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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Mourkarbel's 411: responding to his WTC preemptive attack

At the Filmmaker Magazine blog, Scott Macauley cites Chris Mourkarbel’s response to the ParStoneViacom lawsuit, with original punctuation: “Firstly, I wont be able to address all aspects of this issue pending litigation. I graduated last month from an MFA program and I made World Trade Center 2006 as part of my final thesis at school. WTCheavens3-87.jpgI make site-specific video, sculpture and installation, often using found media or objects as my source. My projects explore the idea of memorial, fiction, and the way in which politically driven events are edified. This project was created as commentary on Hollywoods presumed authority to write history. Through their depiction of a historic event, they are ultimately in the postion to influence ideas and effect policy. Using Stone’s script was the meaning of the work. I’m not a commercial filmmaker. Offering their story for free online was a statement on their 60 million dollar effort. I explicitly stated on my site that the video was made using their script so I didn’t see the need for the side-by-side comparisons in the press. Though I can’t speak to ‘Fair use for the purpose of political commentary’ in copyright law, I can say that I wasn’t trying to make a point about appropriation. I was using that strategy to make a statement about power.” [Details on the suit 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