Hollywood loves to push a good rags-to-riches yarn, but that doesn’t mean the industry itself operates with starry-eyed romance – it doesn’t pay to get high on your own supply, after all. This pretty obvious fact apparently passed 26-year-old Troy Duffy by when – after a couple of years tending bar in a West Hollywood dive and nursing dreams of placing his ‘gritty’, high-octane vigilante thriller with a studio – Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein came knocking, like some sweary, corpulent fairy godmother, with an offer not only to option the script but for Duffy to direct it and his unsigned band to provide the soundtrack. Hell, he’d even buy Duffy the bar where he worked. The trade papers had a field day, the news crews descended on the pub and Duffy upped sticks to take his place as the Great White Hope of the silver screen. That his friends Smith and Montana were already recording his embryonic career appeared to offer an opportunity to capture the unfolding glory.Their film in fact documents the toxic fallout of Duffy falling for his own hype and misguidedly trying to out-ogre Weinstein. Possessing such essential ingredients for Hollywood success as unwavering, family-sized self-belief (‘I hope to conquer the world’) in superabundance, Duffy proves conspicuously lacking in basic civility, political nous and bullshit-detection skills; by the time he realises this documentary is more likely to see the light of day than his feature, he’s already alienated any potential witnesses for the defence. A compulsive, cautionary tale about a man whose self-trumpeted ‘deep cesspool of creativity’ seems destined to remain undredged.
Friday July 8 2005
Tony Montana, Mark Brian Smith