such a small
release theatrically...
especially in this country...
that was really where everybody
had a chance to see it.
I swear, even to this day, I'll
have people come up to me...
and tell me how much that
that movie affected them.
How did you go about
finding those films?
Because obviously
it took some effort.
No one else was doing it.
You look at a lot of things...
that you think might be
interesting based on somebody...
not everybody that was involved
in it or what it's about...
or what it's based on
or where it was filmed.
There's a million reasons.
Just like anything in life...
you say,
"Gee, that sounds interesting."
HBO, Showtime,
The Movie Channel...
all of us are at this big
convention in some hotel.
Big table, dais, pitchers
of water, nameplates...
Jerry's down at the other end.
And everybody's
going down the list...
talking about how many
committees they've got...
how many market research.
"We hired this firm
from New York."
"We've got this firm
from Chicago."
"Jerry, how many firms
do you draw on...
"to choose your programs?"
He says,
"I don't consult anybody.
"I just see movies.
I just show good movies."
"Yeah, but your decision-making
process. Who's your committee?"
"I don't have a committee.
"We have people in the office
we talk... we like movies...
"but basically, it's just
whatever we want to see."
Jerry was an early and
passionate admirer of a film...
called " The lmportant Thing
Is to Love"...
directed by Andrezej Zulawski.
That film had a huge cult in
Europe in the mid-seventies.
I would sometimes,
seeing European films...
see clips from it...
because other European directors
were so in awe...
of " The lmportant Thing
Is to Love"...
that they would run little clips
in their movies.
Lovers in French films would
often be going to see...
"The lmportant Thing
Is to Love."
It became this immediate
that automatically was
being quoted in other films.
But it only opened briefly.
It only opened for a week.
And it just was
by the first critics
who dealt with it.
And so it didn't go anywhere.
It didn't form the cult
that it could have...
here in the United States.
The thing about the Z Channel...
is that the sensibility was
offbeat and a little bit...
I don't know.
I mean, they showed everything.
It was really appropriate
that it was in L.A. In a way...
because in New York,
we did have a lot of venues...
to find those kind of movies.
When I started working
at this video store
in Manhattan Beach
called Video Archives...
and the guy who owned
the store, Lance Lawson...
I would ask, " Hey,
do you have this movie?"
"Do you have that movie?"
And he'd pull them out,
And as I'd watch them...
I'd realize that these were
the old Z Channel tapes.
And I still have probably
hundreds of hours of films...
that I recorded
off the Z Channel.
I saw " Dead Pigeon on Beethoven
Street" from Z Channel.
I had a whole... and he just
lent me the film...
and then I watch it,
and then it just...
It makes me go like this because
at the beginning of it...
"Our Tribute to Sam Fuller!"
All right?
And you see all the other movies
that they also showed...
but Lance only taped
"Dead Pigeon," all right?
I'm like, " Damn!
I want to see Fixed Bayonets!
"Park Row! God damn it!
Tape Park fucking Row!"
In those days, that was the only
game in town, you know.
It was the only cable channel...
that you can watch
real good movies...
that totally disappeared
from the screen.
And some of them
were my movies...
and of course I always
liked to see my movies...
just to see if it works
on television.
When "McCabe & Mrs. Miller"
first came out, it was a flop.
It made less money,
grossed less money, I think...
than "O.C. & Stiggs," or some of
these films of mine...
that were really flops.
And it's become a little...
kind of a mini-classic.
You do a film and it's so...
It's just different from what
the standard thing is...
they just don't succeed...
until the audiences have time to
let themselves catch up with it.
It's hard to keep
the audience's attention...
when you show them everything.
And the problem
with most films is...
is that you hear it,
you see exactly what it is.
If you're talking, there's a big
close-up of your face.
So we know that you're talking.
And we hear it.
So I think the mandate in film
is to hide that...
to make the audience...
"What's going on?
I don't quite see that.
"Do you think that's..."
So that the goose bumps
can come out.
Otherwise, you're sitting there
drinking Coca Cola...
and eating a hotdog.
I knew Jerry personally so well,
he would say...
"Hey, I want to sneak your film
on my channel."
And I'd say, "Oh, that's good."
Because otherwise,
they didn't play anywhere.
They just didn't play anywhere.
The Z Channel did
great film festivals.
We'd put on Truffaut
film festivals...
and Kurosawa film festivals
and Australian film festivals.
French film festivals,
English film festivals...
anything that we could
sort of highlight...
maybe a lesser-known
movie around.
The cool thing
about Z Channel...
was investigating
somebody's work.
Jacqueline Bisset seemed
like a fetish in a way...
which I thought was pretty cool.
Jacqueline Bisset is so much a
figure of Z Channel, I think...
because her great beauty
lent itself...
to "Day for Night" by Truffaut.
It lent itself to a wonderful
film called "Le Magnifique"...
which was the quintessential
Z movie, that is to say...
a European movie that few people
knew about stateside...
but which had a great deal
of American-style...
entertainment value
built into it.
You got Jean-Paul Belmondo
as a poor writer...
who's fantasizing himself the
superhero of his own pulp novel.
And the girl downstairs,
Jackie Bisset...
is like the iconic star of this
pulp novel in this guy's head.
When I did "Le Magnifique"...
Philippe De Broca asked me to
play this part, which is...
one part was this student...
and one part was this sort of
Bond-type character.
Doing "Le Magnifique"
was interesting.
But it was a lot to do.
Interesting for me was
to watch Jean-Paul Belmondo...
because he was the most
coordinated actor...
I've ever worked with...
and he could do 3 or 4 things,
comb his hair...
machine-gun somebody,
jump from rock to rock...
like a light-footed leper.
Not a leper. A leopard!
Like a person of...
like an animal.
Like a beautiful animal.
It was like having
a film festival in your house...
every single night...
a film festival.
That you would... you wouldn't
have to go to Rotterdam...
and you wouldn't
have to go to Berlin...
and you wouldn't
have to go to Cannes...
you wouldn't have
to go to Venice.
It was just like your own
private film festival...
and the programming was
eccentric and odd and mixed.
I was angry at it many times.
I thought,
"Why are you playing that?
"You're the only voice
on television.
"Play only the kind of
art films that I like."
But it was very good
in not catering just to me.
It really gave you
a kind of smorgasbord.
It gave you a kind of open-ended
view of all kinds of cinema...
and it gave you a sense of the
size and scope that cinema has.
Antonioni is not
necessarily about...
the logical structure
of a dramatic story...
but about atmosphere
and nuance...
and a kind of emotional tension
that exists more like weather.
One of the most striking things
for me in my memory is...
Monica Vitti walking
across a piazza.
And then you see above about 25
guys just watching her move.
And it says so much about
Italian culture...
about visual imagery,
about femininity, about sex...
about just being a human
and then being in a place...
like, kind of
classical piazza...
somewhere very Italian
and Mediterranean.
I don't know.
It's just kind of haunting.
Jeanne Moreau walking down
the street in "La Notte"...
did it for me.
I said, " This is a woman.
This is a job.
"Whatever this woman's doing.
"I have no idea
why she's so depressed.
"She is obviously
terribly depressed...
"and this man is not
treating her well.
"Don't care about him.
She is fascinating.
"I don't know what that,
all that means.
"It's just unknown material."
For someone to sit and think...
"I want to show the final break
in a relationship.
"I want to see that actual...
the crack, the how.
"What about, they attend
an all-night party?
"And somehow, it's the attending
of that party...
"that makes them finally realize
that the relationship is dead?"
And that's the film
he set out to write.
Have you ever been married?
- Yeah.
- Yes?
Yeah, I think so.
By the fall of 1983,
it was really clear to me...
that I couldn't stay in
this relationship anymore.
The psychiatry that I had
had so much hope for...
wasn't gonna solve the problem.
Jerry wasn't ready
to solve the problem...
or perhaps capable,
but I didn't care anymore.
I went into work one day,
and Jerry wasn't there.
And he was gone, as it would
prove, for 3 weeks.
I'd understood that it was
a contract dispute...
and he was holding a firm line.
Well, he surfaced 3 weeks later,
and in that time...
he had divorced Vera.
He continued to be
in touch with me.
We saw one another a few times,
a couple of times...
that were really ill-fated
we sort of had
a little moment together...
and then that would
just make it worse...
because it would give him hope.
Jerry, you know, spoke bitterly
of that period.
Not bitterly of Vera...
but just of being married
and being in that zone...
and it was just somehow...
that was something
we didn't discuss...
except to acknowledge
that love was hell.
In that 3 weeks in which
he had disappeared...
from the face of the earth...
he had dissolved
his marriage to Vera...
and started dating the landlady
at his new apartment...
who was Deri Rudulph...
who I eventually met
a couple months later.
Jerry Harvey loved a movie...
that Henry Fonda did with his
ex-wife, Margaret Sullavan.
It was called
"The Moon's Our Home..."
and it's basically
a New Year's Eve picture.
And Jerry wanted to play it...
as his New Year's Eve movie
one year.
Very hard to get a hold of.
Do you, Sarah Brown
take John Smith...
I suppose you'd want me to
wait around doing nothing...
while you're making up
your mind.
I certainly do.
To have and to hold
from this day forward...
Then if that's the way
you feel about it...
you want to call
the whole thing off?
I certainly do.
Do you promise to love, honor,
and obey him...
- Do you really mean that?
- I most certainly do!
As Justice of the Peace...
I'm sick of being made
a fool of! I'm through!
I never want to see you again
as long as I live!
I wouldn't marry you
if you were the la...
Now all you got to do is kiss
the bride, and it's $3.00.
It was a favorite
picture of his...
and the audience got to see it.
Well, I can see that you're
definitely in love with films.
Certainly, it's your life.
But it seems to be
totally your life.
Do you do anything
outside of film, for instance?
What do you mean?
Jerry was a creature of habit,
and he had his watering holes...
and I think the favorite of all
his watering holes was Guido's.
And he very often went there
with Michael Cimino.
When I was introduced to Cimino
for the first time...
it was at Guido's.
Jerry knew all the waiters.
They all knew Jerry.
The waiters all knew Cimino.
In fact, when Cimino
walked through the door...
two waiters at once reached out
with cigarette lighters.
I remember going to Guido's
one afternoon for...
it was kind of a late,
late, late lunch.
And Jerry was there
and pretty wound up.
And I remember... the thing I
remember the most about it...
is he was perspiring...
kind of profusely
in the restaurant.
And he was wound...
I can't remember exactly
what he was wound up about...
but he was wound up
about something.
Something was going on,
or something was bothering him.
But we had a few drinks.
And I remember the waiter or one
of the guys came around...
and adjusted his neck for him
right there at the restaurant.
Kind of got behind him
and said...
"Jerry, you're way
overstressed here..."
and kind of did a...
cracked his neck.
I thought, "Oh, my God."
He was a really moody guy.
The days that he would
walk into his office...
sort of skulk into his office
and shut the door...
we knew not to approach him.
I know he fought with his demons
an awful lot.
At the same time...
those demons were kind of
what drove him on...
because he was insistent,
and he refused to
take no for an answer...
and he was constantly trying
to make things right.
I remember when Jerry bought,
"1900," Bertolucci's film...
and played the entire film,
not cut.
And it was so exciting.
I got the 6-hour "1900"
from Lance...
when he taped it
off of Z Channel.
I still have, because
it took me two 120 tapes...
I still have the full "1900"
recorded off of Z.
"1900" was a very jinxed film...
in the sense that Bertolucci
had spent too much money on it.
The Grimaldis were
unhappy with him...
for spending
too much money on it...
and so his version was under
lock and key for many years...
almost in a fit of pique.
Jerry insisted to the Grimaldis
for 5 years...
that they had an uncut "1900,"
a 5-hour version of "1900."
They used to say,
"No, no, it no longer exists.
"Maybe it existed once,
but it no longer exists."
And he pressed them
and pressed them...
and eventually,
he managed to get it released.
And so we showed it
on Z Channel.
And there you could see
in all its splendor...
what Bertolucci had intended.
It's another amazing thing about
the Z Channel to me.
I don't even know how
you could get the rights...
to show these things with
all those politics involved.
But to just have access to
the vision of the director...
is amazing, invaluable.
You just never know when you're
living in a golden age.
I saw "Berlin Alexanderplatz."
Now, that was the most
extraordinary revelation.
Where else are you going to see
this 12 or 14 hours...
of this magnificent novel...
turned into this extraordinarily
brilliant film...
which nobody in commercial
filmmaking to this day...
will ever put on television?
It was like some enormous meal
that kept coming...
and you saw the whole thing.
It was breathtaking.
One day, he walked
into the office and said...
"Come into my office please,"
and I went into his office.
And he said... he sat back
in his chair, and he said...
"I don't like the air
that you breathe.
"I don't like the ground
that you walk on.
"I can't stand to be
in the same room as you are.
"You are a horse unreigned."
And I looked at him...
and I was completely
flabbergasted and shocked.
I think I even laughed because
it was so out of nowhere.
And I remember laughing...
I remember at one point
laughing and saying...
"Well, I guess there's no room
for me to grow...
"in this organization."
And he told me he'd write
a letter of recommendation...
or something.
The day Peckinpah died,
Jerry had to leave work early.
Jerry got the phone call
that Peckinpah had died...
and someone who knew Jerry well
just came over to the office...
and took him out
for the rest of the day.
It was just understood that that
was just gonna be something...
Jerry couldn't work past
for a bit.
He was like family...
Sam and Jerry.
And Jerry had a very strong
sense of family...
that you don't see
that much anymore.
He felt that you were part of...
this undefinable idea
of a family.
You could turn your back,
and he'd cover it.
We were all quite devastated
over Sam passing...
and the fact that
he wasn't able to get work...
there was nobody in this town...
that would finance him at all
for anything.
I think the last thing he did
was a Julian Lennon video.
Peckinpah's recent years had
been so difficult that...
one could see,
one could sense...
that he was moving toward that,
one way or another.
As a receptionist...
I was literally sitting
right outside Jerry's door.
So I quietly sat there...
and occasionally would bring up
some film talk with him.
And he began to realize that I
knew a little bit about film.
Then he brought me into
the programming department.
He usually had Tim Ryerson
in with him.
And they'd be like
two guys bailing hay...
on an intellectual level.
It would just be,
"Why don't we do this?
"Why don't we do that?"
And they'd be moving their way
down the board...
trying ideas out on each other.
He stood at that board and moved
those magnetic stripes around...
that represented
the different films.
I can remember many times just...
it was... like standing there...
and looking at it,
and was just dreaming...
about all the wonderful
possibilities that you could do.
Claude Chabrol.
In fact, that was one of the
other directors, all right...
that Lance gave me.
I had never seen
"This Man Must Die" all right...
and they showed it on Z Channel,
and I got it from him.
You still can't see that
goddamned movie.
It was the great thing about Z
right from the get-go...
that they were running
European films.
That was how they got
the reputation...
that they programmed
them well...
and they were making
a hit with it.
Who knew?
One interesting aspect
of "Das Boot," you know...
it had a career as a film
in theaters...
where it really wowed
audiences around the country...
but then we discovered...
that it had been
a miniseries in Germany...
that it was actually
6 hours long...
and that there were
6 hour-long episodes.
Makes sense. We showed it.
Watch out!
Check periscope alignment!
I'll be in the engine room.
Trim gauge isn't safe, sir.
Zero, six zero!
- Check!
- What's going on?
Look out!
There's this tragic irony under
"Das Boot" that these guys...
who are just hard-working guys
who don't think politically...
who just love the sea and are
under it and in it...
and involved with their work...
and whose reality
is one another.
They have no idea that they're
in a sense like...
the Monty Python characters
about to be crushed...
by a big foot from the sky.
And in a way because
it's played in slow motion...
we can feel the tragic
melancholy behind that.
HBO was a thorn in the side...
of everyone who worked
at Z Channel...
because they feared that HBO
would muscle them off the dial.
HBO had buying power, so they
could give monies to studios...
which were very alluring.
The Z Channel had budgets that
that restricted on...
you couldn't just pay
for everything...
that you really wanted to do.
There was always somebody
saying to him...
"Do we have to spend money
on this program guide?
"Gee, if we didn't have
the program guide...
"then we could be
more profitable.
"Do you have to spend so much
money on the movies?
"Do we have to spend so much in
marketing the Z Channel?"
There were all
these pressures on him.
Sometimes they would take money
away from him...
that he couldn't spend
next year.
He had to figure out what
his limitations were...
and Jerry was very good
about doing that.
He had a very strong
business sense...
so he knew what he could do
and what he couldn't do...
but he realized that what he
could do was a lot...
based on simply his own
knowledge of movies.
Not only did Jerry champion...
the full version
of "Heaven's Gate"...
but he also felt the same way...
about Leone's
"Once Upon a Time in America."
Because you still think like
some schmuck from the streets.
Now if we listened to you,
we'd still be...
rolling drunks for a living.
- You broke?
- Don't bust my balls, Noodles.
- You broke?
- I am talking about real money!
This is real money to me.
It's a lot of money.
Do you want any of it?
You'll carry that stink
of the streets with you...
the rest of your life.
Well, when we did
"Once Upon A Time in America"...
it was clearly,
from a personal point of view...
an extraordinary opportunity.
I mean, this was...
you know, one of the...
potentially one
of the greatest movies...
one of the great epics
ever made.
I mean, it was... you know,
Bob DeNiro was...
at the height of his career.
I mean, he still is.
He's always great.
But I mean, he had just
come off "Raging Bull"...
and, you know, Sergio Leone
was a genius.
It was a 12-year project
for him.
We shot for 11 months...
and because
of one test screening...
Warner Bros.
And the Ladd Company...
decided to take the three hour
and 43 minute version...
of "Once Upon a Time in America"
and cut it down...
to 2 hours and something...
and they used the assistant
editor of "Police Academy ll"...
or something to cut it.
It broke the director's heart.
It was cut by a group of people
who should never...
have been allowed
in the cutting room...
and they massacred it,
they ruined it.
They made a test showing
of it in Chicago or Illinois...
something, on a cold night.
They didn't get
the results they wanted.
Any trouble?
No trouble. Kid stuff.
It was a really grueling,
miserable experience...
but I was really...
it was hugely frustrating...
and disappointing
and discouraging.
The full version was
a masterpiece...
as compared to, like,
a routine film...
in a butchered,
shortened version.
Come here. Look at this.
Come here.
Sudden death.
Fucking tragedy, huh?
Twenty-six years old.
What a shame.
Great stiff.
She died of an overdose.
And I'm ready for another!
Jerry actually showed
both versions side by side...
on the Z Channel...
and, I mean, there was
no doubt...
no doubt how stunning it is
to allow your creation...
when you're an artist to be
manhandled by other people...
who are maybe not as adept
at understanding the vision...
as you, the filmmaker is.
Your brother's a real friend.
He's a romantic.
When it came out
in its aborted version...
Sheila Benson, who was then
also a critic for the "Times"...
called it the worst movie
of the year...
and then it was restored
to the director's cut...
which was also shown...
and 8 years later, she picked it
as either the best...
or one of the 5 or 10 best
pictures of the decade...
which goes to show you what
a little editing can do.
In a way, what Z Channel was,
and what Jerry did...
is it became
an alternative voice...
a voice which said, not only,
"You're wrong"...
but, " Here's why you're wrong.
"Here's how it should play,
and here's how they played it."
And then they shut up...
because a picture's worth
a million words.
And do you feel you've arrived
where you are...
by accident or by design?
Initially by accident...
And then by... and then
subsequently by design.
Deri was so warm,
she was so bright...
and I met her at her
at her house.
She had a party
for Jerry at her house...
and that was... in itself was
a very welcoming gesture.
It was a birthday party
at the end of 1985.
She was a lovely woman...
both in spirit and in
physical beauty, actually.
And I immediately felt glad that
if Jerry had to leave...
Vera for anybody that at least
he'd found his way to Deri...
because she seemed to be
such a positive spirit.
Deri grew up with a mother,
who had been in an iron lung...
and needed an awful lot
from Deri.
As I recall, her mother had been
in a wheelchair a lot.
So Deri grew up
taking care of people.
That's what she tried
to do with Jerry.
To know her was to just,
you know, have a crush on her.
She was just so amazing...
and she was becoming
a standup comedian...
she was starting a newspaper
in Westwood.
She owned a lot of property
in Westwood...
she'd inherited
a lot of property...
and she felt a great loyalty
to the community.
She was a very optimistic,
open, outgoing person...
and wanted sincerely to support
Jerry and give him...
what he needed emotionally.
Are there any points in your
life where you can look back...
and say that you might
have done something else...
at that particular point?
- Many, many times.
- Really?
Yeah. I think there are
myriads of crossroads...
in one's life where one stops...
"Do I go this way,
or do I go that way?"
I was very happy when I had
heard that he had remarried.
You know, I thought,
"Well, since it finally...
"didn't work out with Vera...
"after, you know, a substantial
number of years together"...
I thought,
"Well, this is nice...
"that he's met
somebody else, you know."
Their marriage was a very
colorful affair...
held at the Westwood Marquis...
and Jerry, in his contribution
to the ceremony...
was to add lines
from "Ride the High Country."
You know, he had
the minister say...
"I am not a man of the cloth"...
and this is not
a religious ceremony.
It's a civil marriage...
but it's not to be entered
into unadvisedly...
but reverently and soberly.
A good marriage has a kind of,
well, a simple glory about it.
A good marriage is
like a rare animal.
It's hard to find.
It's almost impossible to keep.
You see, people change.
That's important for you
to know at the beginning.
People change.
It was an occasion at which,
you know...
Jerry's circle of friends
was small...
but very potent
and in attendance.
There was me, Michael Cimino was
best man at the wedding...
and... let's see...
there was James B. Harris.
There were a whole group of
really terrific people there...
and Deri's very large family,
they all were in love with Deri.
You know, and who wouldn't be?
I mean, it was just
a really terrific gathering.
The market had been created
after "Heaven's Gate"...
for director's cuts...
and "The Leopard" had been
in a botched cut...
and even the studio knew it
to be a botched cut.
And so "The Leopard" was
restored to its full strength...
with an eye
toward the video market...
and Jerry was there the night
they screened it...
for the first time,
and he made sure...
there was an offer
on the table...
and that when we showed it
on Z Channel we highlighted it.
I have seen
the uncut version of it...
and they restored it...
to more or less
its IB Technicolor stature...
and, oh, it's fantastic.
"The Leopard" is about
one night in the life...
of a Sicilian prince,
and this prince may be dying.
There's a feeling of mortality
that's plaguing him.
You know, he's got
a bad heart it seems...
and he's just sort of moving...
through the chambers of his life
in a kind of melancholy way...
but really what's
happening is...
that an era
is ending around him.
Because of the length that
Visconti gave to that story...
that prince, in this
single night of his life...
we actually feel the world
moving through this man...
and we feel that, you know, when
he goes, a world goes with him.
I met Jerry in 1986 or 1987.
I met Jerry in 1986 or 1987.
I was working at a video store
in Westwood called Video Tech...
and that I was going
to college here at UCLA...
and I was a clerk there,
and Jerry was one...
of the many industry customers
who used to come in.
He made me a bit uncomfortable.
He just seemed very strange...
very... just... he gave off
an uncomfortable vibe.
His wife on the other hand
was a sweet, charming woman...
and she gave off a great vibe.
Jerry would go in there
and rent videos...
and they would get
into conversations...
and Jerry realized...
"Hey, this guy knows
what he's talking about."
And he asked me if I was...
if I'd be interested...
in working at Z
as a programming assistant...
and at that point,
my attitude changed greatly.
I was very happy to see him.
I think one reason Jerry was
such a great programmer...
was the knowledge and the taste,
the showmanship...
the creativity,
and then the passion to do it...
or the commitment to do it.
HBO and Showtime each launched
a second channel...
that was more movie-focused,
more film buff-focused.
Showtime did the Movie Channel,
HBO did Cinemax...
and, you know, they certainly
were aware of Z Channel...
and tried to steal some
of our thunder.
We didn't think they were doing
a very good job of it.
I mean if we ran it, even
certain foreign films...
would end up running
on the other places.
They would have to be
pretty sexy usually.
Our "Night Owl" films tended
to show up a lot...
on Movie Channel
and Showtime and HBO...
just because that's like,
well, tits and ass.
Much to my surprise,
when I asked Jerry...
what was the most successful
aspect of our programming...
he said the "Night Owl" series.
I said, "You got to be kidding."
He said, " No, we're
killing Nightline.
"We're killing the 11:00 News."
"Night Owl" programs were
our late night...
kind of soft-core things,
movies with sex, T & A...
stuff like that.
My objectivity breaks
right the fuck down...
when I think
of those "Night Owl" films...
because those girls, the women
in those films were so pretty.
I mean, they always found...
you know, even in the lamest
of the "Night Owls"...
you know, even in the one that
has, like, no plot...
or it's just like,
"How... why am I watching this?
"I know I'm only watching this
till the next nude scene...
"but I'm gonna stay
in there, you know."
You know, the one " The Lady
on the Bus," I remember.
Someone like Laura Antonelli or
Sonia Braga would hit it big...
with a respectable film,
but their backlog...
was full of all kinds of early,
nudey kind of films...
and we would get them all.
So basically, we would have
Laura Antonelli festivals...
that had every last movie
she'd made...
you know, with all
the nude scenes.
Laura Antonelli, it's like,
what ever happened to her?
I think she was, like,
the first actress...
that I ever, like, fell
in love with in a movie...
that I went to, like,
see her films...
and they were genuinely sexy.
I mean, I don't think I knew
what sexy was before then.
I had crushes on actresses,
and I was, like...
thought I was in love with them,
all right?
But I'm watching "Wifemistress."
There's a scene and she's
with this actor.
He's trying to get her
to his room...
and they're making out
on the stairs...
and he reaches and grabs her
in her crotch...
and it was really sexy
to see that.
And when he did it, she went...
and she almost like,
collapsed in his arms.
Please take me to bed. Please.
And then they didn't go
into the room...
and I was pissed!
The great divergence
between European cinema...
and American cinema
really is about sex.
If you want to do nudity
in a movie...
you have to do it
in a certain way.
That's... or because
it's interesting...
because it's so natural
because you see things...
with... that people do
with other...
that you were not aware of,
that could be done.
I mean, we got many, many calls
after "Turkish Delight"...
saying " You enriched
our sex life." So...
"Turkish Delight," well,
it was a great book.
You know, I loved the book...
It was like, in Holland
was doing...
"Gone With the Wind"
in the United States, you know.
Everybody was interested
and was having an opinion...
if it should be Vivian Leigh
or not, isn't it?
And who should be her lover,
Clark Gable or anybody else?
And this was like...
this is our book.
It was so phenomenally
that book in Holland
at that time.
I had worked with Rutger Hauer
on the television series...
was called "Floris."
Because he was
a television person...
I didn't even think about him
strangely enough.
My producer, Rob Houwer,
said, you know...
"Well, what about this nice guy
that he used...
"in " Floris" you know?
"Yeah, he's a nice guy,
and he seems sympathetic.
"Why don't you test him?"
I said, " You know,
he's more a farmer."
And he was like...
he was like that.
And he said,
"Yeah, but you never know.
"You have to test him."
And so I tested everybody...
and at the end,
I tested Rutger Hauer, too...
and then I realized...
that Rutger Hauer
is phenomenal, you know...
that it was absolutely... l...
that I couldn't
have been more wrong...
in thinking that
he couldn't do it.
We cast it with Rutger Hauer...
and that was, of course, for
everybody that knew the book...
was like, " Are you an idiot?
You know, " How can you do
this wonderful character...
"of Eric," he's called,
"that is so beautiful...
"and has all these feelings
for this woman?"
So I was right. I was right.
I've been right
a couple of times.
I've been wrong
many times, you know.
The fact that I immigrated
to the United States in '85...
had to do not only with the fact
that I got a job here...
but with the fact
that people got me the job...
because they knew my work...
and they knew it
because of Z Channel.
Is there anything else
you would have liked...
to have done with your life...
than what you're doing
at the moment?
Oh, there's a million things.
Be president,
run a major studio.
More than anything, though,
I think I would like...
to have been able to play
professional football...
throw passes, be a quarterback.
A lot of things like that.
Jerry felt excited
about what he was doing.
He'd be excited
about a new deal.
He'd be excited about being able
to announce a Warner's deal...
or something
along those lines...
but at the same time, I always
felt that Jerry felt beaten.
I think he felt he was
fighting that uphill battle.
The whole time or just later?
I think the whole time.
I always felt that way
with Jerry.
You know, when you were
a friend of Jerry's...
you were kind of immersed
in his whole being...
his whole life...
and that was, you know...
that was quite a lot of stuff.
When Deri suggested marriage,
Jerry said...
"I've got to...
I'll be honest with you.
"I don't want children.
"I mean, if you're
OK with that...
"then we can...
then we can talk...
"but you just need
to know that...
"before you get your hopes up."
Jerry was so hurt by his family,
it was difficult...
for him to get married,
and when he did get married...
initially inconceivable
to have children...
so much so that
he had had a vasectomy.
He certainly did give me
the outlines...
of a very, very
dysfunctional family life.
Very tormented.
His father was a judge, who
at some point in his career...
had sent more people to death
in the county...
of whatever Bakersfield County
is than any other judge.
I mean, this was
a family full...
of pain and darkness
and strangeness.
Jerry's father was a
fundamentalist Catholic...
someone who was so much
a traditionalist...
so hidebound that he wasn't
even close to his family.
You know, when his own daughter
was coming to him...
in a suicidal state,
he slammed the door in her face.
From what Jerry said,
Jerry's father was a drunk...
rather sadistic
towards his kids.
Jerry didn't really have
a lot of nice things to say.
He would tell stories
about his father coming in...
and throwing water on him
to wake him up in the morning...
and there were no specifics...
specific references...
to specific abuse
or anything else...
but it was something he really
didn't talk about that much.
He expressed actually
more active, active anger...
toward his mother.
She was a extremely
monotone person.
I never saw her angry.
I never saw her cry.
I never saw her really
laugh that much.
It was like she was almost
in a drug state.
Maybe she was shut off
because she had done things
and not been there for them...
or allowed abuse
to happen to them.
We'll never know.
He told me that he had
another sister...
that the family really did not
know what had happened to...
but had come to the feeling
that she had committed suicide.
Jerry never really made that
big of a point about it...
except that
Mary had disappeared...
and he kind of just said that
as a toss-away line...
and that's all
he would refer to it.
It's the only way
he would refer to it.
He had told me stories
of struggling with depression...
and what he sort of identified
as evil thoughts...
and dark thoughts
when he was growing up.
Jerry was always volatile.
He always had
a very bad temper...
but he didn't drink until
in the late seventies...
when he started drinking.
When Jerry drank,
he was dangerous.
I can remember once in Rome...
we were all having a great time,
we were drinking...
and I made the comment,
"God created whiskey...
"to keep the Irish
from ruling the world."
And Jerry took a cigarette...
and flicked it right
at my face...
from across the table
and hit me in the eye.
Fortunately I wear glasses.
We both looked for him
for a therapist...
and found this doctor
that he went to...
that we were really
excited about.
He was smart,
he was as smart as Jerry...
he could challenge him...
and it started out to be
a really good thing...
and Jerry really looked
forward to it...
because he could talk
to somebody.
He found somebody that could
really challenge him...
and talk to him.
Unfortunately along the way,
it fell into other traps...
and I don't think in the end
it was such a good thing.
I didn't live in fear.
I mean, the day I was afraid,
it was over.
The day I got afraid
and something happened...
to make me afraid,
we weren't together anymore.
I just had this really
bad feeling...
and I tried to call the house...
because he should have
been there...
and he didn't answer
the phone...
and I just had a bad feeling,
so I got in my car...
and I drove back to the house.
And I came in, and he had taken
a lot of pills...
and he was waving a gun...
that was the gun that
Sam Peckinpah had given him...
and I just went to look
for his doctor's phone number...
because I just thought,
"This is, like...
"something terrible
is happening here."
And when I came back,
he held the gun on me.
And basically, in one form
or another, you know...
had the gun at my head
and in my mouth...
and up against my head
for the next 3 or 4 hours.
He had called the doctor before
and left him a message...
that he was in trouble.
So he had reached out already.
The doctor had arranged to come
and take him to the hospital...
and it was basically from that
moment we were never together.
I didn't see Jerry for 7 years
while he was married to Vera.
When Vera and Jerry started
to break up...
I guess I was
the first phone call...
And Jerry showed back up
in my life, and it was...
it was like the thing
I had dreamed of...
for all of those years.
One night we were having dinner
somewhere in Westwood...
and I remember Jerry starting
to get angry for no reason.
I mean, it was,
we were having...
a very pedestrian conversation
about something...
and out of nowhere,
he started to become infuriated.
So he got to the point where
he stood up...
and he walked out
of the restaurant.
So I went trailing after him,
and when I got up behind him...
I remember grabbing him
by the shirt going...
"What's the matter,
what did I say, what happened?"
And he turned around,
and all of a sudden I found...
like, his fist was in the air...
and he was about to
pummel me with it.
And he looked up at his hand,
and he looked down at me...
and he looked up at his hand,
and he kind of caught it...
and he and he pulled it
back to himself...
and it was as if it was
somebody else's hand.
Jerry and I changed the nature
of our relationship after that.
I think on some level he was
trying to back off...
and protect me
from being subjected to that...
but the subtext
to all of that also...
is that he had moved out
from his place with Vera...
into another apartment,
and the landlady was Deri.
What the fuck is this?
- Mace.
- Mace? For what?
Oh, wild dogs.
Yeah, wild dogs.
That's bullshit, Boyle.
You've lied to me straight
through, haven't you?
You want me to be
honest with you?
"Salvador" was not the kind
of picture you would expect.
It wasn't a studio picture.
It didn't have any
studio juggernaut behind it.
There was no money
to promote it.
It showed for 2 weeks,
as I said, in 2 theaters...
in February 10 months ago,
so it was forgotten.
- Holy shit! Holy shit!
They're gonna fucking
kill us now, Boyle!
Goddamn it, I thought you knew
your way around here, Boyle!
They're gonna fucking
kill us now, goddamn it!
They're gonna fucking kill us!
Shut the fuck up! Just be cool!
It was clear that both Jerry
and Chuck Champlin thought...
it was just a terrific picture
and the kind of picture...
that should have gotten
attention but didn't.
Charles Champlin wrote
a front-page article...
in the "L.A. Times."
It was a two-page article about
this great forgotten classic.
And then Jerry Harvey
called up and said...
"Hey, that was great
that Chuck did that."
He said, " I really believe
in this film."
And he said, " I believe
Z Channel can have...
"a little bit of influence."
He said, " I'm going to give
this film a shot."
He said, " I'm gonna show it
during December."
So he said, " While all the
studios are screening
"their movies at every private
screening room on the Bel"...
what's called the Bel Air,
Beverly Hills circuit...
"and while they're showing them
at theaters and so on"...
"this film, which is not
being shown anywhere...
"is going to be shown
on the Z Channel."
So there was the cover
of "Z Channel"...
which everybody
in the business got...
and everybody now saw
"Salvador" this month, right?
And the next thing you know...
Paul Newman
"in The Color of Money"...
James Woods in "Salvador."
I get nominated for an
Academy Award for best actor...
and Oliver and Richard Boyle,
who co-wrote the screenplay...
got nominated
for best screenplay.
What's the most exciting thing
for you about movie making?
Tonight. Tonight is the most
exciting thing...
about movie making, believe me.
It was an amazing year...
and had Jerry not sort of pushed
to have Chuck do...
the interview
at the right time...
put "Z Channel Magazine" out
with the "Salvador" picture...
on the cover,
with the whole cover...
shown it during that month...
that picture would have been
completely forgotten...
and the kind of work that
I'm most proud of...
just personally would never
have been seen.
Are you kidding?
So, you know, I think that...
personally, I've always felt...
that that particular day
with Chuck Champlin
and with Jerry Harvey
and what came of it...
was really the turning point
in my career.
Without a doubt.
HBO and the other competitors,
you know...
they had been wanting...
they had been wanting Z Channel
gone for a long time.
It was... many people were taking
bets on when Z Channel...
would finally slide
off the cliff.
And it was Jerry's tenacity...
and the stubborn reputation
of Z Channel...
the fact that it was really
beloved in the community...
those things worked together to
keep Z kind of like floating...
like a castle in the air
beyond its normal mortality.
Z Channel had
at his peak, I think...
about 100,000
paying subscribers.
There were others
who I think were stealing it.
We had people calling up to say,
"Would it be possible
"to subscribe to the magazine...
"without subscribing
to the channel?"
You know, it's like,
"Why would you like to do that?"
I remember we had
some new owners come in.
The CEO ordered Z Channel
for his home.
The cable man drove up
to the home...
and said to the CEO's wife,
not knowing who she was...
"Give me 20 bucks or whatever...
"and I'll give you
Z Channel for free."
Jerry was very stressed
at that time...
and unhappy at that time...
and l... and I guess
somewhere in there...
is where the Salute to Z
became a something
we intended to do.
The AFI Tribute in January
of 1987 was a real highlight...
in, I think, Jerry's life...
and I think in the life
of Z Channel.
We were about to be sold.
This was a moment
of marshalling the troops.
Everybody who had benefited...
because of Z Channel's existence
was invited to come take part...
in a daylong series of panels.
One person that Jerry became
very close to...
in the last couple of months
of his life...
was film director
Richard Brooks...
who directed "Elmer Gantry,"
"In Cold Blood"...
"Looking for Mr. Goodbar."
Jerry located certain films
of Richard Brooks'...
that had been forgotten...
such as "Something of Value"...
with Rock Hudson
and Sidney Poitier.
When it comes time
to kill the lion...
I want to shoot the gun, too.
It's Just show...
and you know how he feels
about Africans and guns.
I want to shoot the gun, too.
I'm sorry. Mithayla!
Always when we hunt
it is the same.
You have all the fun.
I do all the work...
but when we were little
and played together...
But we're big now,
and things are not the same.
Hit him.
Hit him, hit him hard.
Do what he says. Now.
And in a hurry.
"Something of Value" was a movie
from the early fifties...
which deals with Apartheid.
It deals
with the Mau Mau uprisings...
of the 1950s in Africa...
which is a topic so relevant
to contemporary history.
It was painfully relevant
to the situation...
that was in South Africa
at the... in the late 1980s.
You know, Nelson Mandela was
still in prison...
when we played " Something
of Value" on Z Channel.
Remember me?
What do you want?
I've come home.
When Richard Brooks did
"Something of Value"...
he managed to get
Winston Churchill...
to do a short prologue.
Winston Churchill said,
"The situation...
"in South Africa is
the most important thing...
"in the world today,"
blah, blah, you know...
turning a globe or something,
very important.
The problems of East Africa
are the problems of the world.
This was true in 1907,
and it is true today.
But, you know, the studio
had said...
"Get rid
of the old fat guy," right?
It's like, " Get rid
of the old fat guy?
"It's Winston Churchill!"
So Winston Churchill got cut
out of the picture, right?
It's a small bit, but, you know,
Churchill had done him...
a huge favor, so it did
Richard Brooks' heart...
a lot of good to see that
put back in the picture.
There was a cause for hope
in about September 1987...
when the Rock Group
bought the Z Channel...
and they had very
ambitious plans.
They came to all the studios
and said...
"We're going to take it
national, we need your support.
"We're going to really grow
the subscriber base."
The vision was to do a sort of
national satellite channel...
that would compete
with HBO and Showtime.
Jerry was happy.
He felt like he'd found...
the right kind of wildcatters,
the right kind of cowboys...
that would understand
his temperament...
and it just...
the future looked golden.
What do they call this place?
Just go over the rise there, big
town, called Tombstone.
Fine town.
Tombstone? Yeah, I heard of it.
Well, me and my brothers might
ride in there tonight...
get ourselves a shave maybe.
Glass of beer.
Yeah, you would enjoy
Wide awake, wide open town,
Get anything you want there.
Thank you.
Any children?
They had agreed
not to have kids.
They were both content
with it...
And there was a point
when Jerry made...
an ironic remark late in '87.
He said, " Well, I could have
predicted this would happen."
You know, and I said,
"What do you mean?"
He said, " Well, I'm gonna
have to go in...
"and have my vasectomy undone."
I said, "Really? What's up?"
And, well, "Deri wants kids."
And, you know,
reverse vasectomies...
you know, usually don't work.
And so there was some
frustration going on there...
between Deri and Jerry.
Jerry had told the doctors...
"Look, I have a problem.
"I used to have
a drinking problem.
"Please don't give me
any painkillers...
"after the surgery is over.
"You know, that way
I can recover faster."
And they agreed.
He had the topical anesthetic...
but after that,
he was cold turkey...
just surviving it
with gritted teeth...
the pain of what followed.
an infection followed...
and this time,
the doctors told him...
"Look, we have to perform
the entire operation...
"all over again."
And he said, " All right.
"This time you use
painkillers though."
He had the binge
that he predicted...
but he was able to manage it
because he saw it coming...
and he and Deri went off
to Bora Bora...
and, you know,
within a week and a half...
he was back up on top.
And it was... he arrived
from Bora Bora...
pretty much in time
for the stock market crash.
Sadly, just after the Rock Group
bought the Z Channel...
the stock market went south in
a big way in October of 1987...
and all those ambitious plans
were back-burnered...
and unfortunately, they were
ultimately never realized.
I could see the stress,
but he really did...
he was more concerned
about his staff...
and that they not be worried
or afraid or what have you...
than he, you know,
seemed to be about himself.
One night in October of '87,
I go to the movies...
with Jerry and Deri,
and we watch "The Sicilian"...
directed by Michael Cimino.
It's about to come out
the next week.
It's a preview screening.
We're watching this film.
It's got very witty dialogue.
It's got tremendous
energy to it...
but, you know, the official
opinion on Cimino was...
he's a downer or something...
and Jerry said, " You know,
the 2 hour 25 minute cut...
"is actually opening
next week in Paris."
I said, "It is?"
He said, " Yeah,. I'm going.
You know, Deri and I...
have just made plans
to go over."
And I said, " Oh, well,
I'm there, too."
Oh, it was such a wonderful time
that we spent there...
in terms of getting
to know them both.
It was again to be,
you know, in Deri's company.
I mean, she just loved
being in Paris...
and it was just all positive...
and there was a special
screening for us...
because we'd come
all this way...
and my feeling was
that it was one...
of the 3 best films
of the year...
but the film was
getting clobbered...
back in the United States.
And when he came back,
he called me to tell me...
that he was back and relayed
to me how upset he was.
I mean, it almost went beyond...
you know, like you had to say...
"Jerry, Jerry, relax, calm down.
"It's you're making
yourself sick...
"over someone else's trials
and tribulations.
"You know, one has to worry
about themselves a little more.
"Stop killing yourself...
"worrying about other
filmmakers' problems."
Jerry had been receiving these
inquiries from Joe Cohen...
who was an executive
with Spectacor...
which owned Prism, which had
some success back east...
showing sports and movies,
combining them in one channel...
and it was Joe's idea...
that the same could be done
for Z Channel.
Given the conditions
of that month of October...
it made a lot of sense.
The way to salvage all of this
was to add sports programming...
and that was it.
And thus was born Z Plus,
which was everything you love...
about Z Channel
plus the Dodgers and Angels.
The movie "The Wild Bunch"...
had a pretty profound effect
upon my life.
It was about men
in a changing world...
where the values
were changing...
and they had kind of outlived
a different world.
March 17 of 1988,
we all went to Guido's...
and that was
another great evening.
That was like the Parisian trip
all over again.
This time, Michael Cimino
was there...
and because I had sort of
gone to the wall...
for "The Sicilian," you know...
he and I were now very
comfortable with each other...
and so, you know, we were all,
all of us there...
and there was a cake that
Deri had ordered...
from, like, this
really special bakery.
I mean, it was the most amazing
chocolate cake I've ever had...
and Michael had chosen
the inscription...
which comes from John Ford from
"She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"...
which is "Lest we forget."
So that was on the cake.
And it was Michael's way
of thanking...
you know, me and Jerry both...
and, boy, you know, it's
so amazing how the fates work...
because this was the last time
we were all together...
and, you know, they could not
have been luminous as a pair...
we could not have
all been happier.
I mean, that night is now
surrounded by a strange aura...
for me because it was so happy
and we were all so together...
and the cake says,
"Lest we forget."
One of the risks...
of taking on a partnership
with a sports channel...
is that sporting events
often run commercials.
Because there was
this precedent...
and premium or pay television
was defined...
as not having commercials,
we got into a battle with HBO...
which escalated unfortunately
into a lawsuit.
Z Channel felt that HBO
had teamed up...
with 4 of the studios
to prevent Z Channel...
from getting access
to their films...
and Z Channel instituted...
a restraint of trade-type
lawsuit against them.
Jerry was going to be
the star witness...
in this lawsuit
and was preparing to testify.
When I try to understand what
Jerry's state of mind was...
in the last couple
of weeks of his life...
I think that it had a lot to do
with the fact...
that he was going up against his
friends and old collaborators...
old business partners in court.
I was quite worried about him
the last time I saw him...
and expressed concern
to my partner...
and anyone else that would
listen about it...
and didn't know what to do...
but he seemed
that he was imploding.
The night that we inaugurated,
the sports channel...
I mean, they had all these
baseball players
up at the building...
and Jerry and I took a long kind
of Socratic walk...
around the block.
We walked... we circled the block
several times...
just talking it through...
and I was full of dread
and apprehension...
about how things
were going to work...
and Jerry was being
very positive.
Jerry was very ill at ease
at the party...
and he had to say a few words...
and a lot of us all showed up
in support of Jerry.
Up to the end, he was telling me
and other people...
"It's going to be all right.
"You know, we're
going to prevail.
"It's, you know, it's good."
And he had the flu,
and basically, that was it.
He had the flu,
he stayed home...
and then we did not
see him again.
My college girlfriend the day
of Jerry's death...
saw him kind of wandering
through the sculpture gardens...
here at UCLA.
Didn't talk to him or anything,
but she knew him...
and she saw him
just kind of walking...
through the sculpture gardens in
a melancholy way.
The day he died, you know...
I'm sure when she saw him...
he didn't know it was gonna be
the day he died.
We got a call to come
into the office on Sunday.
Somebody called me at home
and said...
"You need to come
into the office right now."
It was at 10 A.M. On a Sunday.
"Yeah, OK, I can be there."
Jerry didn't kill himself...
for an hour
after he killed Deri...
and I know that during
that time...
the lucid part of him
probably resurfaced.
I know he called
his psychiatrist.
I know in a very sort
of eerily calm way...
he described what he had done
to his psychiatrist.
And it's interesting.
I know Jerry so well
that I didn't even need...
to read the police report
to corroborate the vision...
that I had in my head...
but I knew he would go
to his bed...
and I knew he would
sit down in that spot
in a sort of slumped position
that he always sat in...
and I know that he must have
spent an hour contemplating...
what it was that he had done...
and that he had come
to the conclusion
there was just no way
that what he had done...
was acceptable enough
to go on living...
and he put the gun
to his temple...
and he self-executed himself.
I think one of the more painful
events in my life...
was sitting
at the breakfast table...
cup of tea in front of me,
picking up the "L.A. Times"...
and that's how I learned
what happened to Jerry.
People are always asking why
when something dreadful happens.
Truth is it doesn't matter why.
It happened.
I was angry at him.
I was angry at him
for doing that...
and I think many other people
felt the same way...
and that may be one
of the reasons...
this story hasn't been told
for so many years.
Maybe people needed to go...
through a healing process
for that.
But did I see it coming?
When Jerry died,
his mother called me that day...
and a few months after that,
I started to see her...
on a regular basis.
Maybe I just wanted
to know the answer.
Maybe there was a reason why
everyone at a certain age...
came to this realization that
they had come from a bad seed.
We don't know.
And maybe part of my association
with her was sort of...
because I was really curious
to know, as well...
because as much
as I pushed Jerry away...
I wanted to understand
the story.
After Jerry died,
it was right at the time...
within a week or two
of when Z Channel...
started broadcasting sports...
and I guess you could say
Z Channel died when Jerry died.
Z Channel died
when sports came on.
Well, there was a year
between Jerry's death...
and the end of Z Channel.
So while those events were
certainly clearly linked...
in people's minds...
they weren't directly
linked perhaps.
We were showing "The Silence"
by Ingmar Berman.
The end, a very climactic scene.
It's all about
the quest for God.
Is there God,
or is there just silence?
And here we reach, you know,
the climax of the movie.
Then comes on at the bottom
of the frame...
a yellow Chyron that says,
"Don't miss the Dodgers game...
coming up next
at 7:00 on Z Channel!"
The Z Channel was really
about content.
"Here's what we love.
We love movies...
"and here's a whole bunch
of them...
"and here's some really
interesting people...
"talking about them."
To be included within
all these great filmmakers...
and to hopefully have opened...
somebody else's eyes
out there...
you know, I mean, because
that's what Z Channel did do...
just show
the ordinary filmgoer...
that there was a whole
other world out there.
And so I feel very privileged
to be a part of that.
There's been no place since
in my mind...
that has done quite
what Z Channel has done...
in sort of bringing
all different kinds
of film together in a way that
really brings out...
the best in films by showing it
in a context...
of everything that is movies.
The Z Channel being
what it was...
and being
a remarkable achievement...
if you compare that with what
Jerry eventually did...
and how he died and what he did
prior to his death...
there's this sense
of creating a hero...
where perhaps one
is inappropriate...
and I have problems with that.
Whatever, I think,
sort of positive feelings...
there were about Jerry
at that point...
and it sort of
trumped everything.
You weren't going to get
around the fact...
that he murdered his wife.
I had a feeling in my mind
that Jerry had other options...
that there was
other options for him.
That doesn't make it right.
I'm not saying anything about
how you leave this Earth...
or don't leave this Earth.
I just always had in the back
of my mind and still do...
that there would...
he had other options.
They can't be diminished...
when we all stand up
and have to say our names...
about who is responsible
for this piece of shit...
or this masterpiece,
who's responsible.
You know, everybody
wants to take credit...
but he was an intricate part
of all of those films...
that he touched.
Even though he had nothing to do
with them when they were made...
there was still a living,
nurturing that brought...
those films that
otherwise, I think...
would been lost forever.
I like him.
Louise Brooks, one of Jerry's
favorite actresses...
and one of mine always liked
to quote Goethe.
Goethe would say,
"A human life remains...
"of consequence not because
of what we leave behind...
"but because we act and inspire
and rouse others"...
Damn it.
"A human life remains
of consequence...
"not because of what
we leave behind...
"but because we act and inspire
and rouse others...
"to action and inspiration.
"We act and inspire and rouse
others to action and enjoyment."
And so when I think of the
legacy of Jerry Harvey's life...
I think of it in those terms.
I think, you know, he's not
a guy who left much behind.
What he left behind was
in a lot of ways wreckage...
and very tragic
and costly wreckage.
The films that got left behind
that he midwifed...
are part of the action
and inspiration of his life.
He acted and inspired others
to value these things of beauty.
You're listening
to "Castaway's Choice."
I'm John McNally.
Our castaway this week
is Jerry Harvey...
who is the program director
of Group W's Z Channel.
Why did you choose
"What'll I Do?"
Well, for me, it's
the greatest love song.
- It's that simple, huh?
- Yeah.
Gone is the romance
that was so divine
'Tis broken
and cannot be mended
You must go your way,
and I must go mine
But now that our love dreams
have ended
What'll I do?
When you are far away
and I am blue
What'll I do?
What'll I do?
When I am wonderin' who
is kissing you
What'll I do?
What'll I do
with just a photograph
To tell my little troubles to?
When I'm alone
with only dreams of you
That won't come true
What'll I do?