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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Non-Hollywood thoughts: Victor Erice, Abbas Kiarostami

KiarostamiExhibition07.jpgFilm is not only dead but can represent death.” “It’s a funereal art!” Spanish director Victor Erice sighed. “It captures lives. Life disappears, but cinema shows it… When you see a film with an actor who has died, everyone lives again for us spectators, using the same words, doing the same movements as when they were alive.” Abbas Kiarostami, asked “why so many of his films were set in cars, he responded that he likes cars. “I spend at least three-four hours a day in my car. It’s a good place to concentrate and to communicate when you sit side by side with someone, not looking at each other’s eyes; you commune better.” [From an Ekathimerini report from the 2004 Thessaloniki International Film Festival; the photograph by Kiarostami is from 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