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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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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles