The Boston Phoenix has unearthed quite a rarity from its archives: Bill O'Reilly interviewing Gerard Damiano, the filmmaker behind '70s adult film classics including Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones, back in 1974. Yes, that Bill O'Reilly: Mr. frothymouthed hatebaiter, he of l'affaire falafel.
The novelty value of Bill O'Reilly having written it is interesting, and more so the fact that it was O'Reilly's first piece for the paper—ever the provocateur, old Bill. But more interesting still: some of the buried contents of the piece, which paint Damiano as a sort of of DIY, stick-it-to-the-man indie sex auteur who hates Jack Valenti and the MPAA, and loves both broads and sandwiches. Just like us, you guys!
Damiano paused to take a bite out of his sandwich and then related that The Devil In Miss Jones, his most successful picture, was conceived and made a few months after the release of Deep Throat. This time it took him a month to write the screenplay and he is proud that the film received some minor critical acclaim. He also enjoys achieving recognition from show business people: "I heard through the grapevine that many personalities are personal fans of mine and have all my films. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Hugh Hefner, these people have all my films!But I suppose O'Reilly's prurient fascination with Damiano and sex shouldn't come as a surprise: the guy's something of an erotic auteur, himself. Off with those pants!
"I was in a restaurant in California recently and a waiter came over and said that if I didn't mind Mr. Cassavettes, John Cassavettes, would love to meet me. And here's a man who I have, throughout the years, admired for his talent; and here he was wanting to meet me.
"The only source that has expressed displeasure with my work has been Jack Valenti of the MPAA. But you have to understand people's motivations. Valenti is completely motivated by his pocket. He cannot condone independent films because he belongs to the system. I laugh at him, I defy him. Hollywood makes a film called Man Of La Mancha for 10 million dollars; it grosses twenty five thousand. I put out Deep Throat for $25,000; it grosses 10 million. I destroy his whole system. I destroy everything he stands for."
The Devil Behind ''The Devil in Miss Jones'' (The Boston Phoenix, originally published on April 30, 1974)
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