By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

On The Closing Of Brooklyn’s Indie reRun Theater

Dear friends and colleagues:

It is with some reluctance that I announce today that I’m stepping down as curator of the reRun Gastropub Theater. Although my time with reRun has been exciting and fruitful, on the whole, there have been creative differences internally that now make it too difficult for me to contribute sufficiently to the role. I will continue with my hosting duties for this Friday’s premiere of Nacho Vigalondo’s EXTRATERRESTRIAL, as well as the June 22 premiere of Nathan Adloff’s NATE & MARGARET, before exiting at the end of this month.

However, the split is amicable, and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity that reBar/reRun owner Jason Stevens offered by hiring me two years ago. Since the summer of 2010, Jason and I have built something that New York City was sorely lacking: a theatrical venue where acclaimed independent films from the festival circuit, underseen and mostly undistributed, could flourish. Being able to garner reviews and other press for these undervalued features regularly breathed new life into them, and gave filmgoers the chance to actually see them in a fun environment… with a cocktail in one hand, a bag of bacon-fat popcorn in the other.

According to Jason, reRun will be temporarily shut down following the NATE & MARGARET theatrical run so that he may revamp the space for whatever its next incarnation will be.

Following my departure at reRun, I will continue to work as editor of GreenCine Daily and as a freelance critic/journalist for various outlets. The timing of this decision is uncanny, but coincidental: on June 1, my wife Jennifer and I took over a Cobble Hill video store called Video Free Brooklyn, which I had originally hoped would be a natural, cross-pollinating extension of the movie theater. While we work to renovate our new business for the neighborhood community, I will be pursuing curatorial prospects elsewhere. Hopefully, this won’t be my only chance to make a difference in the realm of film exhibition.

Sincerely,

Aaron Hillis

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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