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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Babel babble burst

Babel producers Jon Kilik and Steve Golin are lucky enough to be able to afford an ad to respond to the Right Coast Paper of Record: In the October 25 New York Times, the pair purchase a fair number of square inches to address a double-barreled blast of hearsay from the LA Times and NY Times regarding the writer and director of that film (and of Amores Perros and 21 Grams): “To The Editor: As the producers of Babel, we feel it is a shame that The New York Times chose to base an October 22 article upon a gossip piece that the Los Angeles Times Arts section printed on October 4… 7_478b7h.jpg We have worked side by side with Alejandro González Iñárritu for the past two years and have witnessed a great example of the collaborative processes of moviemaking… [E]xamples of the loyalty, trust, inclusion and teamwork that define his way of working [include the] continuity of Gael Garcia Bernal… Adriana Barraza (Amores Perros, Babel), Director of Photography Rodrigo Prieto (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel), composer Gustavo Santaolalla (21 Grams, Babel), production designer Bridgette Broch (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel)… editor Stephen Mirrone (21 Grams, Babel) and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel). We have never heard [González Iñárritu] use the word “auteur” to describe his filmmaking style but often the word “we.” … While the debate of authorship is as old as cinema, philosophical differences that had nothing to do with the creative process of making Babel… [have] resulted in Alejandro and Guillermo choosing not to work together on their next features. Those same philosophical differences [led to] the decision to not appear together in Cannes… We know that both of these men are saddened that their long and successful relationship has been reduced to salacious gossip.” Kilik and Golin quote a letter sent to the LA Times by the collaborators but which was not published: “We were both saddened to see your article. It is disappointing when the focus of a 10-year relationship is at its conclusion… Alejandro does not have a manager and therefore could not have confirmed anything. The fact of the matter is our professional relationship has run its course. We have worked together… on three very successful projects and are incredibly proud of those films. We intend to move forward independently.” [A partial LA Times correction is here. Pictured: Rinko Kikuchi.]

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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