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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

BYOB 022014

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6 Responses to “BYOB 022014”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    So I saw “Blood Brother” last night, the documentary about the regular American dude who takes care of kids with AIDS in India. There was an absolutely fascinating meta-documentary that was taking place at the same time as what I was watching on screen involving the main dude’s desire to be liked, and the American desire for charitable works overseas to come with some sort of recognition. There’s a scene where this guy speaks of the horrific, wrenching stories of all these kids, but the focus is on how it affects HIM,. We do not see ONE story of how it affects the children he is speaking of, though images of the children recounting horrors shuffle past wordlessly. To be clear, I have no doubt this guy cares for the children he has dedicated his life to serve. At the same time, I have no doubt he feels that he is committed to a heroic, noble cause, and his jesture is by all means worthy of a documentary.

    Just an unbelievable examination of American narcissism in the philanthropic realm that I felt like either flew over most critics’ heads or they chose to ignore. But it made it the second greatest doc last year for me (Act of Killing) in a year of just superb work (Call Me Kuchu, Gideon’s Army, Herman’s House, A Band Called Death, 20 Feet From Stardom, on and on).

    Anyone else who saw this please comment.

  2. PcChongor says:

    Charity in America is just the 21st century version of paying an indulgence. Gives a nice warm and gooey feeling about helping out with a symptom, while leaving the root cause completely untouched. But at least it’s tax deductible!

  3. Tuck Pendleton says:

    Saw The Spectacular Now the other night. Wonderful, I was blown away.

  4. chris says:

    Sadly, Etguild, I don’t think that phenomenon is so uncommon. Same deal with “Born Into Brothels” and that movie won an Oscar.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    Finally got around to “The Square.” Transcendent, amazing, must-see and is on Netflix instant. I know it happens again and again in the Oscars with feel-good domestic fluff overpowering world-beating cultural iconography, but “The Act of Killing” and “The Square” are two of the best documentaries ever made. I liked “20 Feet From Stardom,” but “The Act of Killing” is transforming Thailand’s response to the genocide with actual legislation taking place as a result of this film, and “The Square,” is a desperately needed reaffirmation of hope that should be required viewing for neo-cons like John McCain and Lindsey Graham pining for Mubarak.

    A “20 Feet From Stardom” win, god bless Darlene Love and company, would be the biggest travesty this year.

  6. Hcat says:

    So I just want to get this straight about the son of god movie this weekend. It is all repurposed footage from the hugely viewed miniseries. So they worked the church circuit to get them to pay for a movie they have seen in a slightly different form on cable and on DVD? Aren’t people going to feel slightly burned when they realize they bought.a ticket to something they have on the shelf at home?

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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