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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Life and nothing but: another cricket calls it quits

At The House Next Door, Matt Zoller Seitz and Keith Uhlich go at length over some choices. Seitz, who has directed and is shifting to that pursuit, writes, “Well, the short of it is: I’m out of print criticism. tinycricket.gif I’ve been thinking about it for a while and for a variety of reasons. One of them is that I’ve been doing it for 17 years now as of May of this year, and I’ve done it for a variety of different outlets in a variety of different forms. I’ve enjoyed it… I’ve always enjoyed it, but I just don’t want to do it anymore. Part of the reason for that is that I don’t write as quickly as I used to and I don’t have as much time to do it as I used to. But the more important thing is that, according to the actuarial tables, I’m probably about halfway through my life, if I’m lucky. And there’s a lot of things Rain that I would like to do, and I haven’t done them yet. And I want to get started on it… [I]n all honesty I write a lot more slowly than I used to, and I have a lot less patience with print than I used to. When I’m writing, when I’m doing pieces in print, that are print only, I find my mind starting to wander, and I’m thinking about movies. I’m thinking about watching movies and making movies and I’ll go off and start storyboarding thepuppet movie. Or I’ll start combing through my DVD collection looking for scenes of a similar type. Like one night I went through my DVD collection and looked for scenes in movies that reference the famous shot of the bouncing ball in M… There’s more to life than movies, and I don’t think that, 10 years ago, I don’t think I would have said that. But I’m saying it now: there is more to life than movies. And I remember a conversation with Sean Burns—I think it might have been in the comments section of the blog—he Dawn raincasually mentioned that Gene Siskel, God rest his soul, was… there was somebody who looked down on Siskel for saying that he skipped some film festival to go to a basketball game. And Burns was completely approving of [Siskel], and I am too. I am too: Go to the goddamn basketball game! And when I look back on those hundreds and hundreds of hours that I spent watching movies—many of which were not that memorable, and many of which did not tell a whole lot that I didn’t know—when I realized that they were hours that are gone now and I’m not getting them back… It makes me mad. It makes me mad, honestly, that I’m not gonna get those hours back. You know those are hours I could have been spending with my family. With my loved ones.” [A few thousand more worthy words at the link.]

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch