Letter: Robert Davi responds

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to an article you wrote about a documentary called "Davi's Way" of which I am the subject. I wish to clarify a few statements made by the director Tom Donahue that do not accurately reflect my motivation and also slightly misrepresent our process.

First let me say our collaboration was satisfying and the final film is a gem of an experience for the audiences fortunate enough to have been able to see before its theatrical release. The filmakers did a terrific job.

Now to the comments by Tom. In the aforementioned article he alludes that " the film is about someone "trying to be as great as Frank Sinatra ..... but come up against our own limitations." I in NO WAY ever equated or am trying to imitate or be as great as Sinatra. That would be an impossible task - what I make very clear is my appreciation for his genius and my wanting to honor someone who was my friend and mentored me in my career.

Next he says the "film is about compromise and the limits of ambition." While this does sound interesting it is not quite accurate. Ambition does not have limitations; one's talent does and therein lies the rub and subtle confusion in Tom's statement!

As for "compromise " again it is not only compromise but misrepresentation, which you will see is alluded to in the film.

Lastly my "yelling" as he refers to it is not "yelling " but passion and frustration — as you who see the film will see. Sometimes it is too easy to be superficial in one's statements and in this case I feel Tom, while I respect and have affection for him, is a bit passive aggressive in his, in a sort of "evil leprechaun " kind of way. He could have been more positive in the relating of his experience in doing the film!

He has said many times what an exciting process it was working together and how the absolute unpredictabilty of my process left him in awe. No one needs an ass kissing just the authentic truth of a human experience. That's what I wanted when I took the challenge of doing the documentary, not to sanitize an experience but to open myself up to the viewer — a unvarnished rawness. We all had creative input. The journey told us what the film is; nothing was scripted, not even the last scene when I go to see my assistant at the restaurant — which was a surprise to all!!

Now that is my message to Tom — do not minimize the time we spent together.

Robert Davi

Los Angeles, Calif.


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