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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Dept. of Ouch: a festival's notice on a filmmaker

2054968274_d26aec4698_m.jpgOn Saturday at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the 48th edition, Diego Luna showed his directorial debut JC Chavez, a documentary about a Mexican boxer, and conducted an acting-directing-producing masterclass. After the departure of he and his producing partner (with Gael Garcia Bernal), Pablo Cruz, the festival issued a notice to journalists and also placed in public areas this notice, with bold red borders:
ANNOUNCEMENT:
CANCELLATION OF SCREENING OF THE FILM JC CHAVEZ, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH, 12.00, FRIDA LIAPPA
We regret to inform you that today’s (second) screening of the film JC CHAVEZ, directed by Diego Luna, is cancelled.
The responsibility for this regrettable decision lies with the film’s producer, Pablo Cruz, who attended this year’s Festival as a guest along with Diego Luna.
Mr. Cruz demanded to take the film print with him for a screening in London, despite the fact that he had been notified before the start of the Festival about the 2 screenings.
Despite the production company’s assurances that a BETA tape would be forwarded to us instead of the print, in order for the second screening to take place as programmed, the tape has not arrived in Thessaloniki at the moment of going to press. [Photo: Ray Pride.]

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“To be a critic is to be a workaholic. Workaholism is socially conditioned: viewed favourably by exploiters, it’s generally ruinous to a worker’s mental health. When T.S. Eliot said criticism was as inevitable as breathing, he failed to mention that, respiratory problems notwithstanding, breathing is easy. Criticism is reflexive before reflective: to formalise/industrialise an involuntary instinct requires time, effort and discipline. The reason we seek remuneration, as opposed to the self-hatred of being a scab, is because all labour should be waged…

“Criticism, so the cliché by now goes, is dying. None of the panel discussions on its death agony, however—including those in which I’ve formally participated—come at it from the wider perspective that the problem surely needs. They defend the ways in which criticism functions in relation to the industry and to the public, but they fail to contextualise these relationships as defined by ultimately rotten and self-harming imperatives.

“Criticism was a noble profession so long as only a few could practice it for money; when the field expands, as it has with a so-called ‘democratisation’ of our practice, those few lose their political power. Competition grows and markets are undercut: publications are naturally going to start paying less. Precarity is both cause and effect of a surplus workforce: the reason you’re only as good as your last article is because there are plenty of other folks who can write the next one in your place. The daily grind is: pitch, or perish.

B”ut criticism, so a counter-cliché goes, is not dying. An irony: this is an elite sport that is no longer elite in terms of who is able to practice it, but in economic terms it’s clutching to a perverse and outmoded hierarchical structure. It’s more meritocratic than ever, now: which is to say it isn’t meritocratic at all. That’s a paradox in bad need of a resolution…”

~ Michael Pattison Manifestoes Film Criticism

“It’s easy to forget when you’re reading a critic every single week or multiple times a week, that most of us who do this job, and have been doing it for a long time, understand that this is basically a parasitic profession. I don’t mean in the sense that we’re evil bloodsucking creatures, but we couldn’t exist if we didn’t have something to analyze. And I’m always conscious of that. So whether I like or don’t like a particular thing you do, my point of view is always that of an appreciator. I just like to be in the world that you create.”
~ Matt Zoller Seitz To Sam Esmail

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