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The Viewing Booth (@True/False), Ra’anan Alexandrowicz

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Vanity Fair

"Midnight Cowboy shattered many barriers. Men like these—hungry, hollow outcasts—had never been depicted with such honesty and directness in a mainstream American movie. Neither had this vision of New York—cold, bleak, corrupted. The acting is superb—not just Voight and Hoffman, but a small troupe of brilliant supporting actors—the screenplay terse and powerful, the camerawork fluid, the music poignant and engaging. Even the costumes are memorable. Still, no one expected the movie to make a dime. On the way to their first screening before the executives at United Artists, the chronically anxious Schlesinger turned to Hellman, his producing partner, and asked, 'Really, Jerry, do you think anyone in their right mind will pay good money to see this rubbish?'"
Excerpting Glenn Frankel's "Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation and the Making of a Dark Classic"

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Rushfield: “The exhibition industry, even post-apocalypse, remains what it has been for a long time now: an industry dominated by bottom-feeding venture capitalists looking to squeeze as much money out of it as they can in as short a time as possible before they dump their companies or liquidate them. But what they certainly don't do is invest in anything that won't pay for itself in six weeks. In most businesses, that pattern is what's known as The Death Spiral or The Doom Loop. And that's why the whole windows/theatrical vs. streaming debate is completely screwed up and hopeless. As much as in my heart I would like to be team theatrical until I die, you look at on the one side, you've got a company like Netflix whose lightning rise has been driven at every moment by a fanatical, no-detail-is-too-granular obsession with customer experience and improving that pixel by pixel. On the other side, you've got a company like AMC still making bullying noises about the windows and not budging in putting their gouged customers through an experience that rivals a major airport hub. Its visionary CEO (self-described), after a year of his company being dead in the water and having to discharge most of its employees and having agitated and fumed for a government bailout, awards himself a $3 million bonus.”

March 4, 2021

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