by Douglas Messerli
In recalling this, it struck me that some of that kind of same “regeneration” of life and love occurs in Altman’s Hollywood satire. Before murdering screenwriter David Kahane (Vincent D’Onofrio), in a furry of anger for being stalked and having his own life threatened, movie studio executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins)—a company guardian (half lion and half eagle, both logos for major studios) of the filmmaking “mill”—is suffering from a career that is on the skids. Mill, who serves the studio as the selector of 12 scripts annually from over 50,000 submissions, according to the rumor mill, is about to be replaced by former story executive Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher), a mindless hack who—like many a studio executive before him—argues that good stories can be obtained free through newspaper articles, which obviate the need for screenwriters. As Mill snaps back, why not get rid of actors and directors as well?