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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

After 100 shorts, Area Six: Chicago's James Fotopoulos tries to go comm'l

At Reel Chicago, news of a truly underground prodigy hoping to cross over to the bank. “After eight features and more than 100 shorts that have made him a favorite of museum and underground festival programmers, James Fotopolous is embarking on his first commercial production,” writes Ed M. Koziarski. grandpas ghost_music from the fotopoulos projects.jpgArea Six is budgeted at $2 million and based on Chicago novelist Jay Bonansinga‘s “The Sleep Police.” The producers, Fotopoulos says, are “taking my art world rep and moving it into commercial territory.” Fotopoulos sees both he and Bonansinga as profilic Chicago compatriots. “Fotopolous said he was attracted to “the fact that it’s about sleepwalking, hypnotism and abortion. All those themes are interesting to me.” … Fotopoulos, whose father was a police officer, said he’s interested in exploring the stylistic contrast between the procedural and hypnosis/sleepwalking aspects of the story.” [You can read my 2003 profile of Fotopoulous here.]

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch