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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

The world's stroppiest actors

Winnowing the clip file, I came across an article I wrote for a British magazine that’s never been online: a search for the ‘World’s Stroppiest Actors,” or in Left Coast, difficult talent. Here’s the opening; the link takes you to the rest.
WARREN BEATTY WILL NOT BE SPEAKING WITH YOU. Burned by journalists in the 1960s, Beatty was one of the first Hollywood bigs who refused to submit to the indignity of journalistic interrogation. Adam Sandler’s used his box-office clout to resist interviews for his latest comedies, and you can’t blame him. How many times can you answer the same questions about your life, your loves, your latest movie? There are actors like Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford who soldier onward, revealing little but at least making the gesture. Tommy_Lee_Jones_8265.jpgTom Cruise is all smiles and intense eye contact, a shining exemplar of all the self-help non sequiturs that stream from his anecdotes. Tom Hanks is all sunlight and jollies. He doesn’t say much, but it’s always with lighthearted good-cheer. While Ford does the circuit, he telegraphs answers shorter than the dialogue of any character he’s every played. “I do this because it’s part of my job, I do this because, what’s the word,” he told me recently. “It’ll come to me.” He slow-burns that famous smile, nearly a smirk. “I’m a profit participant.”
Yet those luckless artistes earning less than $20 million a picture are contractually obligated to meet the ladies and gentlemen of the press. Most Hollywood publicity is manufactured during an exhausting weekend-long clusterfuck, day-long series of seven-minute television interviews and twenty-five minute roundtables where journalists fire their impertinent (or idiotic) questions at increasingly punchy performers. We’re all working here, you want to shout at the stroppy lot.” [More at the link, including Mr. Jones on what makes a good dog good.]

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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