Exploiting the Archive: Revisiting the Documentary that Makes You Root For Harvey Weinstein
For Sub-Cult, my column for Rotten Tomatoes on movies on the cusp of becoming full-on cult movies, I like to be as timely as possible. I try to have a hook, if possible, for the articles I write for places outside of Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place, so when I saw that Troy Duffy, the swaggering piece of shit behind The Boondock Saints had a bunch of new projects in the works, including Blood Spoon Council, a movie that sounds suspiciously like The Boondock Saints only with a different title and slightly different premise, Rock Em Sock Em and a singularly unpromising looking project entitled Black Ghost he was writing for and with Cedric the Entertainer, I decided that it would be the perfect time to write about Overnight, the schadenfreude-rich documentary about the making and unmaking
It boggled the mind that after being exposed as a horrible human being and deranged egomaniac by Overnight and a terrible filmmaker by The Boondock Saints, there were still apparently a number of people eager to get into bed with Duffy. Duffy was so obnoxious and insufferable that he did the impossible and made people root for Harvey Weinstein, the notorious bully who infamously bought not just the script for The Boondock Saints but also promised to buy the bar where Duffy worked as a bouncer while writing the screenplay—a core component of Duffy’s loving self-mythology—so that they could run it together.
That obviously never happened, because when Weinstein took his time developing The Boondock Saints after first praising the script to the heavens, Duffy started talking shit about Harvey Weinstein all around town and the alleged serial rapist and sex criminal instantly and predictably went from Troy Duffy’s best friend and guardian angel to Troy Duffy’s worst enemy.
Normally, it’s soul-crushing to watch Weinstein use his awful, awful power to crush a young filmmaker’s spirits. That’s not the case here. Overnight invites us to take no small amount of pleasure in watching the ultimate Hollywood bully bully a much smaller, more insignificant bully but I suspect that Overnight will make for a much different, much darker viewing now.
In the article, I write that the battle between Troy Duffy and Harvey Weinstein was like a clash between Godzilla and King Koing, only Godzilla was the real Godzilla and “King Kong” was just a kid in a monkey suit. When I wrote the article a few months back. I posited Duffy as the kid in the King Kong suit and Weinstein a real-life Godzilla.
A whole lot has changed since then. One of the most powerful men in Hollywood almost instantly became powerless, while Duffy went from being a quasi-black-listed cautionary tale to a working filmmaker. Show-business is crazy and unpredictable and unknowable. Seemingly the only thing that’s certain is that no matter what, assholes will invariably triumph.
That’s show-biz. Sigh.
Read the Sub-Cult piece here: https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/how-overnight-exposed-a-toxic-filmmaker-but-failed-to-take-him-down/
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