MCN Originals Archive for February, 2006

Simmons, Chappelle and Cult of Pryor to Sweep Aspen Comedy Fest

Last weekend’s NYC-Richard Pryor love-in is seems to be heading west to Aspen, where The Reeler hears this year’s US Comedy Arts Festival plans a retrospective of Pryor’s NBC variety show and its impact on African-American comedy. This comes in conjunction with the festival’s just-announced tribute to hip hop impresario Russell Simmons (right); the USCAF’s…

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“Why put it in a box? This is the number one problem I have—by the way it’s a fair question, I’m not saying that—with this kind of festival situation is that there’s always this temptation to classify the movie immediately and if you look at it—and I’ve tried to warn my fellow jurors of this—directors and movie critics are the worst people to judge movies! Directors are always thinking, “I could do that.” Critics are always saying, “This part of the movie is like the 1947 version and this part…” And it’s like, “Fuck! Just watch the movie and try and absorb it and not compare it to some other fucking movie and put it in a box!” So I think the answer’s both and maybe neither, I don’t know. That’s for you to see and criticize me for or not.”
~ James Gray

“I have long defined filmmaking and directing in particular as just a sort of long-term act of letting go,” she said. “It’s honestly just gratifying that people are sort of reapproaching or reassessing the film. I like to just remind everyone that the movie is still the same — it’s the same movie, it’s the movie we always made, and it was the movie we always wanted to make. And maybe it just came several years too early.”
~ Karyn Kusama