MCN Blogs
Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Redacting out: an NYFF report [UPDATED AGAIN 9:03pm]



[UPDATED 9:03PM] A commenter with a DGA email address writes, “The DGA did NOT rule against Brian De Palma — that statement is entirely false. An arbitrator ruled the company could use redacted photos in the film, rather than the unredacted photos Mr. De Palma wanted to include.” BRIAN DEPALMA’S EARLIEST MOVIES, LIKE THE ANTI-VIETNAM WAR COMEDY GREETINGS, showed an acute awareness of the theater of the streets outside the confines of the 35mm frame. Filmmaker Jamie Stuart drops a line about the possibly contrived yet provocative goings-on at today’s New York Film Festival presser for DePalma’s latest men-in-war/media dissection Redacted: “In the middle of Brian De Palma’s NYFF pc for Redacted earlier today, as he began discussing the film’s use of actual war photographs and their graphic nature, Eamonn Bowles from Magnolia began shouting from the rear of the Walter Reade theater to refute De Palma’s claims that Mark Cuban was trying to, well, redact them from the picture’s release. Then, just as the press conference was coming to a close, producer Jason Kliot rushed the stage and grabbed moderator Jim Hoberman’s mic to offer the crowd his version of this distribution controversy. I was left wondering how spontaneous this all was or whether they knew it would be immediately blogged upon to stoke media attention.” [Consider this an affirmative reply of sorts.] [YouTube link via IFC.]
A look at the video, which I hadn’t seen yesterday, clearly suggests, “Look out, Brian, it’s real!” Eamonn Bowles has kindly offered his perspective on the incident: “there was absolutely no calculation involved at the press conference yesterday. depalma has been on a toot about how we’ve compromised his film, and then he stated publicly at the official nyff press conference that in no uncertain terms mark cuban, for aesthetic reasons, wanted the photos out of the film. i had just arrived and this was one of the first things i heard. in an almost tourette’s like moment, i just blurted out out that it wasn’t true. the thing that really frosts me is that we’ve been incredibly above board and have funded and continue to unapologetically support this incredibly incendiary film. the sole reason that the photos are redacted, is that it is legally indefensible to use someone’s unauthorized photo in a commercial work. any claim to the contrary is either hopelessly naive or willfully false. And any indemnification does not preclude getting sued, and considering the asset bases of cuban and wagner versus depalma, there’s no issue about who’s purses will be attacked (not to mention the presumption of agreeing to the image of one of your loved one’s mutilated body living on in the world wide media). the fact of the matter is, none of the companies that have released depalma’s work in the last 30 years would ever touch this film. and because our company, which has had it’s fair share of controversial, uncompromising films, actually was the one stupid/brave/committed enough to do so, we end up being the evil force trying to shut down a director’s vision. file this under no good deed goes unpunished.” [Photo by Jamie Stuart.]
redacted-jstuart.jpg


[First published 2007-10-08 16:39:09.]

5 Responses to “Redacting out: an NYFF report [UPDATED AGAIN 9:03pm]”

  1. eamonnbowles says:

    there was absolutely no calculation involved at the press conference yesterday. depalma has been on a toot about how we’ve compromised his film, and then he stated publicly at the official nyff press conference that in no uncertain terms mark cuban, for aesthetic reasons, wanted the photos out of the film. i had just arrived and this was one of the first things i heard. in an almost tourette’s like moment, i just blurted out out that it wasn’t true. the thing that really frosts me is that we’ve been incredibly above board and have funded and continue to unapologetically support this incredibly incendiary film. the sole reason that the photos are redacted, is that it is legally indefensible to use someone’s unauthorized photo in a commercial work. any claim to the contrary is either hopelessly naive or willfully false. And any indemnification does not preclude getting sued, and considering the asset bases of cuban and wagner versus depalma, there’s no issue about who’s purses will be attacked
    (not to mention the presumption of agreeing to the image of one of your loved one’s mutilated body living on in the world wide media). the fact of the matter is, none of the companies that have released depalma’s work in the last 30 years would ever touch this film. and because our company, which has had it’s fair share of controversial, uncompromising films, actually was the one stupid/brave/committed enough to do so, we end up being the evil force trying to shut down a director’s vision. file this under no good deed goes unpunished.

  2. eamonnbowles says:

    and this just in – the dga has ruled unequivocally AGAINST depalma on the issue of the photos.

  3. A. Nonymous says:

    The DGA did NOT rule against Brian De Palma — that statement is entirely false. An arbitrator ruled the company could use redacted photos in the film, rather than the unredacted photos Mr. De Palma wanted to include.

  4. JHLECHNER says:

    Let me get that last comment straight. It is “entirely false” that the DGA ruled against De Palma — but it is true that De Palma wanted to use the unredacted photos, and the DGA arbitrator said he couldn’t. I guess it depends on what the meaning of “is” is…

  5. Matt Volk says:

    The (A. Nonymous) General Counsel of the DGA should know what he’s talking about. :)
    He shouldn’t try to post anonymously, though.

Leave a Reply

Movie City Indie

Quote Unquotesee all »

Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

Z Weekend Report