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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.

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INTERVIEWER
Do you think this anxiety of yours has something to do with being a woman? Do you have to work harder than a male writer, just to create work that isn’t dismissed as being “for women”? Is there a difference between male and female writing?

FERRANTE
I’ll answer with my own story. As a girl—twelve, thirteen years old—I was absolutely certain that a good book had to have a man as its hero, and that depressed me. That phase ended after a couple of years. At fifteen I began to write stories about brave girls who were in serious trouble. But the idea remained—indeed, it grew stronger—that the greatest narrators were men and that one had to learn to narrate like them. I devoured books at that age, and there’s no getting around it, my models were masculine. So even when I wrote stories about girls, I wanted to give the heroine a wealth of experiences, a freedom, a determination that I tried to imitate from the great novels written by men. I didn’t want to write like Madame de La Fayette or Jane Austen or the Brontës—at the time I knew very little about contemporary literature—but like Defoe or Fielding or Flaubert or Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or even Hugo. While the models offered by women novelists were few and seemed to me for the most part thin, those of male novelists were numerous and almost always dazzling. That phase lasted a long time, until I was in my early twenties, and it left profound effects.
~ Elena Ferrante, Paris Review Art Of Fiction No. 228

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