Interviews Archive for April, 2012

The Gronvall Files: BETWEEN TERENCE DAVIES AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

For a world-class filmmaker, Terence Davies keeps a fairly low profile; you’re not likely, for instance, to catch him chatting on late-night TV (in part because the director-screenwriter dislikes travel and hardly ever watches television). He has channeled his energies into his work, from ruminative autobiographical features like “Distant Voices, Still Lives” and “The Long Day Closes,” about Britain in the 1940s and 1950s, to his masterly adaptation of the Edith Wharton classic “The House of Mirth” (starring Gillian Anderson in one of her best movie roles), followed by the acclaimed documentary “Of Time and the City,” about his native Liverpool.

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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