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"Hollywood AD"

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Episode 7ABX18

Title: Hollywood AD

First screened in Australia: 26 July, 2000
First screened in the USA: 23 April, 2000

Credits: Director: David Duchovny
Writer: David Duchovny
Starring: Guest Stars: Plot:
After a screenwriter tags along with Mulder and Scully in their investigation of a church bombing, their case is later transformed into a Hollywood film. A film where the agents, played by GARRY SHANDLING and TEA LEONI, face off against the Cigarette Smoking Pontiff and his hoard of sniper zombies.

Australian Media Review:
This week's episode, written and directed by David Duchovny, opens with Garry Shandling playing Fox Mulder and Tea Leoni as Dana Scully, fighting off sniper zombies in a graveyard that looks as though it came straight out of Beetlejuice. Without giving too much away, Mulder and Scully have been immortalised on the big screen in a story that takes on biblical proportions and where art imitates life imitating art. Clear as mud. We are also treated to guest appearances from Minnie Driver and X-Files creator Chris Carter, who is engrossed in the action from a movie theatre. While very funny, Duchovny's creation seems confused at times, with a macabre film which - a la Fantasia - shows bones and skulls dancing and reforming and other strange visions which have Scully questioning her cynicism. Easily one of the best episodes in a while.
Kelly Gudgeon, The Daily Telegraph
My Rating: 10/10

Excellent stuff. While the mythology episodes are the heart of soul of the series, some standalone episodes such as this make the show great. I'd read some bad reviews of Hollywood AD, but, as always, I'm not a sheep and have my own opinion. I loved it, right! I don't care what anyone else thinks. The opening teaser was perfect and I can't remember laughing out loud that hard for such a long time. The episode had it's typical X-Files plot (bizarre but almost tangible and believable) but the Hollywood scenes were classics -- I'll never forget that opening sequence, the Mulder-Scully screen kiss, the "I love Assistant Director Skinner" line, the "I think Tea Leoni has a little crush on you" line, the "so does Garry Shandling" line, the Chuck Burks scene, the Wayne Federman role, the bubble bath, Mulder storming out of the movie premiere, Scully showing Tea Leoni how to run in high heels, Mulder and Scully walking off hand-in-hand and so much more.

Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Garry Shandling is the star of the brilliant "Larry Sanders" show and before that the prototype "It's Garry Shandling's Show". His movie roles include the disturbing "Hurly Burly" wth Sean Penn/Kevin Spacey and "Doctor Doolittle".

Tea Leoni has starred in the blockbuster "Deep Impact" plus "Bad Boys", Family Man", "A League Of Their Own", "Wyatt Earp" and "Switch". On TV she starred in the sitcom "The Naked Truth" plus "Santa Barbara" and "Flying Blind".

Wayne Federman has appeared in guest roles on "Larry Sanders Show", "Bayatch" and "News Radio". His movie roles include "Freak Talks About Sex" with Steve Zahn, "Jack Frost" and "Parent Trap Hawaiian Honeymoon".

Tony Amendola (Cigarette Smoking Pontiff) has appeared in "Wildlife", "Three Of Hearts" and "The Mask Of Zorro". On TV he's appeared in the "Seinfeld" episodes "The Implant" and "The Pilot" (Salman Rushdie) plus had a recurring role on "Stargate".

Harris Yulin (Cardinal O'Fallon) has had a long career stretching back to 1969. His movie roles include "Night Moves", "St Ives", "Scarface", "Ghostbusters II", "Loch Ness", "Cutthroat Island", "Bean", "Multiplicity" and "The Hurricane". He's also had a role in the soap "As The World Turns".

Paul Lieber (Micah Hoffman) has appeared in TV movies such as the Emmy-award winning "Bill: On His Own" and episodes of "Law And Order", "Dark Skies" and "Chicago Hope".

Where Have I Heard Those Names Before?
Tim Roe (Zombie) has been second assistant camerman on movies such as "Memoirs Of An Invisible Man" and "Honeymoon In Vegas".

Barry K Thomas (Sugar Bear) has been assistant director or second unit director on many movies, including "Blade", "The Negotiator", "The Preacher's Wife", "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls", "Sister Act 2", Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey", "Terminator 2", "Graveyard Shift" and "Twins".

Trivia and Research:
In the 1980s, a man named Mark Hofmann claimed to have documents that would shed light on the history and founder of the Mormon Church. Many people, especially church leaders, suspected that the documents were forgeries and began to investigate him. In turn, Hofmann planned a diversion by staging the murders of three people using bombs he created at home. He ultimately injured himself while transporting the explosives. Under questioning, he explained that he had faked the documents using forgery techniques to age the paper and ink.

The Weathermen began as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society, an American student organization that flourished in the 1960s and was well-known for its activism against the Vietnam War. By the end of the decade, SDS had splintered into several factions, the most prominent being the "Weather Underground Organization," which used terrorist tactics as its preferred form of protest. The organization consisted mostly of white, middle-class youths, but it was only a small, hard-core group of about 40 Weathermen that went underground in 1970 to start a more violent terrorist campaign. Named for an article written in the wake of the Columbia University uprising entitled, "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows" (actually a lyric from Bob Dylan's song, "Subterranean Homesick Blues"), the members called for an "armed struggle against the state" and directed their rage toward symbols of U.S. authority, including the National Guard Headquarters in Washington, NYPD's headquarters, and the Presidio Army Base in San Francisco, among others. The only casualties as result of Weathermen activities were the deaths of three members who died in an explosion of a bomb-making facility in a town house in New York City's Greenwich Village. Although they were implicated in the bombings, many members were never brought in by the FBI and the group faded into obscurity in the mid-1970's.

The theatre in the Hollywood premiere was shot in Fox's famed Darryl Zanuck Theater. Appearing in the audience are David Duchovny's co-stars in his film "Return to Me": Minnie Driver and David Allen Grier. Also seated in the audience is Chris Carter and Visual Effects Producer Bill Millar. Duchovny's stand-in, Steve Kiziak, fills in as Tea Leoni's date.

Mulder and Scully walk through Fox's "New York"-style Mulberry Street and are lead through Stage 11 when they arrive at the movie studio. The exterior of that soundstage is where the show "NYPD Blue" is shot. The interior of the soundstage is Stage 8, where "The X-Files" is shot.

The artist Andrew Campbell created 40 paintings specifically for the set of Micah Hoffman's house. He based these pieces on the script, adding a carnal bent to religious matter. Campbell was the artist commissioned by Gillian Anderson to create an image for the t-shirt she gave to each member of the crew on "all things". Campbell also painted a number of script covers for the show's production schedules.

Chuck Burks' line, "There's music in the air" is taken from one of Duchovny's previous series: "Twin Peaks."

Duchovny wrote the part of Wayne Federman for his friend, actor Wayne Federman.

Much of THE X-FILES' crew fills in as "The Lazarus Bowl" crew. The guy on the bike with the donut is Company Grip Richard Deats. The Production Assistant who brings Mulder and Scully to meet the actors is played by David Duchovny's assistant, Kevin Cooper. Second Assistant Cameraman Tim Roe is a zombie. The craft service woman is Tina Ameduri, who does craft service for the show.

David Duchovny's dog Blue is sitting in Tea Leoni's chair when Mulder and Scully arrive on the set and walks around the set when Scully teaches Tea how to run.

The prop department did extensive research on pottery from the time of Christ in order to create the Lazarus Bowl. They chose a photo of a bowl with a grooved surface and ultimately had it manufactured. For the movie premiere version, the prop department "Hollywood-ized" the bowl to hold popcorn.

The names on the tombstones are actual names of obscure, deceased directors researched in Fox's archives. Director Duchovny specifically chose the most interesting monikers to appear in the graveyard scene.

Media Story # 1:
Duchovny Loves X Wife

David Duchovny and his wife, Tea Leoni, had never worked together until they taped the April 30 episode of The X-Files. Given that Duchovny also directed the show, he must have been a little nervous, no? No is right, he says: "She's so good, I didn't pay any attention. I didn't say one word to her the whole time."

It might not have made an impression anyway. "Tea loves to change her hair whenever she does a part," says Duchovny. "She told me she wanted to wear a red wig [for the episode], and I didn't want her to." So the director prevailed, right? No again: "She just went ahead and did it." And he let her get away with it? "It looked great, so as usual, she was right." And will they work together again? "I wouldn't rule it out. But I think you have to be careful when [married couples] are deciding to work together, whether or not you want to mix those two things."

From US People magazine.

Media Story # 2:
'X-Files' episode feeds sweeps intrigue

You can watch Chad Lowe, in bangs and glasses, imitate John Denver in a CBS movie.

How about the fantasies attached to Arabian Nights on ABC? And NBC will attempt to lure you with a glittery, pop docudrama about The 70s.

A typical May sweeps agenda for next Sunday night.

But the most intriguing program could be Fox's The X-Files, which will provide a movie within a TV show.

As devoted fans know, Chris Carter's series is not afraid to attempt zany projects (the Cops-type hour is the most recent example). While not all offbeat hours are successful, give Carter and his troupe a bit of applause for breaking the predictable series mould.

Sunday's episode, written and directed by David Duchovny, deals with a film company making a movie about the lives of Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson), who are portrayed in tongue-in-cheek style by Garry Shandling and Tea Leoni, Duchovny's wife. There's even a cameo appearance by Minnie Driver (playing herself), Duchovny's co-star in the feature, Return to Me.

Lurking behind the screen is the unanswered question: Will The X-Files return next fall for an eighth season?

Lacking solid dramatic programming, Fox certainly wants it back and has opened its corporate wallet to back up its words.

Carter and Anderson are solid maybes, while Duchovny is a maybe-maybe. We'll know within a couple of weeks.

The truth remains out there, along with big bucks if Carter and the stars want to stay connected with UFO sightings, telepaths, genetically altered human beings, aliens and mutants who surface from cocoons.

Written by Dusty Saunders from The Rocky Mountain News

Media Story # 3:
Hollywood Signs (and Symbolism)

'SMOLDERING, intellectual sex bomb." That's what one smitten Fox publicist called David Duchovny back when "The X-Files" premiered in 1993, and her description's multiple connotations proved to be an apt metaphor for his enigmatic show as well.

Duchovny himself struts its cryptic charms this busy sweeps Sunday (9 p.m. on WNYW/5), writing and directing a spicy gumbo of an hour with more wit and style than all his network "event" competition.

"Hollywood A.D." (After Duchovny?) purports to guest-star Duchovny spouse Téa Leoni and Duchovny sometime-squeeze Garry Shandling-remember those ambisexual "Larry Sanders Show" episodes?-but they're mere (if clever and referential) cameos. The Duchovnyites play movie stars playing Scully and Mulder in a movie concocted by one of boss Skinner's (Mitch Pileggi) college buds (Shandling's "Sanders" brother Wayne Federman) after firsthand observation of the duo.

While the Hollywood writer is whispering script hints into his research recorder-he sees images of Jodie Foster, Payless stores, Harrison Ford and Jehovah's Witnesses-Scully and Mulder are exploring a real creepy metaphysical case of not just cosmic but holy import. A heretical gospel has been discovered, along with Christ-era objects that seem to indicate "I Am the Walrus" was cribbed from the Man Himself. Goo-goo-goo-joob.

That nonsense Beatles chorus is just about the only thing Duchovny doesn't stir into the pot. He's got "God's refrigerator," '60s radicals, "Plan 9 From Outer Space," Sister Spooky and Skin Man, Saul to Paul on the road to Damascus, vegetarian zombies, a cigarette-smoking pontiff and dancing skeleton bones.

He's got fleeting meditations on the nature of faith ("Maybe true faith is really a form of insanity"), inquiry, history, memory and media images.

He's got a firm hand on what makes "The X-Files" mesmerizing and what makes it funky fun. The story gets deeper and more twisted while the attitude gets sillier and more twisted. The whole thing pretty much falls apart by the end-ending anticlimactically secondhand and offscreen -but it's a wild and lovely ride along the way.

Written by Diane Werts for Newsday

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