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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

S07, Year of the A*hole. sez Backrow Tom

PinguineCoup.gifTom Hall calls Sundance 2007 The Year of The Asshole at Back Row Manifesto: “[T]he festival blues are kicking in; Many of the members of the industry have left town, the screenings are less frequent and the exhaustion of seeing 5 or 6 films a day has started to wear… [I] believe that Sundance 2007 will go down in history as The Year of The Asshole. In almost every single fiction (and, come to think of it, non-fiction) film I have seen at this year’s festival, white American (heterosexual) masculinity has been exposed as the playground of self-serving, foul-mouthed, misunderstood pricks whose sole mission in life is to destroy the happiness of women and their fellow men. As a white American heterosexual man, I can understand how watching the constant parade of cultural and political douchbaggery might impact people’s perceptions of what the tropes and parameters of the white guy ethos actually look like, but are we really that bad? … It is a tough year for the boys at the movies, although maybe these guys are better than the neutered, incompetent drips that represent us on television. Where are the heroes? Ok, maybe asking too much; Where are the likeable men?” [Hall names names 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