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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

“State of Cinema: Steven Soderbergh” (39’35”)

After successful viral increments, Mr. Soderbergh has allowed the “archival” recording of his speech to be published on the SF Film Society blog, along with a rush transcript: “A few months ago I was on this Jet Blue coming from New York to Burbank, and I like Jet Blue not because of the prices, but they have this terminal at JFK that’s really nice. I think it may be the nicest terminal in the country although I have to say of this country, if you want to see some great airports you have to go to a major city in another part of the world—they have amazing, amazing airports, they’re incredible and they’re quiet. You’re not being assaulted by music all the time. I don’t know when it was decided that we all need a soundtrack everywhere we go. I was just in the bathroom upstairs and there was a soundtrack, accompanying me at the urinal, I don’t understand Anyways, I’m getting comfortable in my seat—I spent the extra 60 bucks for the legroom so we’re hitting altitude and I’m getting a little comfortable—and there’s this guy who is in the other side of the aisle in front of me and he pulls out his iPad; he’s about to start watching stuff. I’m curious as to what he’s going to watch. He’s a white guy in his mid-30s and what he’s done is he’s loaded in half-a-dozen, sort of, “action extravaganzas” and he’s watching each of the action sequences. He’s skipping over all the dialogue and the narrative. So this guy’s flight is just going to be five-and-a-half hours of mayhem…” [Transcript continues here.]

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch