MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on Movies: Extraordinary Measures and Tooth Fairy

Extraordinary Measures (Two and a Half Stars) U. S.; Tom Vaughan, 2010 Nothing can break your heart like the spectacle of a loved one with a seemingly incurable disease; few can elevate it like a true story of disease defeated, a life saved, a doom deferred. Witness the

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Wilmington on Movies: The Book of Eli, The Spy Next Door, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, The Lovely Bones and 35 Shots of Rum

The Book of Eli (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.; Allen & Albert Hughes, 2010 The end of the world arrives again this week, though thankfully only in the movies. In The Book of Eli — an exciting but, for me, finally disappointing sci-fi thriller from the Hughes Brothers — Denzel Washington plays a lone,…

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Wilmington on Movies: Leap Year, The Sun

Leap Year (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.-U.K.: Anand Tucker Leap Year — in which Amy Adams learns that a bad-tempered Irishman who runs a tavern/hotel is in many ways preferable to a smooth-talking Boston cardiologist with a Blackberry — is a sweet-natured picaresque romantic comedy blessed with spectacular Irish scenery and cursed with the…

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Wilmington: The National Film Critics Awards

This year’s big winner at the 2009 voting awards meeting of the National Society of Film Critics, the 44th in its genuinely storied annals, was Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker. Already

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Wilmington: Ten Best of 2009

Here are my ten best, from a year of my life I wish I had never lived, a year of sorrow and pain and occasional flashes of redemption and love. What of the movies I watched during that time of personal tragedy? Well, this makes twice I’ve

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THE TEN BEST OF 2009

Here are my ten best, from a year of my life I wish I had never lived, a year of sorrow and pain and occasional flashes of redemption and love. What of the movies I watched during that time of personal tragedy? Well, this makes twice I’ve put Up at the head of a ten-best compendium…

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Wilmington

Quote Unquotesee all »

“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