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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

My blue haven: The New Yorker &#9829 Nora Ephron

The June 5 New Yorker has some lines to read between as Bewitched auteur Nora Ephron becomes the fulcrum of the issue. First, the 65-year-old scribe-turned-helmer reminisces about her price-stabilized apartment while bragging on her income, and subtly dropping in the name of her mate, Nick Pileggi, twitchthis1682a.jpgwho co-wrote Goodfellas for Scorsese. “When you give up your apartment in New York and move to another city, New York becomes the worst version of itself,” Ephron writes in gentle, only slightly condescending cliché. “Most people who don’t live in New York have no idea that New Yorkers have exactly the same sense of neighborhood that supposedly exists in small-town America.” Coy references to ex-husband Carl Bernstein are followed by mentions of “The man I was seeing, whom I eventually married, managed to tip his way to a lease on a top-floor apartment… My husband, Nick, and I were married there… It was a symbol of family.” The Sony (and Ephron) family are part of a fluff-and-fold profile of Sony chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer by Mark Singer. The 63-year-old Stringer, writes Singer, “seems a virtuoso of stealth ambition”—no reference to the failed movie Stealth, surely—and gets modest amounts of revelation from him: “They’d put five movies on [a] list [of 60 great Sony products] and I said, ‘I know two of those movies are going to be awful. So for God’s sake, don’t put ads in the paper saying, ‘Here are sixty great Sony products.’ It’s asking too much.” Singer offers up Bewitched as one of Sony Pictures’ “major disappointments” of 2005, kindly failing to cite Ephron as its director, but also offers testimony to Stringer’s acumen from… Nora Ephron‘s husband: “To this day, I still think of Howard as a journalist, the writer Nicholas Pileggi, who befriended Stringer more than 30 years ago… said. ‘Howard gets the overview. He can drop statistics and he knows the minutiae, but he gets the overview.”

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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