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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“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