By Ray Pride

Ruben Östlund

“It’s very important to have an understanding for what the characters are doing. If you have a character that you want to judge and say, “He’s doing the wrong thing,” “He’s stupid,” “He’s a psychopath,” or whatever, then it becomes less interesting. It’s much more interesting to have someone do something stupid or amoral out of pure candor or naïveté. Because then you have to reflect and look back on yourself.  I wanted to make a tragicomedy, or a comic tragedy, where at a certain point, you don’t know if you’re allowed to laugh anymore. It’s really nice when the viewers can’t be 100% sure where we take them. They have to accept that they don’t know, and we take them to unexpected places. Just like in real life, when you have something really comical happening, and there’s something really tragic attached to it. And when something really tragic has happened, there’s often something trivial and comic about it.”
~ Ruben Östlund

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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