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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Brutal realities: distributing Mutual Appreciation

Promoing indieWIRE’s “Undiscovered Gems” series, indieWIRE’s Brian Brooks ekes a squeak or two out of Andrew Bujalski, director of the painfully sly, 16mm b&w pic Mutual Appreciation. [indieWIRE opens the Harvard-spawned filmmaker’s endeavor starting September 1 at NYC’s Cinema Village and LA’s Sunset 5 and Pasadena’s Playhouse 7 on September 8. What lead [sic] you to filmmaking? mutual_promo659.jpg“I was obsessed with movies as far back as I can remember (Rocky III, Star Trek II, etc), [and] never really considered doing anything else with my life. Wish I could be a musician but lack any apparent talent. Also wish I could be a novelist; same problem. Also painting. Or, I don’t know, even dancing. They all sound good to me.” Bujalski “studied film as an undergrad at Harvard, which has a tremendous program where you really get an opportunity to ‘handmake’ films, which doesn’t make you particularly employable but does give you delusions of autonomous grandeur, which I’ve managed to hang onto since… Distribution is a pain in the ass. Most of the people in that business are very friendly and affable and nice to talk to, but the business itself of course is brutal.” [For an alternative take on Bujalski’s film, sample Becky Ohlsen of Willamette Week: “I wanted to walk right into this movie, like Mia Farrow in The Purple Rose of Cairo—only with a machine gun. Or maybe a hatchet. Then I’d kill every single character while laughing with glee. The most painful example of gutless, nutless indie-rock awkwardness I’ve ever seen… drifts aimlessly through the lives of an aspiring musician from Boston, his best friend and his best friend’s girl. All three of them are loathesome, inarticulate, self-absorbed, unoriginal, bumbling, insubstantial wastes of skin who can’t even make crippling neurosis mildly interesting.” [Ms. Ohlsen was attacked with a pie earlier this year by a Portland exhibitor for a relatively innocuous mention of his theater.]

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“Would I like to see Wormwood in a theater on a big screen? You betcha. I’d be disingenuous to argue otherwise. But we’re all part of, like it or not, an industry, and what Netflix offers is an opportunity to do different kinds of films in different ways. Maybe part of what is being sacrificed is that they no longer go into theaters. If the choice is between not doing it at all and having it not go to theaters, it’s an easy choice to make.”
~ Errol Morris

“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant