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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Soderbergh on film crickets

Todd Hill of Staten Island Advance blogs part of an interview with Steven Soderbergh, where he talks about movie reviews. “I just don’t read them. It’s just not something that helps me at that point. First of all, I’m usually already two movies away from what they’re looking at. They have a role, they just don’t really have a role for me. I’m aware of the general critical response to sswish_d195.jpgsomething as it affects the business life of the film. If you make a film that’s kind of a specialty film and you get trashed by everyone you’re going to have a tough time trying to break through. It’s like getting hit by a car and six months later somebody going, ‘You shouldn’t have stepped in front of that car.’ Yeah, okay. Wish you had been there. I have nothing to say in response. The film is what it is… I’m sure we all have complex feelings about the Internet. On the one hand, in theory, if you write about movies you can go on the Internet and write a 5,000-word piece on something if you’re so moved. The question is whether anybody will get to word 500 before they go, ‘Oh Jesus, just tell me how many stars.’ Culturally, that kind of question of whether there is a place for that kind of ruminative, complex criticism, that’s an open question, and not just for cinema, for everything.”

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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