By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks announces theatrical release plans for Spike Lee’s RED HOOK SUMMER; Will partner with Variance Films for August 10 theatrical release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Republic of Brooklyn, April 25, 2012 – 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks announced today that the company will undertake its first independent distribution effort with founder Spike Lee’s Brooklyn coming-of-age story, RED HOOK SUMMER. 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks will partner with New York-based Variance Films for the theatrical release, which will begin August 10, 2012 in New York City theaters, expanding to the top 30 markets throughout the month of August.

“From my very first joint back in 1986, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, I have been an independent filmmaker, and even today I still am,” said Spike Lee.  “I’m elated to join forces with Variance Films for the independent distribution of my new joint RED HOOK SUMMER.  We look forward to getting this film into the marketplace, where we believe 100 percent that there is a starving audience for American independent films like RED HOOK SUMMER.”

“Variance’s sole mission is to ensure filmmakers retain their rights and their power,” said Dylan Marchetti, founder of Variance Films, “and I can’t think of a filmmaker that would make better use of both than Spike Lee.  Spike is truly one of the godfathers of independent filmmaking, and RED HOOK SUMMER is an entertaining, yet thoughtful, film that says something we think needs to be said.  We couldn’t be more excited to work with Spike and his team to ensure that audiences across the country will be experiencing this fantastic film with their friends and family.”

The latest in Spike Lee’s Chronicles of Brooklyn (which also include SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, DO THE RIGHT THING, CROOKLYN, CLOCKERS, and HE GOT GAME), RED HOOK SUMMER tells the story of Flik Royale, a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather, Bishop Enoch Rouse, in the housing projects of Red Hook.  Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ.  Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik’s summer appears to be a total disaster–until he meets Chazz Morningstar, a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn.  Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he’d ever imagined.

The deal was brokered by Dylan Marchetti of Variance Films with CAA and Robert Strent of Grubman, Indrusky & Hireon on behalf of 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.redhooksummer.com

ABOUT 40 ACRES AND A MULE FILMWORKS

40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks is the production company of Spike Lee. Founded in 1986 in his childhood neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York, it has produced feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos and short films. 40 Acres has been a training ground for young unknown black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, who have gone on to make their mark in Hollywood today.

ABOUT VARIANCE FILMS

Founded in 2008 in Brooklyn, Variance Films is a New York City-based theatrical distributor whose sole mission is to bring the best in independent cinema to theaters across the continent, while allowing filmmakers to retain all rights to their work.  Founded in 2008 by Dylan Marchetti, Variance distributes films using innovative release strategies that focus on collaborative, filmmaker-centric grassroots marketing to drive audiences to theaters.  Recent Variance Films releases include John Sayles’ Philippine-American War epic AMIGO, José Padilha’s ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN (Brazil’s official submission for the 2011 Academy Awards™), Damien Chazelle’s jazz musical GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH, and the highest-grossing film of all time in China, Jiang Wen’s hilariously dark action-comedy LET THE BULLETS FLY.  For more information, please visit www.variancefilms.com.

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“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook