January 26, 2009

How many people know one of Jim Morrison's favorite blues singers was a cat named Arlen Condrell? Arlen was in a band called The Bottom Feeders. He died penniless in Chicago at 47, in 1961. In one of Morrison's notebooks I discovered this fragment of Arlen's lyrics:

Go fuck yourselves, my petty friends.
Go fuck yourselves, said he.
Get busy with your sweaty hands
Cuz you sure ain't fuckin me.

I can appreciate Morrison's appreciation. I left NYC and relocated to LA for over 9 months to write and edit this film. Some people, knowing literally nothing about me, have accused me of only being a "director for hire." Well, hire this; I've been working on this film for nothing since May, 2008. If anyone thinks I'd go through all this just to make a piece of shit then all I can say is,

Sing it again, Arlen.

I apologize for nothing. I'm not sorry some Sundance critics didn't get it. That's their problem, not mine. Sure, some of the hissy-bitchy press is annoying. But, it's not going to stop me and it's not going to stop this film from being seen and appreciated by people open enough to make up their own minds.

The most obvious sign of a useless review is one that refuses to identify anything that is good in a film. And I can say without question there are many successful things in When You're Strange.

Using rarely seen footage of an obscure Doors concert, and a scratchy audio tape, my editors and I create an 8 minute scene that puts you right in the seats at the Miami Dinner Key Theatre. It, like many other scenes, plays entirely without narration. It is an amazing sequence; especially since the only thing that exists from that pivotal moment is this audio tape and a few b/w photos of Morrison.

The film uses outtakes from Morrison's own film HWY and creates a character who becomes the spirit of Morrison wandering throughout the film; as if he's searching for the meaning of the Doors, and of himself. There are moments watching Morrison here that are intimate and disturbing. John Densmore told me it moved him to tears.

If a critic isn't honest enough to point out the things of value then I trust nothing they say. It simply shows they are blind in one eye and bloodshot in the other.

To the fans that are chewing over these "reviews", re-posting them over and over, saying things like, "This is definitely affecting my reaction to film," all I can say is, why are  you perpetuating this horseshit? Why are you wallowing in this pit of negativity?

"You're all a bunch of slaves! Lettin' other people tell you what to do!!"
Jim Morrison. Dinner Key Theatre. Miami, Fla.

True Doors fans know that the critics tore the band apart when Waiting for The Sun was released. The fans didn't listen to the critics then; they supported their band and bought the album, leading the Doors to their 3rd gold record. This refusal to blindly accept the opinions of others is what I respect most about the Doors, second only to the great, dark beauty of their music.

You want to trash the film? Then do it based on your own reactions, not the hysterical squealings of others. Maybe it isn't the greatest film ever made about the Doors. Maybe it doesn't prove once and for all that it is actually Jim's face on the Shroud of Turin.



But, there is much that it does do. I know there are a lot of devoted Doors fans out there. I respect your great passion for this great band. Instead of strangling it in the crib perhaps you could show the film the respect of simply giving it a chance.

The one thing I underestimated is how personally the Doors music affects people. Everyone feels it is talking directly to them. They feel like they own it, that it belongs to them. I feel this myself and I never intended to violate that in others. I never wanted to tell anyone what to think. My only intent was to let the film tell the story. I used too many words. I'm fixing that. But, the words I used are true. I got them directly from Ray, John and Robby.

At Sundance, Robby came up to me and said, "I just want to thank you."

"For what?" I asked.

He looked away for a moment then said quietly, "For letting people know I wrote "Light My Fire."

This film is for all the people out there who didn't know that.

It's for all the people who knew that and appreciate that I felt it was crucial to point it out.

Anyone who thinks this information is useless can go fuck themselves. And I mean that in the most sincere way possible; exactly the way Arlen Condrell meant it.

That exchange with Robby was deeply rewarding. Nothing I've read or heard since will ever take that away from me. I'd rather have that moment with him than any "good" review. The fact is, there were a great many positive reactions to the film at the festival.

Unknown to me, Sting was in the audience at the premiere. He loved the film and was very moved by it. The reason I know this is that he found me a day later and told me so himself. It wasn't his celebrity that impressed me. It was the fact the appreciation was coming from another musician.

The audience at the screening in Salt Lake City applauded after the film. Almost all of the 300 people stayed for the Q & A which was enthusiastic and 100% positive. Jim Southwick, manager of John Densmore's website was at the screening.

"The first thing you are struck with is the clarity and brilliance of the footage. Scenes that were once a dull backdrop are now being presented in a vibrant movie style. The concept of using this footage for the beginning soundtrack is completely unexpected and from a point of creativity - I thought brilliant.

There is a scene with Jim that really struck me as to his innocence, his playfulness, and his humanness. We finally get some decent billing on the musicians that were as much a part of The Doors as the vocalist. I felt the movie was a success in its concept and in its execution."

Kerry Humpherys, editor of The Doors Collectors Magazine, was also in the audience.

"The 90-minute film consists of a plethora of vintage clips sewn together to make a cohesive patchwork that tells the story of The Doors in a way you have never before imagined. You may have heard the Doors’ story before, but this movie visualizes the experience in a way that has to be seen to be believed.
As the film begins, the viewer is treated to some of the unseen footage from Morrison’s HWY that was provided by photographer, Paul Ferrara. For many years, there has been a stranglehold on all of the HWY footage, but DiCillo broke through those barriers and provided us with nothing less than high definition on the big screen. I was blown away after five minutes and it just got better."

I understand how possessive fans are about the Doors but I am astonished at how destructive that ownership can get. Ray, John and Robby share my astonishment. They all endorse and embrace this film. It is their story. They told it to me. Do these other "experts" really think they know the story better than the band themselves? Perhaps they feel the Doors' lives, their souls and even their  identities belong to them as well.

No one owns the Doors. But, clearly there are some out there who will never allow the Doors to be what they are; human beings.

"When You’re Strange" director Tom DiCillo has done a great job pulling together lots of previously unseen footage of Jim Morrison. In fact, DiCillo is the first filmmaker ever to make Morrison seem like a real person who was very insecure, troubled, and haunted. The film is one of the few that offers anything new or revelatory on the pre-digested Doors myth, and should garner a nice sized audience when it’s finally released."
Roger Friedman, Fox News

This film was never meant to be the eternal encyclopedia about the Doors. It was never meant to solve all the rumors and myths. Its sole intent was to use only the original footage to allow the audience feel the band, and their time, as they were. And out of this, hopefully develop a new myth; one of respect and admiration for them all as musicians, as artists and as individuals.

There is no hidden shit here. The emotional core is right there on the screen. Clearly, that truth is affecting people. The film premieres in Europe next month at the Berlin Film Festival. There is strong activity from foreign buyers and real interest in a US theatrical release. Soon fans can see it for themselves and open their own Doors of perception.

By the way, this just in.

The Real Shroud of Turin

Hello Cheryl,
Thanks for your extremely gracious words of support.
My struggles are no more important or interesting than anyone elses but your words will give me inspiration to carry on.
Dear Tom,
Please, please, please never stop delivering the truth of the human heart that only Tom DiCillo is capable of delivering, no matter what.
Hey there, David Poe.
Thanks for the comment. Sometimes you can come out of that festival feeling like nothing matters. You helped quite a bit to turn that feeling around.
David Poe
Please. This and We Live In Public were the coolest docs at Sundance.
sally stevens
You should see all the excitement on the Johnny Depp message boards!
Great news on all fronts, Tom. Wow – you’re Almost Famous!
Bravo Elaine! You are very helpful for Tom and of course for all who look for some information here, good links. Keep on going!
…then we take Berlin!
You’re welcome Rai 🙂 Glad the links are helpful.
Tom–your film was the talk of the breakroom at work this morning. People were talking about attending Woodstock and I asked if they were Doors fans. They are, and their eyes lit up when I mentioned your film!! And there’s more people where that came from!
Hope the screenings have gone well and have a safe trip back 🙂
Rai Mechem
Thank you Elaine for all your fabulous links! Tom, looking forward to good news from Berlin.
all the best,
Hey Tom!
Yeah, it’s me again. I haven’t made it past step 3 on the blogaholic program, so I’m still the link gal for now 🙂
URLs below are for the panel you were on at Sundance with several other filmmakers, discussing the state of Indie film. I was thrilled to find both these links on the web, since I thought I’d never be able to see it, having not attended Sundance.
And to answer a question brought up during the panel, YES I would have paid money to view both of these on the web. It’s informative, interesting, and there were some good gems of inspiration in there. Plus, it’s cheaper than airfare/hotel to Utah.
Sundance Indie Panel Part One (19 minutes):
Sundance Indie Panel Part Two (43 minutes):
Just got home from a productive day of writing and saw this article online.
Looks like Johnny Depp is the narrator choice, at least that’s the rumor around the blogs…
If it’s true, awesome choice!!! I loved him in Jarmusch’s “Dead Man” and many other films.
Am so thrilled for you, Tom –hope you’re having a blast in Berlin!
Hi Tom, are the rumors true Johnny Depp will be the new narrator?
Hey Tom,
Noticed the first several screenings of “When You’re Strange” are sold out, which is phenomenal!!! Can’t wait to see the film myself!!!
Wanted to share something I heard long ago. Someone once asked Picasso what he’d do if people took away his canvas and paintbrush. Picasso said, “I’d use crayons, pencils, construction paper if I had to.” The man pushed further, demanding to know what Picasso would do if he were stripped naked, thrown into a jail cell with no hope for painting supplies. Picasso’s response? “I would spit on my finger and draw on the walls. I would never, never let anything or anyone stop me.”
I’ve always aspired to that artistic passion, but I must say that recently, that last quote reminds me of you.
Best and happy wishes for Berlin and SXSW, Tom 🙂 We’re pulling for you,
Hey Tom, I watched the documentary stuff on Sundance that’s on the Doors website.
I was totally moved by your responses. And the camraderie you have established with John, Ray, and Robbie is evident.
It’s like somewhere along the way, you were born to tell their story. How amazing is that and what an honour.
I never saw the three of them together, is there still a lot of acrimony amongst them? and did you have to be a kind of counselour between them while you were working on the project.
Oh man, you were great on those videos.
Hey Tom!
Have a great trip to Berlin, Tom! I wish you the very best for an incredible festival!!!!
Can you announce the narrator soon?
Hi Tom
Sorry to repost, I didn’t think it had showed up before.
Good Luck in Berlin!
Enjoy Berlin and fly safe!
Hey Tom!
You’re welcome! Just call me the link gal 🙂
The Doors site ( also has some clips of the Q&A at Sundance, which I haven’t seen on youtube or anywhere else so far. There’s no direct link to the interviews–just go to the main site, click the home page to enter and then click the Sundance icon in the upper left corner.
There’s the trailer, interviews, Q&A, etc. there. Brilliant that there is no direct link, actually. It forces people to go through the main home page, thereby increasing the clicks/visits to the site. The Q&A has more footage of John Densmore too, which was cool. And it’s good that these sites are up and running (especially with your blog too) so people can find out the info before the release.
My best wishes for Berlin!!!
Hey Mario,
Thanks, yet again, for this info. I will check it out.
Maybe the Doors were fortunate to have me. I was fortunate to have them. I do think I brought something personal and unique to their story. Mainly I’m glad they trusted me. You can imagine how suspicious and careful they would need to be; especially with everyone feeling like they own the Doors and that their own private feelings are the ‘truth’ about the band.
That would make me run for the hills if I were the Doors.
I think it worked out well for us all.
Hey Teo,
I’m glad you’re going to see the film in Berlin. I am there only until Feb. 10. I think the Doors will also be gone by the 14th. But I will be at every screening–unfortunately except for the last one which is on the 14th.
Perhaps you can come earlier?
Hey Sujewa,
I’m really looking forward to taking the film to SWXSW. I’ve heard so much about the festival over the years and have never been there. We should have the new narration, and narrator in by then so I think it will be a whole new experience.
Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention.
Hey Eric H.
Well, I’m glad to hear you say I haven’t let you down yet. If I do, I absolutely want you to let me know. I feel I haven’t let myself down and that is what is keeping me going.
Good things are on the horizon.
Thanks for writing.
Hey Jonathan,
Thanks, man. One thing I learned from this Doors film (and from Morrison) is that life is all there is. This is it. If you want something you’ve got to go for it now. If you believe in something you’ve got to stand up for it now.
I feel this stronger than ever. And you know what? When you truly believe in something then it is actually easy to stand up for it.
We will break on through. I know it.
To Fred Caserta,
Well, thank you, man. Those are great words and clearly heartfelt.
I’m touched that Box of Moonlight struck something with you. It did with me as well. One thing that most critics never quite got was that Al Fountain gives as much to the Kid as he gets from him. They never understood this and it always bothered me.
Thanks for your offer of help. I will take you up on it when the need arises.
Hey Elaine,
The producers should be paying you. No bull. All these links and supportive words are incredible–and incredibly helpful.
Many, many thanks.
Hey K,
I posted this comment from you before. But here it is again. Pretty comical actually. Thanks for perservering. I’m glad Les and Toby have their counterparts in BizarroWorld.
Hey Baron,
Jusst found out there will be no official site until the movie hits US theaters–which makes sense. So, I guess for the moment this is the official site. Who would’ve thought, huh? And me not even getting paid.
If this were entirely my project then I would have a lot to say about what goes on the website. But, it is not and so there are many other people who have agendas and interests of their own and this is mainly what you will see when the site goes up. However, I will be involved and I have a good relationship with all the folks so there should be some cool stuff on there.
Rhino and the Doors management are putting together the soundtrack details. I’m not included in those discussions.
But, they have great taste and I’m sure the soundtrack is going to be killer.
Narrator announcement to be official in Berlin. Keep checking.
I checked out The Doors home page and they have a link regarding Sundance. The Doors are quite fortunate to have Tom DiCillo. You made some very interesting observations regarding the Doors and Morrison.
Hi Tom ! Hope youre doing well! I am planning to travel to Berlin to see the Doc on the 14th Feb! I just have one question ! Will Ray Robby and maybe John be there or they ll come only for the premiere at Berlin Fest(which is on the 7th)?Will you be there at all the screenings ?
Thanks !
Congrats on getting the doc into SXSW Tom. Doors fans in Austin are gonna get to see it soon!
For anyone who has not seen the listing:
Look under 24 Beats per Second category.
– Sujewa
Erik H
Keep fighting Tom. I’m looking forward to the film and you sure haven’t let us down yet!
Erik –
Hey Tom,
Found another interview with you, Robby and Ray at Sundance.
Cool! Looking forward to narrator and film news!
just wanted to say tom,that i admire u for having the balls and patience and everything anyone would need for a difficult task like this one.I hope everything will e alright, and that we will all break on through.
Dear Tom,
I will keep this brief for now… I’m watching Box of Moonlight. I watch this movie every so often when I need to decompress from the realities of this life I’ve woven for myself. Each time I have the quiet pleasure of watching it… Alone…. Sans the wife and two boys… I drift off to a place I long for.
I’m glad to have finally express my sincerest thanks for what this movie has done for me… It keeps me grounded… When thing spin out of control.. And life becomes too much to bare.
This is my all time favorite movie. I am not a fanatic… But just a soul whose very thankful you created this film. It has struck such a chord in me… I offer up my creativty that I have had the fortune to develop and recently recieved some recognition for on an international stage at the Nanjing Art Institute in Nanjing, China.
I hate to go on and on… But just wanted to thank you… I sincerely feel Box of Moonlight has kept me from becoming too detached from things on several occasions. Seriosly, give me a ring anytime 203-378-5358… I’d love to hear from you and participate in any project in the future where I can be of any assistance.
Best Regards,
Fred Caserta
That’s great news, Tom!
Got my blogaholic checklist all ready. Caffeine? Check. Fingers ready to post my next blog with theatrical and distribution details? Check. Cough drops ready for losing my voice when I tell so many people about it? Check. Excitement factor rising since this means I could actually SEE this film sometime in 2009? Check, check, check!
Hi Tom,
I’ve found it on the net.
I think it’s a beautiful dedication to your movie ! ;o)
Even if Denis Fongue & Violenn Simon didn’t do for that I think.
Enjoy it.
Nothing yet on “When You’re Strange” offcial site ? ;o)
The best for the Berlin Festival !
I’ve tried posting this so many times and it’s not shown up I’ve lost track…
Hey Tom,
Me again.
I witnessed something a while back and forgot to mention it to you. I was in my local pub here in London and I saw a fairly fruity looking creature sitting on at a tahle with a young man. The fruity one was quite shabby and had this strange stare in his eyes, the younger far more healthy looking dude next to him listened intently to all this man had to say, on the table between them was a digital SLR with a big phallic lens, on the ground was an assortment of camera bags.
I kept catching bits of their conversation everytime I walked past them to goto the toilet. I sh*t you not – the dialogue and tone of their ‘relationship’ was totally out of Delirious! The older fruity dude was intense and taking himself very seriously jibbering away about the ‘job’ to this younger guy. He was a Paparazzi and I got goosebumps because it was literally literally Les & Tobey and I found the moment quite endearing and spooky.
Just thought I’d let you know, you tapped into something there!
Keep it up!
Hi Tom, Is there any news regarding the web site? Any idea when it will be up and running? Also, how much imput do directors have on what will go on the soundtrack? I’ve always wondered is it the record company or in this case the Doors or does the director really say what should be on there? Is this different because it’s about a band? Lastly, any discussions regarding what will go on this soundtrack due this summer? I’ve heard live and studio tracks but I was hoping for something which hasn’t been released yet like something from the Euro tour in 1968. Any shot of seeing a track or two of unreleased stuff? Great news about the film will hit theaters. You’ve got me guessin over here as to the new narrator. Good luck.
Hey Rod, Good questions. Let’s see if I can answer some.
a) Will there be a theatrical release in indie theaters in the US? If so, when?
T. There is now a very high likelihood of a US Theatrical release. A more definative answer will come next week. But, I feel it would not be out of the question to see the film in US theaters by the summer of 2009.
b) Will this be issued as a high-def Blu Ray?
T. Don’t know yet. But rest assured, it’s going to be high quality.
c) Will any of the interviews taped for this release (but not included in the final print) be included as bonus material on the Blu Ray / DVD? Like the interview with Jim’s father?
T. The extras are still being gathered. We are very interested in the interview with the Admiral and Jim’s sister Anne.
d) Were you able to find and use the master 2″ quadruplex videotape of the 1969 WNET Critique show for the documentary? Or were you stuck using the poor quality dub?
T. Not sure. But the quality of almost all of the footage is very high.
e) I’ve read reviews that your narration did not play well to audiences. What’s your take on this? Does this have any merit? If so, any plans to hire a professional voice talent to redo the narration?
T. My narration was always intended to be temporary. But, it was by no means terrible and it was actually praised by a lot of people. No matter: there were simply too many words. That is a valid criticism and I have addressed it. The words themselves are what they are. Like I said in the post, this is the film I wanted to make. There is much in it that has the potential to enlighten, move and illuminate. We have almost finished securing a rather well known individual who I’m thrilled to have do the narration.
f.) Have you seen “Imagine: John Lennon” (1988) documentary by Andrew Solt? The approach he used was to let Lennon tell his own story by using taped Lennon interviews to propel the narrative trajectory. Did you employ this approach at all in your Doors documentary? Or did you narrate yourself for the bulk of the film?
T. Have not seen Imagine. After watching all the amazing archival footage of the Doors I made a decision to let this film tell their story. I decided not to use any contemporary interviews with family or celebrities talking back in time. I believe without question this decision was correct. It allows the viewer to enter the world of the Doors and stay there. I try to let the Doors talk from this period as often as possible. More I try to let the film do the talking. When there needs to be a connection then the narration comes in.
There are many long sections of the film that consist of nothing but the Doors and their incredible music.
Hey Hank Bedford,
Thanks for the support; I appreciate it. Things are moving in a different direction now. I am not so stupid as to not notice a pattern in the criticism. I’ve cut quite a bit of narration and rewritten much too. We are getting a new narrator that I’m very excited about and am certain it will be a great boon to the film.
Yes, sending to my manager is the best thing. I’m running around a little crazy these days.
Hey Melanie,
What a beautiful note. I appreciate your even-handed logic. Again, I feel confident the film will get close to you. I will be making an announcement in a day or two that should make a US theatrical release inevitable, and profitable for the distdributor.
Yes, we are sensitive. But, in my case I think I can honestly say I let much of that go shortly after the release of my first film, Johnny Suede.
What I’m more troubled by now is the potential damage done to the film by critics who write irresponsible reviews. Every film has the right to find an audience. It is patently absurd for ANYONE to dictate what should be seen and what shouldn’t–unless you’re living in North Korea or Iran right now. And even then it’s not OK–it’s just government policy of a dictator.
So yes, here in the US and A, it sure would be nice if some people would realize we still live in a cultural democracy.
Sorry for the rambling.
Thanks for writing. Your words were helpful.
Ciao Marcello,
Thanks for your kind words. I think there is a very good chance the film will have a theatrical release in Italy. Berlin is the best place to make the sales to all the European countries and I feel confident the film is going to do well there.
When we get an Italian distributor I’ll let you know and perhaps you can do some promotion for us.
Ah, Iden. Yes, the whole snaggle of responding to critics. I’ve tried it a few times and have never been successful. I still have a hard time comprehending that there is no recourse to what amounts to nothing more than one person’s opinion.
But, it raises many questions. Why is the public so affected by these “reviews?” What makes them take someone else’s word over their own reaction?
And, why are these “critics” so sensitive, fer fuck’s sake? Man, you look at them cross-eyed and you’re on their anthrax list.
Not sure what the answer is. I think your advice to just keep working and trusting people to make up their own minds is the most healthy.
Thanks very much for sharing that story with me. I think (and hope) your wife should be proud of you for trying to give her some assistance.
Hey Jessica,
I’m sorry you got sick. The SLC screening was my favorite at the festival. It was filled with people with only one intention: to watch the film.
Afterwards, as you say, they made up their own minds. And there is no question in my mind the overwhelming response was emotional and positive.
But, you know, I’ve had this reaction to almost all of my films. Even Living In Oblivion was trashed originally as a “one joke film only for filmmakers.” That review killed all chances of a theatrical life for the film outside the bigger cities.
My films tend to lead the viewer into a more emotional area. Some people like it; others see nothing and get furious.
What the hell.
As far as success; I’ve got it. I’ve been able to make every film the way I thought it should be made. I’m not embarassed about anything that has my name on it.
Hope you feel better.
Hey Dan,
Listen, my friend. You clearly have had some complications with The Doors. I don’t doubt you and I don’t judge your current feelings. But, my dealings with them have been very cool. They have been open, honest and trusting. And this includes everyone at their management.
I’m sincerely sorry you had a bad time. But, I have to tell you I can’t promote or encourage you to perpetuate your misfortunes here.
I sympathize.
But, I can only go off of what I know.
Hey Mario,
What a great description of The Doorsin concert. I only used the Morrison excerpt as the whole piece was pretty long. But, it was immensely helpful in some of the rewriting I’m doing.
thanks, me brotha.
Hey Len,
That’s the first I heard about the speed problem. I’ve seen the film projected at least 50 times and never noticed any slowness. I’m not certain but it may be the way it plays on the web. We’ve had some pretty expert experts overseeing the sound.
But, I’ll mention it to the team.
Hey Craig,
You know, you are actually astute about the upbeat quality of The Doors music. Not all of it is dark and brooding. And even that is uplifted by the genius of the playing.
I had the great (unexpected) pleasure of seeing Ray and Robby play together at Sundance. The moment is out there already on Youtube. But, man seeing them play showed me just how committed they are to music–and how much they love it.
Thanks for writing,
Looking forward to seeing this. A few questions:
a) Will there be a theatrical release in indie theaters in the US? If so, when?
b) Will this be issued as a high-def Blu Ray?
c) Will any of the interviews taped for this release (but not included in the final print) be included as bonus material on the Blu Ray / DVD? Like the interview with Jim’s father?
d) Were you able to find and use the master 2″ quadruplex videotape of the 1969 WNET Critique show for the documentary? Or were you stuck using the poor quality dub?
e) I’ve read reviews that your narration did not play well to audiences. What’s your take on this? Does this have any merit? If so, any plans to hire a professional voice talent to redo the narration?
f.) Have you seen “Imagine: John Lennon” (1988) documentary by Andrew Solt? The approach he used was to let Lennon tell his own story by using taped Lennon interviews to propel the narrative trajectory. Did you employ this approach at all in your Doors documentary? Or did you narrate yourself for the bulk of the film?
Hank Bedford
Hi Tom,
I’m sorry to hear that some critics have been hard on your movie. Criticism is never fun, especially when it seems to be mean spirited. You’re movies mean a lot to me and I’m sure this one will not be any different. Looking forward to seeing it in a theater in Los Angeles!
I sent you a letter through your manager with resume. Is that the best place to send?
I can’t wait to see your film; in fact, I’ve already asked management at my local arthouse theatre to screen it as soon as they can.
As an artist, I understand how difficult it can be when a critic has a knee-jerk reaction to one’s work. It’s equally difficult to develop a thick skin and move on – we’re sensitive sorts, after all; you seem to have mastered that, I’m glad to see it (having a good sense of humor helps)!
As a Doors fan, I recognize that I do not “own” the band, nor can I dictate another’s vision of the band. I am open to viewing/hearing the point of view of other fans (casual, die-hard or drive-by).
Everyone has their own perspective – it enriches our experience and helps us see things we might have missed or think about things in a completely new way. It keeps life fresh and interesting, don’t you think?
Congratulations on what looks to be a great success – wishing you the best and looking forward to seeing the film!
Hi Tom,
thanks a lot to show to the world and young people the TRUE shots of Jim and The Doors, the real magic of their music… I’m an italian journalist and hope to see the film also in Italy… You think about an italian step of film promotion? Let me know, please…
Hey Tom,
I once responded to a web reviewers critique of one of my wife’s novels with the words, “I need to correct your vary anal comments about the book” and went on to explain where the reviewer had not read carefully.
The subsequent brouhaha led the publisher to call my wife and ask me not to do that again because they were now going to blacklist her books from being reviewed in the future on their website.
Pathetic but true.
As far as I am concerned, reviewers sit on their perch and think they can control the outcome of the world in which they comment about, without expecting the artist, or those close to them, might like to respond to the contrary.
Since that incident I don’t comment to reviewers anymore because I think that the fans of her work, and in your case, The Doors and this work, are going to make up their own minds, and you can trust that this will in no way affect anybody’s desire to see this film.
If anything it may increase people’s interest in it.
The critics are usually there for one reason, and that is to find fault.
But beauty often lies in the shadows and what is unseen.
When we understand that, I believe we understand art.
If this film moves people in the way I am reading between the lines, I am sure you have created a masterpiece and I hope we get to see it sooner than later in Canada.
Thanks for your passion and committment to this project, I am sure it is fantastic.
Hey Scott,
That’s a great story about Morrison and the journalist in the elevator. There is an amazing recording of Jim talking to Village Voice reporter Howard Fine. He shows amazing patience and humor with him, even when Fine derides some of his lyrics.
I greatly appreciate your words of support. I don’t negate the critics, or begrudge them their opinion. All I can say is that I gave this film everything I have. The film exists. The audience exists. No offense meant to anyone but I’m not sure the 3rd party is required.
Hey Tom,
That’s exciting news that a distribution US deal may be in the works!!
This is only going to make it harder to overcome blog addiction 🙂
Jim’s spirit is one of deciding things for yourself; seems that letting critic voices affect our enthusiasm goes against who he was. Who they all were.
Saw the site links updates, including one to my Indie blog on the film. Thanks!
Hi Tom,
First off, I have to say how sad I am that I wasn’t able to see the film like I had planned. I got sick the day before the screening in SLC and wasn’t able to make it down. But, knowing that it will possibly be in theaters sometime soonish is great! Hopefully you’ll have better luck getting this film out there than you did with Delirious. As much as I loved reading the crazy blogs about that experience, I’d rather read about your success! You most definitely deserve it.
As for the not-so-amazing reviews, as well as the people who are letting those reviews change their minds about the film… fuck ’em. Since when is it so hard to form an opinion for yourself and stick with it? Especially when it comes to film. Not everyone is going to like a particular film, obviously, but people should still go and see it for themselves, and form their own opinion, instead of just going “oh, okay, I’ll go see [insert popular run of the mill action flick here] instead” when someone tells them they hated it. If I went off of what critics said, I would have missed out on a good portion of my favorite films…
What I think is most important is that you’re happy with it. Plus, the band members themselves are happy with it, so you obviously did something right! I’d say knowing that is better than a good review from some random critic any day.
Good luck in Berlin, Tom. I hope to come back here and read about the upcoming theatrical release soon.
What do you expect? The Doors screwed over Paul Edge, people are pretty fucked off with them. Try looking at , this uses Edge`s version of Riders, and was used to raise money for Katrina victims. What did The Doors do? To cover up their duplicity, they removed it from their site when people were dying in the streets of New Orleans.
You want to restore balance? Here`s a suggestion, let Edge do the voice over. When he wrote his blog about Miami, , Leon Barnard said there is no way Edge could have written that as he wasn`t born, stating that he (Leon) had waited 30 years for someone to write this.
You have my mail, hit me up and I`ll put you in contact with Paul Edge.
Hey Britni,
You keep than excitement and enthusiasm going and we all will stay warm all winter.
You can see this film when it comes out sometime within the next 6 months. All of us on the team believe a US theatrical release (in movie theaters around the country) is not only possible but very likely.
Like I said above, a development today may make that a done deal. When it is official I’ll let you know.
I think I can safely say you will greatly enjoy the film.
Hey Doug Haroldsen,
Pretty nice poem. I think Arlen Condrell would appreciate it.
Look, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But you are right. I started with the Doors own words. I felt that if what I made was true and accurate for them, then that is all that mattered.
I think true Doors fans will see the value in this.
I won’t let the critics get me down. Sometimes though, in this very unstable world of film, the critics voices are the only ones heard by distributors. And that can sometimes have a real effect on the fate of a film.
I sincerely hope your first viewing of the film will be in a theater and not on dvd.
very best,
That is when I get disturbed. Who are these people to say what other people can see? Let the film speak for itself.
Hey Chris,
Thanks for writing. I love that quote from Jim about “the band people love to hate.” You see into him a little bit there, that despite his great committment to rising above the petty acceptance of the day, he really was bothered by the way people dismissed the Doors.
I’m not comparing myself to him, or the band in any way. If people, after seeing the film, find that it is not for them then c’est la vie. That is their right. But to judge it before seeing it? That’s just plain stoopit.
Plus, I think the new level of discovery in the film is more on a human plane. Some people may find it moving and powerful. Others may go, “huh?”
For me, it is the human plane alone that has value.
thanks again.
Hey Icewood,
Very good observations. If you look back at some of my posts during the Delirious ordeal you’ll see an observation I made. I’ve always been amazed by how much pleasure people take in tearing something apart. They rarely, if ever, invest anywhere near as much energy or enjoyment in appreciating something.
Why this is I don’t know.
But, I stand by this film. And I always will.
Your support makes it much easier. Thank you.
Hey Jamie,
the question is not redundant. Believe me, I ask it every day. But, there was a development today that think will have a huge effect on securing a US deal. As soon as it is definite I will announce it here.
The economy is really doing a number on films that get distribution. And documentaries usually fall behind anyway. But this film plays more like a narrative feature and I feel very confident a theatrical release will be profitable for a distributor and immensely rewarding for fans.
Keep checking in.
“Jim Morrison, vocals. Morrison begins where Mick Jagger and Eric Burdon leave off. An electrifying combination of an angel in grace and a dog in heat, he becomes intoxicated by the danger of his poetry, and, swept by impious laughter, he humps the microphone, beats it, sucks it off. Sexual in an almost psychopathic way, Morrison’s richly textured voice taunts and teases, threatens and throbs. With incredible vocal control and the theatrical projection of a Shakespearean star, he plays with the audience’s emotions like a mischievous child with its dolls: now I kiss you, my little ones, now I wring your necks. The Doors are carnivores in a land of musical vegetarians. They have the ensemble tightness of the Juilliard String Quartet-but their grandeur is not of the intellect but of warm red blood. Their stained talons, wet fangs, and leathery wings are seldom out of view, yet if they leave us crotch-raw and exhausted, at least they leave us aware of our aliveness. And of our destiny. The Doors scream into the darkened auditorium what all of us in the counterculture are whispering more softly in our hearts: We want the world and we want it…………………………………………….. NOW!”
The Helix, 1967
tom robbins/wild ducks flying backwards (2005)
Hey Tom,
I wasn’t sure of the best way to contact you so I thought I’d leave a comment here about this. Feel free to shoot me an email (porsche550 at yahoo dot com) if you’d like.
After watching the trailer for “When You’re Strange,” it appeared to me that the interview footage from ‘The Doors Are Open’ is running too slow. The reason this stuck out to me was because the official DVD release of this material, in addition to being very dark which your footage thankfully is not, runs about 4% too slow. After researching this issue last year, I believe the most likely reason for the slower speed was due to a PAL/Film conversion. As you know, film runs at 24 frames per second (fps). PAL video (European television) runs at 25 fps. ‘The Doors Are Open’ was likely filmed at 25 fps because filmmakers knew it was going to be broadcast on British TV. However, I believe when they later transferred the 25 fps film to 24 fps to create a film master (perhaps for screening purposes in theatres), they wound up with an inevitable 4% slowdown. This slowed-down version was then used as the source film for all official releases of ‘The Doors Are Open.’
At least that’s my working theory. I remember giving Jeff Jampol a heads up about this issue last year and he said that he was aware of it. Seeing that the issue isn’t resolved at least in the trailer made me curious if it’s something you knew about. Were you not able to fix the speed problem, or did it get lost in the shuffle?
Really looking forward to viewing the movie. I’ve been keeping tabs on it ever since becoming aware of its production. The Doors. The greatest band to come out of the 60’s. So musical, so diverse. Great lyrics and diction (when sober) out of Morrison. People talk about their dark persona. I think they’re music is some of the most upbeat and positive ever. Thanks for doing the film.
Sounds like you have done a great job! I haven’t seen the film but I have read a bunch or reviews by Doors fans AND reviews by critics.
The Doors shake people up and don’t fit into “normal” music categories. They were and are successful on their own terms. Critics be damned! The problem with most critics is that they never personally extended themselves in an artistic way. Putting out a personal piece of art (book, film, record, painting, etc.)is beyond most critics ability or comprehension.
I just want to say Thank You! You have made a film that is appreciated by its intended audience. Those who wish to learn more about The Doors and their place in history and Doors fans. Tom, since your first blog I can tell you really “get” The Doors. I saw your interview with Ray and Robby at Sundance too.
The Doors and Morrison’s legacy were dealt a bad had by the Stone movie. Its sounds like The Doors are finally getting their story told in the way they deserve. For that I sincerely thank you. I can’t wait to see it.
Lastly, One of my favorite Morrison stories is of a bad review in a music magazine The Doors received back in the late 60’s. By coincedence Morrison ended up being in an elevator with the rock critic some months or perhaps a year later. Morrison then recited word for word what the critic had written back to him in the elevator.
Thanks Again,
I am so excited to see this, fuck the critics who couldn’t see the true beauty of your movie!!!!!!!!! How can us loyal doors fans see this? I cant wait.
Doug Haroldsen
RE: Critics
Caustic phrases
Acerbic wit
Abstract analysis
Obtuse shit
The age-old adage
Still holds true
Those who can, DO
Those who can’t, REVIEW
I have not been fortunate enough to see “When You’re Strange” yet, but if Ray, Robby and John believe this is an accurate and honest portrayal of The Doors, then that’s good enough for me. The pseudo-intellectual critiques of artist-wannabes who couldn’t create their way out of a paper bag mean nothing to me, and I doubt few others care what they have to say. Of course, there will always be a pathetic few who are so weak-minded they have to rely on someone else to help form their opinions.
I believe a great disservice was done to The Doors several years ago with the release of “that other” movie, and I’m grateful that someone with true artistic integrity has now come forward to set the record straight. Thank you for bringing long-overdue recognition to the greatest band of all time, and for telling their true story. I anxiously await the wide release of WYS, and will be among the first to buy it on DVD. Please don’t let clueless critics get you down.
Hey Tom,
The harsh criticism tells me you must have done a great job with this film, as The Doors even in their heyday often got the same reaction. We all know how great The Doors music is, and we all know a good Doors performance was second to none. And yet it seems a large number of idiot critics only agenda was to put them down. Don’t take it personal, wear it as a badge of honor and keep fighting the good fight. As Jim once said, “We’re the band that people love to hate”. When asked why, he said “Because we’re so good!”. As is the case I’m sure with ‘When You’re Strange’. I can’t wait to see it!
Tom, the world seems to be divided between producers (in the artistic, creative sense)and passive consumers. Most of the criticism comes, I believe, from the latter camp. Those who have never had the discipline to actually dedicate a chunk of their existence to honing a vision can easily afford to get caught up in non-issues. I look forward to seeing the fierce, undiluted testament to The Doors that you have forged out of many sleepless nights and impossible choices…and I have a feeling, in the end, you made all the right ones. Best in Berlin. Thank you for taking on this beautiful monster of a project and riding it through to the finish.
Hi Tom,
I love you for making this film on our L.A Doors. Any idea on when it will be released to theaters? Sorry, I know this is probably a redundent question. (been waiting two years for this!!)
With Love and Support,
Hey Mike,
Really great to hear from you.
I agree with you completely about Robby. He is an astonishing individual. His heart is huge and his talent is beyond description.
I’m glad you appreciated my conviction this information about him writing LMF was crucial to the film.
I also agree with you about Morrison’s spirit of freedom. One thing I learned from this film was that all 4 of the Doors had a great respect for artistic freedom. They gave it to each other and they sought it instinctively as a group. Morrison in particular felt it was criminal for anyone to interfere with an artist’s intent. He knew how destructive a dismissive comment could be or a negative judgement.
He couldn’t stand anyone telling him what to do. Not for egotistical reasons, but because he believed no one has the right to stop or devalue another’s artistic intent. No one.
Learning this from him was an incredible gift.
I sincerely appreciated your comment.
Hey Tim,
Thanks so much for your support. I guess I’ve always felt that the best connection is the most direct. It is something I’ve tried to do in my films–to bring people into as close a contact as possible with something that interests me.
I feel the same way writing back to people here. I appreciate anyone taking the time to tell me something directly.
Maybe it is naive but it feels the most honest.
Hey Dave,
Wow, man. You have touched me. Thank you.
I used to get really upset when things would go bad. I’d get depressed and think, “That’s it. I’m giving up.”
But, one day I looked around and said, “You know what? I’m still here. I’m still alive. The fuckers didn’t kill me. I can still put one foot in front of the other. And if I can do that, then there is really no excuse for me not to start again.”
Sounds like you’re doing the same.
I feel the same way about music. It was one of the reasons I was so excited to start this film.
I’m honored you have Living In Oblivion ready to watch sometime at your folk’s 50th anniversary.
Hey Baron,
What a cool comment. I think you’re right. There will be two camps for this film. I chose to side with the source, Ray, Robby and John. Anyone who has trouble with that really is not interested in the Doors anyway.
And, listen. I’m not asking for favoritism or special treatment. If you see the film and you don’t like it, that is fine by me. My problem is with the critics who take it upon themselves to determine if the film is even seen by the people who want to see it most.
I’m not preventing the critic from doing anything. They should not prevent the film from having the chance of being seen.
That is really no different from the Taliban. I’m totally serious. Let the film be seen and let people decide.
Thanks for the good wishes for Berlin. I head over 1st week of February. Let’s see what happens.
yore pal,
Hey Sally,
How are things in Noho? I kind of miss the place now–especially in the NY winter.
Man, Tregor would have been a good guy to have at Sundance. With his samurai sword and all. I think I’ll call him.
Thanks so much for your support.
Hey Teo,
I really liked your comment a lot. “A critic is not a profession.” I think there are some good critics but I agree that the best critic is the person who just goes to the film.
The film exists without the critic. The film does not exist without the audience.
I think the film will come to Greece. The next month or two will be important. I am so glad to hear there are big Doors fans in Greece. The film is about the Doors; all 4 of them. There is a brief time spent on Jim and Pam in Paris but so much of that time is not well-documented and full of rumor.
To me the Doors were 4 people. When one of them left the planet then that is the end of the Doors story for the film.
Your English is good. Much better than my Greek.
You keep your passion and I will keep mine.
Hi Johan Lindstrom,
Thanks for your great comment. My feeling is this: people at Berlin will respond strongly to the film. There is already enormous interest from European buyers. I have been pushing for theatrical releases in all territories because I believe that is the best way to attract audiences.
I know it is also the best way for Doors fans to see the film.
So, be patient. Keep your eyes open and keep the faith.
I think the film will come to Sweden where you and your fellow Doors fans will get a chance to see it.
Hey Elaine,
Thanks so much for your kind words. Coming from a writer like you they mean a lot.
My main point with the “negative” reviews is that to me they carry no weight if they don’t have the balls to mention the stuff in the film that is good. And believe me, there is a lot.
Remember some of the Writer’s Blogck posts? Remember how I said people seem to get immense pleasure out of tearing something down but for some reason simply cannot find the same pleasure in acknowledging any thing that works?
Wallow in one or two of the good reviews, guys. See how that feels on your skin.
I’ll be talkin’ at ya.
very best,
Tom, I cannot wait to see the film. I won’t get into the whole “I’m such a big Doors fan and they changed my life” bit like us Doors fans can all do; I just want to say thanks for not taking these reviews sitting down, because, while I would never presume to even think of putting words in Jim’s mouth, I have a feeling he would approve of any and all creative and passionate endeavors artists embark on.
And, contrary to some people’s opinions, it IS important that people know that Robby wrote LMF because not many do, and that tiny fact impacts how our culture treats The Doors. We have canonized and idolized Jim for so long and with such passion that we too often completely and utterly overlook Robby, Ray, and John. I’ve met Robby a few times and know that he is one of the kindest and warm-hearted musicians out there, and he deserves the credit for a song that helped define a generation, a movement, a journey that helped this country break free (to a degree) of oppressive and narrow-minded thinking and attitudes.
You’re one hell of a guy! I mean how many would bother to devote so much time communicating with all these people here, to answer their questions, telling what’s going on etc. I believe the documentary will be great, no matter what some critics say, and I am forever thankful to you for making it. Thank you and thanks for all the art you have produced over the years! You’re an true artist!
You ROCK. And your stock just went up again. 🙂
I am still,VERY MUCH looking forward to this film Tom!
Sure i have read the reviews,but ulitmately,ULTIMATELY i don’t care one measley cent of what they have to say.Both the good and not so good.
To be personally frank,i was merely reading these so-called reviews to get an idea of what kinds of unseen footage might be appearing in the doc.
Seriously maan,i really wish i had your “passion”.Your “go get ’em spirit”.Your RESOLVE.
This might sound pretty lame,but being a canadian,i once had passion for street hockey.I would find myself playing w/ my buddies late into the night and could wait to get up the next moring after a heavy downpour of sbow,to shovel the street(took me like and hour and a half)just to do someting i loved.I was just a kid then.Just a little bastard runt.But i had that so-alled fire in the belly.Nobody could discourage me.NO ONE.
Tom,man,indeed your an inspiration.I too love reading your blogs.nd will continue to do so.I picked up “Living In Oblivion” the other day and will be watching it w/ my bro who is coming up for my Ma & Pa’s 50th Wedding Anniversary.Incididenty he’s in the movie game himself(more peripheral than anything else).
I amire folks like yourslef that cna take a kock down(not a knockout)and get back up.Is one born w/ this?
I use to have a pasion for the hockey.Then i got into writing and fimmaking.That’s around the time i discovered(first Morrison)and then The Doors.I felt a certain kinship w/ him.Having been a writer and then trying to break into the movie game,but ended up in the music biz.You know what,maybe this isn’t right,but it makes me feel good.There is not a day that goes by where i do not listen to music.I can’t.Music,frees me(if freedom is ULTIMATELY do-able)it quites my busy mind,but more then that.makes me feel good.The Doors do all that for me.
I CANNOT ait to have the official site for this film go up.I can’t wait for you and the others involved in this film be redeemed.It will happen.It WILL happen.
So,wish i had your love and passion for everythin you do.Because,just seing your interviews on camera i can tell your one of the fw(i believe)that can live your dreams).You seem to love what your doing.And(like myself w/ the hockey)when your right up ther,no one an knock you out.
Keep fighting my friend.Keep that chin tucked in and your arms up.
I can’t wait for Round Two.
All the best brother.All the best.
Hi Tom, I agree with you the critics can suck it. I always thought that this film will be reviewed two ways. 1. True Doors fans will watch this and have their own opinions which will really be the “true” review of the film. And 2. there will be the other audience(BS critics and non Doors fans) which are people who only know the Doors by what they’ve heard or read which a lot of that is pure rubbish. A lot of people who don’t know the Doors just think Morrison was this drug addict who drank a lot which he did but that wasn’t all he was as you know. If the Doors who lived it, breathed it, tell me this is the real story then that’s the only critics I need to listen to. I can’t wait to see the film. I really do believe there are 2 different audiences for this film. Stick with what you believe. John, Robby and Ray ALL have said great things about the film and really that’s what matters here. If they love it, their fans will cherish it and love it even more. God speed buddy and all the best. I dig your blog. Great read. Good luck in Berlin.
By the way has anyone ever told you , you look like the UPS guy? Rock on…
sally stevens
Hi Tom – don’t let the bastards get you down, and if they do, call Tregor! He’ll take care of them for you!
I am really looking forward to seeing the film and a lot of moaning critics aren’t going to make my mind up for me.
Congratulations once again, on to Berlin!
Hey, Alex. Thanks for writing. You make some valid points and I do believe your heart is in the right place about giving the film a chance. I will repy to your comment in a new way. You are A. I am T.
A. For someone not bothered about the criticism you sure whinge a lot.
T. Not really. Just a few paragraphs in one blog.
A. I said to you before I wished you luck and I meant it but I also said I did not expect too much from your film and it seems that way from the reviews that have come out after Sundance.
T. I thanked (and thank) you for your best wishes. But if you’re going to mention reviews then you need to embrace the good ones as enthusiastically as you’ve embraced the negative ones.
A. Like all Doors fans I look 4wd to the footage but we Doors fans could have been easily served with a release of a good copy of FOF and HWY instead of the poor version that is readily available. I said months ago on the Densmore forum that the narrative was the key and it does not look as if you have managed to deliver.
T. No offense intended but you are not really in a position to say what I have and have not delivered until you see the film.
A. I will of course hold final judgement until I see the bloody thing–
T. Oh, OK. I see.
A.–but if you are not gonna release it till 2010 on DVD and the film does not garner interest from the distributors so we don’t see it in our local cinemas how will the average Doors fans manage that? Do you expect fans to NOT talk about the project?
T. Please do talk about the project. Just be inclusive of ALL that is written. Or just simply wait. It’s going to come out. There is no question. Make up your own mind. Why let someone else’s reaction taint your consciousness? “When the Doors of perception are cleansed all things will appear to man as they are; infinite.” William Blake to Jim Morrison.
A. All we have are the reviews to tell us what it’s like until we see it for ourselves.
T. Emphatically untrue. But if you insist then, again, give EQUAL value to all the reviews, not just the negative ones.
A. You want praise for giving Doors fans the footage they have been clamouring for for decades?
T. No, I don’t.
A. You have it mate.
T. I said I didn’t want it.
A. But you were charged with making a documentary about The Doors as well.
T. No, I wasn’t charged with anything. I did the film for purely artistic reasons. And as an artist I have only one obligation. The truth as I see it.
A. From what I have heard so far it seems that you did not do that good a job.
T. I heard some monkeys can lick their own balls.
A. Making a movie for all the people who do not know LMF was written by Robby or that Mr Mojo Rison–
T. You mispelled Rison. It is correctly spelled Risin to make the anagram accurate.
A. –is an anagram of Jim Morrison is The Doors For Dummies and that is NOT what we were told was on offer.
T. I would tread very carefully here. The LMF writing distinction was very important to Robby. The Doors read these things and it almost sounds like you are calling Robby a dummy.
A. Your film was anticipated with high hopes by us Doors fans and I doubt there was one of us not looking forward to the finished article. I still am. Reacting like this to a bit of bashing is not a good idea mate as it may well turn people who are on your side away from you.
T. Excellent point, and sound advice. I will take it.
A. Maybe the people who give out negative reviews are NOT Doors fans though that does not seem the case from what I read. Regardless they have been sold a product by The Doors and to them that product was not delivered.
T. This is a film about the Doors, not by the Doors. And nothing was delivered. I made a good film, not a box of shoes.
A. When the general Doors public eventually see this you will perhaps feel like Olly Stone felt as we can be rather judgemental when we want to be.
T. Judgmental is not quite the right word. Help me out here; What’s a good word for trashing something sight unseen?
A. For what it’s worth you were always likely to be backing a loser as this story has been lost in the tsunami of bullshit since 1971 especially after it was discovered how much money was to be made out of Morrison.
T. There is no loser. The film is good. And again, may I remind you–you haven’t seen the film.
A. You deserve a pat on the back for having the balls to even try and your last sentence in the film maybe makes all the previous 90 minutes worthwhile.
T. Thank you, Alex. It does.
Hey Tom
Congrats for your new film .I havent seen it yet but all these days i keep myself informed about whats going on around When You’re strange(from blogs etc).I must say you have done an excellent job with the footage(the HWY parts and the other were crystal clear 🙂 )from what i ve seen in the trailer!
I have read all the reviws about When youre strange ,some say about the “bad” narration and storytelling , i say f*** them!A reviewer is not a proffesion for me so i havent beleived anyhting of what they say!
WE ,and i mean the Doors Fans ,WE are the true reviewers and i think our opinion matters most ..
Anyway some q’s
When is the new website coming up(i would love to see some new clips and screencaps of the film in the website )
Does When you’re strange contain footage of Jim and Pam in Paris ??There so much talk about that in the DOors messageboard!
Tahnks Tom
Greetings from Greece and i hope that the film will reach greek audience and we will be able to see it in the big screens!
ps. sorry for my English ,they’re a little bit poor 🙂
Johan Lindström
Hi Tom,
I have (as I guess a lot of other fans) been anxiously reading your blogg and all the other bits and pieces of information I could get hold of about ‘When you’re strange’ lately. I am in no way worried about the quality of the film and the enjoyment and emotions I will get from it when I will see it. But I am a bit worried about being able to see it at all. As I have no experiance in showbuisness what so ever I have no idea how hard it will be to find distributor for the film so that it may be shown in theaters here in europe (and in Sweden in particular).
I really do hope that Berlin will know to appriciate the film so that all of us fans may be able to see it soon. Because I know that there are tons of people who just can’t wait to see another side of the Doors story presented on the big screen but Oliver Stones.
Keep up the good work,
GREAT blog post. As an admitted blogaholic, this was a perfect “fix.”
You’ve also moved me to tears. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–your determined, fighting spirit is an inspiration to artists and people everywhere.
Most of the idiotic reviews I read didn’t even spell Robby’s name correctly. Geez. My response to them included how small-minded they were being, because I think there’s a huge audience out there–not just Doors fans and not just those who vaguely remember their songs.
It’s the story of an incredibly talented, passionate, and truth seeking band who shaped history. I think there’s untapped audiences out there who’ll appreciate the film.
Great work and admirable resolve, Tom. Keep it up 🙂
Hey Alfredo,
Thanks very much for writing. You are right, the film is the real deal. Everything in it is real footage of the Doors. And I am passionate about it. I will continue fighting for as long as it takes.
Again, to make it clear, no actual film footage exists of the Miami concert. Only an audio tape of Morrison. I use footage from another Doors concert to re-create the moment. I felt this artistic license was valid because it is still the Doors and it goes beautifully with the audio tape to create the disturbing and exiting feeling of being there.
Keep the faith. I am.
Hello again, David.
Thanks for your passionate comment. Yes, it is too bad some critics did not understand the film. But their negativity will have no effect on the film. Remember, these are the Doors. The true Doors fans will go see the film and make up their own minds.
It is true there was no mention of Rimbeaud in the first version of the film. I have fixed that.
But, please understand; the film is not the biography of Jim Morrison. These detailed pieces of information are extremely interesting but I had to make a decision to keep the film focused on all 4 members of the Doors.
And don’t worry about me. Worry about the critics. In 10 years no one will even know they existed. In 10 years When You’re Strange will still be seen in homes and theatres all around the world.
No doubt. Rock on, Arlen Condrell, wherever you are.
Hey Tom Pao,
I looked too. Apparently Condrell and The Bottom Feeders never recorded anything.
A tragedy.
I will check on the When You’re Strange site today.
thanks for writing.
Hello from Spain again!
When I read some reviews of the film I felt a little sorry, but not because critics could affect my self and make me prejudiced any kind of work, I felt sorry because sadly all this shit could affect the success and distribution of the film in certain way. And I felt sorry about you (I have been following your blog this month, I know you put heart and soul in this project), some reviews are too evil and it could be hard to take all those bad critics.
But now I read your funny post and I’m happy the way you take it. Yesterday I was reading about Bizet’s Carmen, in its opening run at Paris was denounced by the majority of critics (even is said that Bizet died because of the deception). Months later, it was produced in Vienna, to critical and popular success. And now it has been one of the world’s most performed and popular operas.
So come on everybody and sing with Tom that Arlen Condrell’s song!
I hope Berlin will be your Vienna,
I’m sure the film is going to be succesfull by it self and, earlier or later, all we could see it in theatres.
Only one more little thing. Is Really that there is no mention of Rimbaud in the film as I read in one review? Oh Please, it would be nice a little one mention to introduce the new youth to one of the gratest poets. Just think that one of the famous quotes of Jim (“I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown”) is taken from a letter of a sixteen years old Rimbaud (“…making your way toward the unknown by a derangement of all the senses”). May be you knew it, but I must to say this because a love Rimbaud works ;).
Sorry for the extension, the best wishes for you! Keep on going!
Hi Tom
I’ve been reading your blog for a while. It seems you’re full of passion about this film and I’m looking forward seeing it. Your latest post made it very clear you put a lot of effort in there. I’m really excited to see all this new, unseen and revamped footage of The Doors on a BIG screen!!
I wouldn’t worry too much about the reviews, I’m sure fans will like it. I mean there’s no actor playing anything, it’s the real deal as it happened and as it was captured on tape back in time.
By the way, did I read correctly that there is actual footage from the Miami concert used in the film???
Hope I make it to Berlin!
Thanks for your passion!
Hi Tom,
I just want to know where I can found some mp3 or cd of Arlen Condrell and The Bottom Feeders ?
I looking for on internet but nothing …
A Doors’s fan who just waiting for French theatrical release ! And what about the official site?

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Independent Filmmaker & Musician