By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS ACQUIRES SUNDANCE FAVORITE BEFORE MIDNIGHT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         

NEW YORK (January 25, 2013) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American and UK rights to Richard Linklater’s BEFORE MIDNIGHT, the third installment to BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Like BEFORE SUNSET, the third film is written by Academy Award nominees Linklater, Hawke and Delpy. Premiering to critical acclaim in the Premieres Section on Sunday evening at the Sundance Film Festival, BEFORE MIDNIGHT has been one of the most talked about films at the festival.

The film is produced by Linklater, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos and Sara Woodhatch and executive produced by Jacob Pechenik, Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer, and John Sloss.  The deal was negotiated by SPC and Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers.

In BEFORE MIDNIGHT, we meet Celine and Jesse 9 years on. Almost 2 decades have passed since that first meeting on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early 40’s in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.

“In 1991 we were in Sundance with SLACKER and we witnessed the birth of a major American filmmaker. At Sundance 2013 with BEFORE MIDNIGHT, we have further confirmation that Richard Linklater is a film master at the peak of his form. This one has it all as entertainment and as a work of cinematic art. It is a perfect movie made by not one but three auteurs, Rick, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy. This movie will be incredibly successful around the world. And the acquisition is all the sweeter for our being back with Rickand producers Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer and John Sloss,” says Sony Pictures Classics.

Director Richard Linklater adds, “Shooting in Greece was one of my best film experiences ever.  This has just been enhanced with the news that we’ve found such a good home with Michael and Tom.”

ABOUT SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.

Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 29 Academy Awards (25 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 135 Academy Award nominations (109 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for AMOUR, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATION, CAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/.

 

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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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