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.]
Which is easier, writing or directing a film? Those are two totally different things. Writing is slightly easier because you can do it in bed.
~ Ben Wheatley To The BBC
You can neither make beautiful, great movies without risk as you can make babies without sex. Risk is part of the artistic process. That’s why I like performance, because performance is walking a high wire.
~ Francis Coppola