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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Lurks II: when Caro Met Smith again

kevin-smith-sm.jpgChiTrib’s pop blogger, Marc Caro, gets Kevin Smith to talk about his relationship with reviews and movie crickets, and, of course, with Marc Caro. Producer’s rep and author John Pierson “recalls that after Clerks came out, losecaro_234.jpg[he] bought a laminator. “He would save all his reviews and laminate them,” Pierson says. Makes sense. Newsprint turns yellow, after all. Now, of course, everything’s online, so when Pierson asked him the other day whether he still uses the laminator, he was surprised that Smith answered in the affirmative. “I said, ‘Are you telling me you laminate [stuff] you print out on your own printer?’ ” Pierson recalls. “He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘That’s sick.'” The day that Smith’s inside-joke-filled farce Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back came out in 2001, he actually posted on his Web site a rundown of every single review in the country—the star rating (if there was one) and his own comment. When he got to “1 1/2 stars, Chicago Tribune,” he wrote, “Lose my e-mail, Caro.” Almost three years later, when I e-mailed him for comment for a news story I was writing—as I occasionally used to do before my review—he responded by asking if I’d first take back my Jay and Silent Bob review. My response was that now he knew that my positive reviews, such as of Chasing Amy, weren’t just snow jobs. No dice. No comment.”

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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