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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

By the blurbling brook: listening to crickets

heineblurb_720.jpg Blurbs away! Variety’s Timothy Gray selects favorite flavors in 2006 cricket-hype. In his annual tradition of collecting “these blurbs, one begins to ponder cosmic matters. Such as: “Who exactly qualifies for recognition as a film critic?” Some blurbmeisters do not come from the world of reviewing. For example… Larry King, You, Me and Dupree—”Owen Wilson has to be one of the greatest comedic actors of all time.” … And what exactly is “praise”? Studios apparently were convinced that these comments were surefire audience lures[:] Sam Adams, Los Angeles Times, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning—”There’s hardly a body part that isn’t mangled or lopped off, ground up or sliced through.” … The Dove Foundation, Barnyard, “You have to see it to believe it.” … Pete Hammond, Maxim, Beerfest—”The party film of the summer. You’ll laugh your Heineken off!” “Of course, one of the jobs of blurbmeisters is to recognize great films[:] Anthony Kaufman, Indiewire, Climates—”Masterpiece!” [;] CineScene, Zen Noir—”A genuine masterpiece.” [;] Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com, Flannel Pajamas—”A spiny and dispassionate little masterpiece.”

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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