Night Moves
MCN Blogs

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 »

DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato