We’ll see how loyal a hungry dog really is…it’s not about money…it’s about sending a message!
The current line on independent film, depending on who’s doing the spinning and why, is that it’s dead, in crisis or at least in trouble…but I’m not persuaded that it means all that much for true independents, those who have never worked inside the studios, never wanted to and probably couldn’t if they tried. I don’t think it means much for Kelly Reichardt, who made the lovely independent film “Wendy and Lucy,” and is unlikely to direct the next comic book blowout, because her aesthetic sensibility and worldview are of no economic use and interest to the studios or to most audiences either. That’s not a bad thing, not even remotely, especially for those who think films have worth beyond their box office returns.
2) A.O. Scott
In June, Mark Gill, a former Miramax and Warner Independent executive, gave a talk called “Yes, the Sky Is Really Falling,” which stopped short of predicting utter apocalypse but suggested that for those who manage to stay in the business: “It will feel like we survived a medieval plague. The carnage and the stench will be overwhelming.”
So we arrive at autumn, traditionally a time of renewal for devotees of the serious and the sophisticated, to find the smell of death hanging in the air. What happened? Last year at this time we were surveying an almost incredible bounty, a bumper crop of middle-size movies that threatened to overflow the calendar and overwhelm anyone who tried, out of love or professional duty or some combination of the two, to keep track of them all.
Will there now be fewer? Would that be a bad thing? Will fewer mean better, or just more of the same? These questions have ultimately less to do with the movie business — which always changes and always stays the same — than with the state of the audience. All of these strategies of marketing, branding, campaigning and publicizing amount to a strenuous, sloppy effort to intuit the desire and influence the behavior of moviegoers. And the problem may be not that there are too many movies, but that there are too few of us.
Living in a Material World
3) David Mamet:
I found that the movies (and television) are an industry, staffed by craven business types interested only in making a buck…If I want to have access to an industry capable of both producing and (theoretically) distributing my work to a worldwide market, I’m going to have to go into the world of those who (by whatever means) have got the corner office and convince them why it is a good idea to part with their organization’s bucks.