“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
By David Poland email@example.com
One Critic or All Critics?
The VVM Turk finally came for Jim Hoberman. Critics around the country are mourning as though the man died.
Is Hoberman a symbol of the ongoing devaluation of film criticism? Is his firing a sign that the authoritative voice has succumb to The Back Pages?
Hoe many voices have not been removed or replaced in the last 2 decades? Morgenstern at the WSJ. Turan at the LA Times. Kauffmann at The New Republic. There must be a few others.
Even Ebert, who has survived the odds physically to develop a new, invigorated web presence, was treated poorly by Disney and has given up being the only critic writing on film at the Chicago Sun-Times.
Perhaps the argument that I read a couple of times in the coverage of Hoberman’s exit is the core issue here… that New York arthouse distribution still has a cause-and-effect relationship with film criticism… and this symbolizes a dying of that last ray of hope for being valued by the industry.
Perhaps it is time that we got over that.
(Note: Village Voice Media (as it is now known) has been, in market after market, like watching a Carl Icahn character, coming in with great bravado, and slowly but surely getting around to the business of chopping up papers to sell off their pieces off as spare parts. Fuck ’em. But it seems to me that the folly of that one organization is another story.)