MCN Blogs
Noah Forrest

By Noah Forrest Forrest@moviecitynews.com

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I’m making my preliminary list for my annual “Top Ten Films to See This Fall” column and it’s going to be awfully hard to whittle it down to ten.  It’s also going to be hard to figure out which movies are actually going to be released this year.  Films like Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life and Peter Weir’s The Way Back are currently scheduled to be released sometime this year, but they are both without a firm date.  In the case of the Malick film, it’s unclear whether the film is even finished yet and it’s been on the last few of my “Top Ten Films to See” lists.  But even if one takes those two out of the running, we’re talking about filmmakers like David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell, James L. Brooks, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Anton Corbijn, Oliver Stone, Ben Affleck, Julian Schnabel, Robert Rodriguez, Clint Eastwood, Danny Boyle, Julie Taymor, The Coen Brothers, Mike Leigh, and many others I’m forgetting.  All of them releasing films this fall.  And that’s not counting films like Jackass 3-D, Due Date, the new Harry Potter flick, and Love and Other Drugs, which I’m looking forward to seeing as well.  Here’s hoping this is a fine fall, because we all know it’s been a miserable summer.

One Response to “Making a List, Checking it Twice”

  1. Great article! I can’t say the last time I read so much valuable information all in one place. You make strong points that I agree with and comprehend. You’ve done a great job on this.

Leave a Reply

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas