By Ray Pride

Armando Iannucci

“We shot before Trump was even the Republican nominee. However, I made it for a reason. I knew I was finishing ‘Veep,’ and I was thinking about doing something about a fictional dictator set in the present day. I just had this feeling that something strange was happening in democracies. Electorates were doing strange things. Parties were being elected that had never been elected before. Nationalist movements, and populist movements, and celebrities in Italy stuffing up their own party, plus you had the likes of Putin, and Berlusconi and Erdogan in Turkey, and these sort of strong, very authoritarian figures bending the rules of democracy to acquire more power. Then ‘The Death of Stalin,’ the book, came along. It was sent to me, and it was something I was interested in, and I thought instantly, ‘This is such a bizarre, absurd, farcical and yet horrifying story and it’s true, so that’s what I’m going to do.'”
Armando Iannucci

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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