By Ray Pride

Monte Hellman

MONTE HELLMAN: I can usually tell within the first minute whether a film is good. And, if it’s bad, I turn it off after ten or twenty minutes.
That quickly?
That quickly.
What is it that you’re looking for?
I’m looking for something to surprise me.
What’s an example of something that you turned off after a few minutes?
La La Land.
I should’ve guessed.
I just couldn’t watch it.
I couldn’t make it more than thirty minutes into La La Land myself, but it obviously has some appeal. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that the Hollywood Bowl had ‘La La Land in Concert?’
You know I don’t know the answer to that question.
What do you think might be the appeal for La La Land’s acolytes?
I don’t know, but I’d bet almost anything that they’ve never seen another musical before.
It’s the biggest, loudest musical of the moment and maybe it’s just easier for people to like it?
Something like that.

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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