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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Men behaving gladly: prankish Lady in the Water, puckish Kevin Smith

Over at Movie City News, you’ll find my take on Lady in the Water; I’ll post some thoughts about Chris Doyle‘s cinematography later. Plus: over 6,500 words with Kevin Smith on the release of Clerks II, clerks2c.jpgconducted a few weeks before the recent kerfuffle begun by that noted, timeless lover of film and its possibilities, JoelTime to go!Siegel. Our garrulous conversation contains profanity, natch; explicit sexual language and third act spoilers, as well as Smith’s insights into the Weinstein Company’s alliance with MGM. “Harvey calls up and goes, “I’ve got good news, man. We can do this MGM deal and we’ll see a massive pay cable sale that we were never going to see on this movie.” I was like, “Does that make you happy?” ‘Cos me, I don’t give a fuck. I don’t watch movies on HBO or any of those things anymore. I buy DVDs. I was like, “Does it make you happy?” He’s like, “Yeah, it means more backend.” I was like, “Fine, good for you.” And we hung up and then I thought about it. I was like, wait a second, MGM might be signatories to the MPAA. So I called him back. I was like, “Harvey, is MGM a signatory to the MPAA?” And he’s like, “I dunno. We’ll have to look into that.” I was like, “Aw fuck, it’s coming.” And what was coming —and he never flat out said, “You must get an R”—but he said, ds_359001.jpg“I’m telling you Kevin, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table for an unrated film. This pay cable deal yields a lot…. So me and Mosier started really biting our fingernails, ‘cos it was like, fuck, sooner or later, this is going to go from a friendly persuasion to him going like, “I looked at your contract and you have to deliver an R.” … The MPAA is never that helpful in terms of the things they find problematic. They don’t tell you, “If you cut four seconds of this, we’ll give you an R.” They would say something like, “You might want to look at the donkey show.” Well, what part of the donkey show? Y’know? It’s like nine minutes! … clerks2b.jpgFinally we could delay it no longer, we’re going to have to have this MPAA screening. So we submitted it to the MPAA, and I had my arguments ready to go, like all the movies I could cite, which they don’t want you to cite in the appeals process, but I would fuckin’ blurt ’em out anyway. All the movies that have gotten an R. Bachelor Party had a donkey show, they got an R. In Brokeback Mountain, fuckin’ Heath Ledger spits in his hand, that got an R. Why can’t we have the donkey dude spit in his hand in our movie? I was ready for the holy war of all time. The massive fuckin’ jihad against the MPAA.” [So much more at the link.]

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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