The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Donald Sutherland Day


‘After quitting the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Donald Sutherland spent a year and a half at the Perth Repertory Theatre in Scotland. In the early to mid-1960s, Sutherland began to gain small roles in British films and TV (such as a hotel receptionist in The Sentimental Agent episode ‘A Very Desirable Plot’ (1963). He featured alongside Christopher Lee in horror films such as Castle of the Living Dead (1964) and Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965). He also had a supporting role in the Hammer Films production Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), with Tallulah Bankhead and Stefanie Powers.

‘In 1967, he appeared in The Dirty Dozen. The film, which co-starred Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, was the 5th highest-grossing film of 1967 and MGM’s highest-grossing movie of the year. In 1968, Sutherland left London for Hollywood. He then appeared in two war films, playing the lead role as “Hawkeye” Pierce in Robert Altman’s MASH in 1970; and, again in 1970, as hippie tank commander “Oddball” in Kelly’s Heroes.

‘During the filming of the Academy Award-winning detective thriller Klute, Sutherland had an intimate relationship with co-star Jane Fonda. Sutherland and Fonda went on to co-produce and star together in the anti-Vietnam War documentary F.T.A. (1972), consisting of a series of sketches performed outside army bases in the Pacific Rim and interviews with American troops who were then on active service. A follow up to their teaming up in Klute, Sutherland and Fonda performed together in Steelyard Blues (1973), a “freewheeling, Age-of-Aquarius, romp-and-roll caper” from the writer David S. Ward.

‘The 1973 thriller Don’t Look Now was shot in Venice. Both Sutherland and co-star Julie Christie were praised for their performances. Sutherland found himself as a leading man throughout the 1970s in films such as The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Federico Fellini’s Casanova (1976), the thriller Eye of the Needle, Maximilian Schell’s 1976 German film-directed End of the Game, and as the ever-optimistic health inspector in the science fiction/horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) alongside Brooke Adams and Jeff Goldblum.

‘Sutherland also had a role as pot-smoking Professor Dave Jennings in National Lampoon’s Animal House in 1978, making himself known to younger fans as a result of the movie’s popularity. When cast, he was offered either $40,000 up front or two percent of the movie’s gross earnings. Thinking the movie would certainly not be a big success, he chose the 40K upfront payment. The movie eventually grossed $141.6 million.

‘He won acclaim for his performance in the Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1976 epic film 1900 and as the conflicted father in the Academy Award-winning family drama Ordinary People (1980), alongside Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton.

‘Some of Sutherland’s better known roles in the 1980s and 1990s were in the South African apartheid drama A Dry White Season (1989), alongside Marlon Brando and Susan Sarandon; as a sadistic warden in Lock Up (1989) with Sylvester Stallone; as an incarcerated pyromaniac in the firefighter thriller Backdraft (1990) alongside Kurt Russell and Robert De Niro, as the humanitarian doctor-activist Norman Bethune in 1990’s Bethune: The Making of a Hero, and as a snobbish New York City art dealer in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), with Stockard Channing and Will Smith.

‘In the 1991 Oliver Stone film JFK, he played a mysterious Washington intelligence officer, reputed to have been L. Fletcher Prouty, who spoke of links to the military–industrial complex in the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. He played psychiatrist and visionary Wilhelm Reich in the video for Kate Bush’s 1985 single, “Cloudbusting”. In 1992, he played the role of Merrick in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with Kristy Swanson. In 1994, he played the head of a government agency hunting for aliens that take over people’s bodies similar to the premise of Invasion of the Body Snatchers in the movie of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1951 book The Puppet Masters.

‘In more recent years, Sutherland was known for his role as Reverend Monroe in the Civil War drama Cold Mountain (2003), in the remake of The Italian Job (2003), in the movie Fierce People (2005) with Diane Lane and Anton Yelchin, and as Mr. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005), starring alongside Keira Knightley.

‘Beginning in 2012, Sutherland portrayed President Snow, the main antagonist of The Hunger Games film franchise, in The Hunger Games (2012), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014), and Part 2 (2015). During his appearances to promote the first Hunger Games film, he mentioned that he had been offered the lead roles in Deliverance and Straw Dogs but turned both offers down because he did not want to appear in violent films at the time. The role in Deliverance went to Jon Voight and the role in Straw Dogs to Dustin Hoffman, and both films enjoyed critical and box office success. After declining these violent roles, he quipped: “and then I played a fascist in 1900 by Bernardo Bertolucci.”

‘In 2016, Sutherland was a member of the main competition jury of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. On 6 September 2017, it was announced that Sutherland, along with 3 other recipients, would receive an Honorary Oscar, from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Sutherland’s first Academy Award in six decades.’ — collaged





Donald Sutherland @ IMDb
The long, unconventional career of Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland leads tributes to ‘fearless visionary’ Nicolas Roeg
Donald Sutherland on His Famous Don’t Look Now Sex Scene
Trust, Jane Fonda and falling out with his son Kiefer
22 Pictures of Young Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland: 10 essential films
Road Trip with Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren
Donald Sutherland on ‘Trust,’ ’70s Cinema and Sympathy for the Devil
BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs, Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland | Forever Young
Les larmes de Donald Sutherland
A Conversation With Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland has no time for Donald Sutherland’s movies, thank you
Proust Questionnaire: Donald Sutherland
‘I could tell you stories but I’d never get another job’



Donald Sutherland receives Honorary Award at 2017 Governors Awards

Donald Sutherland is all about the power of the female




When was the first time you came to Cannes?
It was in 1968 for Joanna, directed by Michael Sarne. At the end of the film, the young main actress, sitting on a small balcony at the back of a train, said: “I’ll be back!”. The entire theatre audience shouted: “Never!”. That was my first experience at the Festival de Cannes. I then came back for two films in particular, 1900 by Bernardo Bertolucci and The Day of the Locust by John Schlesinger.

What kind of films move you?
Good films! Films that tell a story to perfection and that manage to lighten up my life. Films that touch me deep inside my heart and soul, and that grow inside me, infect and consume me.

How often do you go to the cinema?
I used to go a lot when I was a university student in Toronto. I always had an afternoon free, and I’d go to the cinema at the end of my street. One day, it was screening a film by an Italian director that I didn’t know. I later found out that it was called La Strada and that the director in question was called Federico Fellini. His wife, Giulietta Masina, was one of the actresses, and the music was by Nino Rotta. I went to see the film and fell literally in love with it. I left the cinema in worship of films and the film industry.

Was La Strada your first shock at the cinema?
No. My first shock was watching Great Expectations, the film by David Lean, in 1946, with my mother. In one of the film’s scences, Abel Magwitch, played by Finlay Currie, jumps out from behind some trees. I jumped onto my mother’s lap and watched the rest of the film like that. That was my first shock of cinematographic purity. A long while later, in 1957, I went to see another film, by some guy that I didn’t know. His name was Stanley Kubrick and his film was called Paths of Glory. My life changed on that day. I was mad at the entire world. The mere thought of talking about this cinematographic experience makes me want to cry. Gillo Pontecorvo’s films have also moved me a great deal. The Battle of Algiers (La battaglia di Algeri) (1966) and Burnt (Queimada) (1969), starring Marlon Brando, are milestones on my path as a film lover.

What do you remember about your first audition?
It was in London, for a leading role. I loved the character that I was going to play, and I’d really worked hard on it. I thought that my audition was rather a success. I was waiting for my agent to call me; the following day, the phone rang, and there were the screenwriter, director and producer of the film on the other end. The screenwriter was the one to speak, to tell me that my audition had changed their lives. After my audition, they’d decided to change the way of making their film, but they weren’t going to offer me the role. I was speechless. They were looking for a Joe Bloggs, and told me that I’d never be somebody like that.

When was the first time you starred in a film?
It was in 1964 in Castle of the Living Dead (Il Castello dei Morti Vivi), a Z horror movie by Warren Kiefer, which is where I got the inspiration for my son’s first name from. I met the woman who was to become my second wife whilst shooting this film. She thought I was a good actor, and one day she asked a man (who had been Mussolini’s astrologer) to tell her what the future held in store for me. After he’d looked at my lucky numbers, he called me back and said: “You’re going to be a film star”. I had some incredible experiences in Italy.

At what point in your career have you felt the most contented?
From the minute I started this career. I’d always wanted to become an actor. When I went to see my father, who worked in sales, to tell him that I wanted to be an actor, he simply said: “OK”. Everybody else, in his shoes, would have said that I was crazy. He wanted me to take a unviersity degree before, to be able to do something else, just in case. When I was at university, I said I wanted to be an actor and one day, someone told me about an audition. First of all, I didn’t want to go, but some guy bet a dollar that I’d get the part. So I went to the audition to win the bet, not to get the part. When I arrived on stage, they laughed and when I walked off stage, they applauded. They gave me a standing ovation. I’ve never experienced that since.

You’ve seen cinema change and grow; what do you think of it today?
I think it’s senile! It was so much more adult and wonderful before. The film industry is going through an ordeal today for financial reasons, because mentalities are concerned about making a profit. At the time, there weren’t any of the parasitic tools like Facebook or Twitter. When Robert Altman’s film M.A.S.H was released in 1970, it didn’t receive any advertising but it was successful thanks to word-of-mouth, after just one screening. It was publicly screened for the first time in a cinema in New York, in the Upper East Side, at 9a.m. one morning. People were queuing twice round the block. It was another era, another business.


18 of Donald Sutherland’s 190 roles

Silvio Narizzano Die! Die! My Darling! (1965)
Die! Die! My Darling reportedly occasioned a lawsuit by star Tallulah Bankhead, whose screen swan song this was. In one of the era’s many shockers that barged through the door opened by Psycho, Bankhead is a grieving mother who has gone around the bend and now tortures her would-be daughter-in-law Stefanie Powers. With Peter Vaughan, Yootha Joyce, Maurice Kaufmann, and—as a hulking lurking handyman—Donald Sutherland.’ — Quad Cinema



Robert Aldrich The Dirty Dozen (1967)
‘The U. S. Army singles out 12 really tough guys, murderers and rapists and men like that, and assigns them to wipe out a chateau where a lot of German officers spend their holidays. Before the big mission, the “dirty dozen” train under the leadership of Lee Marvin. There are some nice, amusing scenes, especially when one of the dozen (Donald Sutherland) pretends to be a general and inspects some troops. In fact, right up to the last scene the movie is amusing, well paced, intelligent.’ — Roger Ebert



Michael Sarne Joanna (1968)
‘Former 1960s pop singer turned film director Mike Sarne is probably best known for helming the infamous 1970 box office bomb Myra Breckinridge – an overblown, kitsch adaptation of Gore Vidal’s novel starring Raquel Welch and Rex Reed. But two years before his Hollywood debut, Sarne fashioned this quirky story of a wide-eyed girl (Geneviève Waite, who would later marry Mamas & the Papas singer John Phillips) falling in with the loose-living London crowd. Donald Sutherland steals the film as a flamboyant but frail, wealthy young man who invites Joanna on an impulsive trip to Morocco; while Calvin Lockhart (in his film debut) cameos as a street-wise hipster who Joanna falls in love with. Famously described by Gore Vidal as resembling ‘a collection of cigarette ads’, Joanna is very much a time capsule of London in the 1960s, and has much the same trippy qualities as Myra – especially its narrative structure, which is basically a succession of mad situations that Joanna finds herself in. Think Voltaire’s Candide transplanted to a mod London, but minus the debauchery.’ — What’s On TV



Robert Altman MASH (1970)
‘Nearly 50 years ago, a film came along that changed the course of cinema. It made its director, Robert Altman, a legend. It made its stars—Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, and Sally Kellerman (among others)—into icons. And, above all else, it set a new standard for what a studio film could be. Today, M*A*S*H is most often remembered as a TV series. But before that, it was a rebellious landmark in the history of filmmaking.’ — Mental Floss



Paul Mazursky Alex in Wonderland (1970)
‘After making a splashy debut with the 1969 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, which he wrote (with partner Larry Tucker), Paul Mazursky experienced sort of a sophomore jinx with the comedy-drama Alex in Wonderland, starring Donald Sutherland and Ellen Burstyn. Inspired by the work of Fellini (specifically 81/2), who appears as himself in the movie, Alex in Wonderland was a more personal work for Mazursky but not nearly as sharp and poignant as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. The film is both shallow and derivative.’ — Emanuel Levy



Dalton Trumbo Johnny Got His Gun (1971)
‘The film is often sentimental, sometimes brilliant as well as horrifying, and it is intriguing to speculate on what Buñuel, whom Trumbo originally wanted to direct, would have made of it.’ — Time Out



Alan J. Pakula Klute (1971)
‘Klute was one of the first paranoia thrillers of the 1970s, but it stands apart, preceding and seemingly presaging Watergate, the source of its unease hard to pinpoint: like Sidney Lumet’s The Anderson Tapes, released just a week before Klute, it dealt with covert surveillance and wiretapping. There was good cause to be anxious in the ‘70s: the Cold War, second-wave feminism, the sexual revolution, Vietnam, police corruption scandals, crowded cityscapes, the violence of the late 1960s. Maybe Watergate served as a lightning rod for a diffuse preexisting paranoia, let us give it a name and a reason — and Klute is one of the earliest articulations of the era’s uncertainty.’ — Birth. Movies. Death.



Nicolas Roeg Don’t Look Now (1973)
‘Upon initial release, on a double bill with The Wicker Man (talk about a perfect pairing!), much of the conversation surrounding Don’t Look Now concerned a sex scene between Christie and Sutherland so frank that rumors still persist it wasn’t simulated. Today, the scene looks groundbreaking less for its explicitness and realism than for the elliptical editing style, which anticipated countless stylish, nonlinear flurries of montage (including a comparable love scene in Out Of Sight 25 years later). Meanwhile, the film’s reputation as an all-time creep-out rests largely on its shocking climax. (Would anyone even call it horror if it didn’t end how it ends?) That’s not to diminish Roeg’s ability to get under the skin, almost entirely through disorienting technique: sudden zooms, odd stings of audio, the jumbling of time and space during one of the numerous, influential intrusions of flashback. Roeg even leaves the Italian dialogue un-subtitled, to put us in the same confused position as Sutherland’s increasingly frazzled protagonist.’ — AV Film




John Schlesinger The Day of the Locust (1975)
‘Schlesinger doesn’t have the benefit of a whole novel to build up to this – although he could have used the slightly baggy second act more wisely – but when it comes it’s an astonishing scene of Fellini-esque horror. The political interpretation of West’s book, too, is nicely represented when Schlesinger shoots a faith healing ceremony to resemble Leni Riefenstahl’s footage of the Nuremberg rally. At the centre of the excess and carnage is a rock-solid ensemble, including Karen Black and William Atherton and headed up by Donald Sutherland as – no, really – Homer Simpson. Sutherland usually makes these everyman parts at least fifty per cent more interesting just through his own restless, impish intelligence, and this is as fine an example of that as I’ve ever seen. The most unforgettable character, though, is one you’ll wish you could forget – a very young Jackie Earl Haley as a nightmarish delinquent dressed as one of the Little Rascals. He easily out-chills Tom Sweet in the recent Childhood of a Leader; point of fact, I could easily imagine him growing up to be Rorschach.’ — Graham Williamson



Bernardo Bertolucci 1900 (1976)
‘All in all, I loved Bertolucci’s 1900. By the end of it (I watched the uncut, 318 minute version and it was an effortless, engrossing, never over-long experience), I found myself feeling as satisfied as someone who’s just finished reading one of those wonderful, very long classic novels. There are, however, some major flaws, not just in narrative structure but also in content, and this is why I’ve given it “just” a 9/10. It’s rather disjointed and all over the place, like a huge, gangly foal rather than a harmoniously-formed horse.’ — Asa_Nisi_Masa




Federico Fellini Fellini’s Casanova (1976)
‘Fellini was well into the decadent stage of this third phase of his career when he cast Donald Sutherland as a charismatic, increasingly cadaverous Casanova making a circular journey through the great cities of 18th-century Europe, starting during a Venetian festival and ending on a frozen Grand Canal. Vainly seeking wealthy patrons for his scholarly pursuits, Casanova is seen as both an intellectual figure of the Enlightenment and a licentious voluptuary of a corrupt society about to be swept away by the French Revolution. He’s inexorably drawn by his inclinations and reputation into a succession of chilly, unfulfilling sexual encounters, culminating in making love to a mechanical doll. The semi-coherent, death-obsessed narrative reeks of self-disgust and has the clammy atmosphere of an undertaker’s embalming room. Made entirely on fabulous Cinecittà sets, it’s superbly photographed and magnificently staged and Sutherland (who hated the experience) is a compelling presence.’ — The Guardian




Claude Chabrol Les Liens de sang (1977)
‘French director Claude Chabrol has often used murder as a catalyst in his grim pix about upper-class French life. But here it is more psychosis, repression and jealousy than the more absorbing social patterns of his French work. It makes the pic somewhat ambivalent, for it is a sudden revelation of madness rather than having more depth in characterization and a harder edge focused on its police work.’ — Variety



Philip Kaufman Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
‘In 1978, director Philip Kaufman brought his own version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers to the screen, and on the face of it, his movie’s a typical remake as we now understand the term. It scales up the canvas from a small middle-class community to a city, brings in a slightly starrier cast, ups the budget, includes references to the original (including an absolutely perfect cameo from Kevin McCarthy) and adds in lots more showy special effects. Remarkably, though, the 70s Body Snatchers almost equals the brilliance of Siegel’s original – and this time, its downbeat conclusion isn’t sullied by a studio-enforced epilogue, as the residents of San Francisco come under silent attack from plant-like, other-worldly organisms.’ — Den of Geek




Julian Doyle Kate Bush: Cloudbusting (1985)
‘If you’ve seen the video for “Cloudbusting”, released 30 years ago this month, you’ll know that it’s a cinematic, oddly moving tale of a young boy, played by Kate Bush in a ragamuffin wig, and his idyllic adventures with his dad, played by Donald Sutherland, who is working on a giant ray-gun contraption that can shoot at clouds to make it rain. At some point in the video, a group of men in suits arrive to snatch the boy’s father away, but not before the boy can reach into his dad’s jacket pocket and pull out a slim volume called “A Book of Dreams”.’ — Dazed and Confused

the entire video


Werner Herzog Scream of Stone (1991)
Scream of Stone is unmistakably a Werner Herzog film in only a few ways, but when it does smack of the director, it’s as strong a movie as its name implies. When it doesn’t, what it most resembles is something lost to the weirdo backroom of your great local video store: a supremely silly yet strangely well-made anomaly just waiting for a semi-ironic rediscovery of its eccentricities and virtues.’ — Spectrum Culture

the entire video


Oliver Stone JFK (1991)
‘Nagged by fears that shady characters in his own district might have been involved in the president’s assassination, Garrison puts together a case. He has three key witnesses. David Ferrie (Joe Pesci) is a mercenary working with anti-Castro Cuban exiles. He breaks down and confesses the entire plot to Garrison, complete with CIA and Cuban exile involvement. Immediately afterwards, he is murdered by his co-conspirators. Willie O’Keefe (Kevin Bacon) is a gay prostitute involved with the conspirators. He, too, confesses the whole plot to Garrison, exactly in line with Ferrie. Finally, Garrison goes to Washington to meet an unnamed government insider, X, played with unabashed brilliance by Donald Sutherland. In a coruscating monologue, X explains the full breadth and depth of the conspiracy, bringing in the entire military-industrial complex behind the American government.’ — The Guardian



Fran Rubel Kazui Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)
‘It’s kind of a miracle that a Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series ever happened. To understand why, you have to witness the show’s very humble origins, to watch the movie that started it all—the one Whedon probably wishes you wouldn’t, the one that Buffy fans generally ignore, the one that only really gets discussed today as a footnote on what it ended up improbably inspiring. It’s rare enough that a show based on a movie turns out good or even popular. But for one to grow from the soil of a forgotten, very mild box-office success with mixed-to-negative reviews, only to take on a life of its own and build a loyal fan-base and run for seven whole seasons? We’re entering miracle territory.’ — AV Club



Nicolas Roeg Puffball: The Devil’s Eyeball (2007)
‘Nic Roeg, Miranda Richardson, Rita Tushingham, Donald Sutherland – there were a lot of reasons to go and see this film. However, (and I’m holding back here) – this is the worst kind of unadulterated nonsense I’ve seen in a long time. It gives me no pleasure to slate this director and cast, but what were they doing? It’s a complete mess of a film, highly insulting to it’s audience’s intelligence and I can’t imagine what Nicolas Roeg was thinking of. Obviously these high caliber actors were well paid for the trip to Monaghan, Ireland – but what it was doing being shot there is anybody’s guess. The original novel by Fay Weldon set the rural community as Somerset; the film screenplay by her son Dan Weldon doesn’t even bother to adjust to it’s Irish setting. A focal point is Odin’s stone – a Norse god! This film looks set for minority interest; a once great director fallen on his sword, and for the dubious sexual scenes horribly overacted by the floundering cast.’ — Abigailsparty




p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Oh, I see, ha ha. ** Bill, Hi, Bill. Thanks, it’s ever if draggily normalising. The train buche can not hurt, can it? No, you’re right. I love when the escorts and slaves toss in an odd topical reference. It adds a nice strain of realism to the mostly (I think) bullshitty goings on. Oh, the ‘PGL’ screening in SF is on Feb. 3rd. Time, place still in process. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Oh, that turned out great. It’s weird and beautiful, even in sparkle-depressing reproduction. Everyone, Head over to _B_A’s instagram and check out his new screen print ‘Diamond Dust Camperdown Elms’ with the slight warning that it’s more sparkly in person. And that’s really fantastic about your tutor’s recommendation. Wow, man, that pen is sitting more than squarely in your hand tight out of the gate! ** Misanthrope, Since it could be argued that art itself is gratuitous, pinpointing violence within it seems a bit needle in a haystack searching-like. I vaguely remember there being a certain kind of cozy, ultra-conventional charm to Maupin’s stuff. Nearly the last thing in the world I want to do is look at Warhol paintings for the eight billionth time, but the majority feels otherwise, obviously. What in the world will become of poor LPS, I wonder. Although some of my most anti-school, self-destructive, asshole-ish high school mates back when ended up being the squarest, most ‘centred’ guys you can imagine. Who knows? So sorry for all of that. At least you had fun in the big M. ** Steve Erickson, Huh, that livestream. I really enjoyed your film. It made me super attentive, and it looks just terrific. I do have one question, but I’ll email it to you. Anyway, congrats! I so would have loved to be at your psychedelic video shebang. I absolutely love that stuff, as you know. Well, impressing people, or trying, is part of escorting, I guess. I’m more surprised by the ones who post what seem to be the shittiest, least flattering photos of themselves possible, although the lack of self-consciousness in that is quite touching. Well, threebrokelads were outed as a total fake by a commenter, if commenters are to be believed, which of course they aren’t. But if threebrokelads was really some horny, pranking gent from a much earlier generation, it would not surprise. ** Nik, Hi, Nik! I did read the new Joy Williams, and, yes, it was the rush and beauty I had expected. Yeah, never press hard on a piece of fiction if you aren’t in the right situation. That’s a rule I try to remember. Terrific that you’re in those classes with Lauterbach and Ahwesh. ‘Writing lab’, tasty term. Exciting that you’ll get back to making/thinking about film. And surely she’s just the kind of teacher one would want for that venture. Yes, we’re close to nailing Episode 2 down enough to turn it over to Gisele for her input. Tricky #3 is still early-ish on. ‘No Home Movie’ is one of her greatest, I agree. Among the fiction ones, I quite like ‘Tout one unit’ ‘Night and Day’, ‘The Meetings of Anna’, but, yeah, I’ve never seen a film by her that wasn’t very rewarding. ** Okay. I was thinking about Donald Sutherland and how one can forget all the great work he did pre-‘Hunger Games’ and all of that, so I decided to line up a bunch of his works and present that to you. See you tomorrow.


  1. Scunnard

    Hi Dennis, I have a pretty exciting story about Sutherland and being stuck in a small airport in Vermont after a blizzard with him: I was stuck in a small Vermont airport after a blizzard and he was next to me. I think he had been skiing. heh

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Adore Donald Sutherland in everything save the egregious “JFK” So glad you included his big scene in “Joanna” — one of my very favorite bad movies.
    “Fellini Casanova” is very special as Sutherland looks exactly like Casanova. Fellini had mixed feelings bout doing this film as he didn’t really like Casanova very much. There were additional problems when a fascist gang raided the lab and stole sections of the film, thinking they were stealing “Salo.” As a result a scene Fellini hoped to shoot with Sutherland and Barbara Steele was cancelled.

  3. Bill

    Sutherland is an old favorite, though I haven’t seen many of his films, and it’s been years since the last viewing. I suspect there’s a Sutherland marathon in my spring sometime.

    Feb 3 is on my calendar, Dennis. Look forward to seeing you and Zac!

    Hope it was a relatively riot-free weekend in Paris. I just enjoyed Nocturama, interesting reflections on the troubled times in your city.


  4. Dominik


    I hope your back is even better or almost back to normal by now!! My cough is pretty horrible and it doesn’t seem too willing to go away so I’m afraid I’ll have to go to a doctor and yes, get some antibiotics or something. The timing is perfect, as always.
    It’s really good to hear that the TV script is coming along and it looks like you’ll get it done in time! I’m sure it’ll be so, so fucking amazing to finally get rid of this work!
    I hate parties too. Almost all kinds of parties, almost in anybody’s company, haha.
    How was this Saturday’s protest? I heard that it was smaller and maybe more peaceful than the previous ones but they always report the exact same thing about our own protests here even when they were big and angry… We’re right in the middle of one, actually. It’s been going on for 3 days now.
    And other than this, how was your weekend? Just work, work and some more?
    Mine was quite the usual except for the fight not to suffocate from all the coughing. Oh and it was snowing all Saturday so everything’s still white and semi-crunchy!
    Have a great, great week, Dennis!!

  5. Nick Toti

    Hi Dennis! I meant to share this the other day but I’ve been incredibly busy lately and it slipped my mind. I did an “best of the year” list for Hammer to Nail and PGL got some love. (To be fair, it’s sort of a sideways compliment, but I wanted to acknowledge both the movie and the fact that two artists I’d previously covered were involved in making it.) You can read it here:

    Did you hear that Jarett Kobek just self-published a book on the rapper XXXTENTACION? Other than a podcast that interviewed him about it, it seems like the internet has completely missed the fact that this happened. Very exciting!

  6. Steve Erickson

    Isn’t Donald’s father (or a close relative) the architect of Canada’s national health care system?

    Thanks for the praise about my film. I hope that it will have its first public screening next year.

    The video program was a blast. I felt like presenting it at Anthology Film Archives was continuing a thread of East Village history after talking afterwards to someone who saw the Fugs and Albert Ayler at a theater near St. Mark’s Place (where STOMP is now performed in perpetuity) and the Incredible String Band at the Fillmore East. I hope to be able to do a follow-up around punk and post-punk next year, but that’s all up in the air now.

  7. Kewatyne

    haha, i used to know this twink that would talk about the hunger games and he was a sort of elven, tailed, bow-toting cutie. never did see or get the hunger games. donald sutherland, hes like a fixture, never really did see him in anything. i just know him from keifers lost boys character. so it is Christmas, Ford trucks done in Christmas lights on the roadways, all kinds of craziness. hope things are chillin in Paris. ready for summer here. Writing a Christmas story, feeling like an evil Chevy Chase. Think im gonna buy myself sushi, an expensive bottle of rose, and a General Lee biography for Christmas. how goes it le Coop?
    much love

  8. Steve Erickson

    Here’s the Gay City News version of my film top 10 list:

  9. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Ah, I really do like Donald Sutherland. I remember this movie on HBO called NATURAL ENEMY. I couldn’t believe he was in that movie. It was sort of made-for-TV but had some fucked up shit in it. Essentially, he takes in this young partner at his firm, not knowing that the guy is the abandoned son of his wife from years before he met the woman. The guy puts a cig out on a whore’s ass in his bedroom, murders her, and puts her in a foot locker or some shit. Later, he rapes his teen half-brother, telling him that people’s sexuality is determined by the first person they have sex with. Then he goes after Donald and his wife, setting the house on fire. It’s KERAZY! But it was fun. I don’t know, I just felt the movie was soooo beneath Donald, who I always considered a “serious” actor, but I did strangely like it.

    It is funny to me to see really bad kids from back in the day who are these straight-laced parents of the year or whatever. Like this one dude who was a vice principal at my niece’s school. (For some reason, he and his wife -I was very good friends with her brother back then and one of her best friends was my girlfriend for 4 years or so then- unfriended me on FB.) But I’ll never forget the time the dude tripped on acid, jumped in a friend’s car, pulled down his pants, and started jerking off. Had a bad cocaine problem for a while too. But you look at his FB and he’s just this pillar of the community. So funny to me.

    Of course, I know tons of bad kids from back then who are dead or in jail for 25+ years. Ugh.

    I just wish the boy would straighten up, if only for his own sake.

    I’ve seen a bit of Warhol’s stuff, but it would’ve been nice to see this. Yeah, I’ve seen people who aren’t even that keen on his stuff be like, “This was fucking amazing!” on FB and elsewhere.

    But yes, a great time was had by all. Thanks for that.

  10. JM

    DS is one of the most wonderfully inspiring men.


  11. Robert Siek

    Hi, Dennis!

    I posted this yesterday to the Saturday escorts post, not seeing the Monday post yet on Mr. Sutherland. So anyway, I figured I’d post it again. It took a while to actually post. It was odd. Of Sutherland’s older films, I think I’ve only seen Klute and Body Snatchers, which I love the final scene of him screaming–freaked me out as a kid.

    Just wanted to say hello because it’s been forever and a day since I’ve come on here and said hello. And BTW, I realized recently that since I didn’t get the chance to say hello and chat after the NYC screening of PGL (my boyfriend was itching to split when it was over–he didn’t sleep well or much the night before), that I never got to tell you how way into the movie I was. I felt mesmerized by everything the characters did and said and then I was physically jolted in–jumped from–my seat during the end scene. You and Zac are definitely mastering film. I look forward to more.

    And I’m totally late to the Mine for Yours 2018 party, but of course I typically never have much to add as I’m always catching up on my reading and listening from previous years. The only new music I bought in 2018 was the following, so by default they are my faves:

    All Nerve by the Breeders
    Sir by Fischerspooner
    Soil by serpentwithfeet
    Torn Down by the Cure
    Titles with the Word Fountain by Liars
    XVII by Nonn
    Safe in the Hands of Love by Yves Tumor

    I had bought Station to Station from Bowie at some point this year and became obsessed with it, so was listening to that a lot; I had never given it a full listen before.

    I was worse with books this year, the only fiction published in 2018 that I read was Chicken by Lynn Crosbie, which is a mind-blowing novel–and I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend. I read lots of other novels but none published in 2018.

    The only poetry collections I read from this year were Charlie Bondhus’s Divining Bones and Stephen S. Mills’s Not Everything Thrown Starts a Revolution–both of which rocked my world. I bought a shit ton of poetry books published this year but looks like I’ll be reading them in 2019 and beyond.

    I don’t know how you keep up; I’m inspired to spend a year reading only new work published that year and not backtracking at all.

    Oh, I also read a chapbook published this year called The Machete Tourist by the poet John Stintzi. Cutting little book.

    Nonfiction: I just started reading the recently published biography on Edward Gorey called Born to Be Posthumous. So far I like it, but I’m still in the first chapter. There’s a photo of him as a child with his paternal grandfather in the book, and it’s eerie because he kind of looks like one of his characters from a drawing–same expression.

    I did get to some terrific art exhibits. While in Chicago I got to see an exhibit called “I Was Raised on the Internet” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago that was very entertaining. I went to the Wojnarowicz exhibit at the Whitney in Manhattan, and that was just a magnificent day. At MOMA in NYC I saw an exhibit of work from the Zairian/Congolese sculptor Bodys Isek Kingelez called “City Dreams.” It was all these sculptures of futuristic looking cities made out of garbage. I went to the David Bowie Is exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, which was amazing. I tried to photograph one of his costumes from the ’70s but a guard jumped in front of the shot blocking it with her hand; I didn’t realize we were not permitted to take photographs. Ugh, and now I can’t remember what the hell else I saw. Oh well.

    Movies: Hereditary; Halloween (2018); Nico, 1988; Revenge; Permanent Green Light; Mandy; Quiet Place; Upgrade; Cam; and I know there are others but this is all I can remember. Did you see Hereditary? I was quite taken with it.

    Well, this is way too long now. I read on the blog that you were having back issues. I hope you find relief from that sooner than later.

    Oh, and I have to read and listen to so much of your list. I didn’t even know Jeff Jackson had a new novel out. I loved Mira Corpora from him, so definitely need to pick up his new one. Also was not aware that Lynn Tillman had a new novel out this year. I must get my hands on that as well. I had my head up my ass with all the planning of readings and so forth for my book release in September and rest of the fall. I have more readings coming up but thankfully others are planning those. I read with David Trinidad in Chicago, and that was really a lovely evening. I hadn’t read with him ever, or been to Chicago, so the whole thing was a total pleasure. I read in Toronto with Lynn Crosbie about three weeks ago, and that kicked ass, and next I’m heading to Los Angeles for the first time to read at Book Soup on January 26. I’m excited that it’s on Sunset Boulevard. Has that place been there for a while? Do you remember it from life in LA?

    Hopefully I will try to catch you at the next event you’re in NYC for, or maybe one of these days I’ll end up in Paris and will have to meet up for coffee or something like that. It can happen. Ha ha.

    Take care Dennis. If I don’t get on here before end of the year–hope your holidays are spent doing things you enjoy. Best always.


  12. Marcus

    Hey Dennis — I used to comment frequently on your blog two years ago, when I was an undergrad. Now I’m in grad school and writing a lot more, and I was wondering if you’d be open to me (briefly) interviewing you about cinema, for publication. It would really be an honor. If so, you can write me at (my anon email) and I’ll give you all my info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2023 DC's

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑