David Hudson has some news from Germany about a controversial episode built around the local release of the highly-anticipated film, Der Baader Meinhof Komplex. As Hudson points out, rather than eliminate any advance press screenings and prevent bad word-of-mouth, the film’s studio has taken a decidedly aggressive step:
In order to attend a preview screening this week of Baader Meinhof, journalists had to sign a contract with terms that, despite both companies’ protestations, can only be described as unprecedented. The film opens on September 25; if a journalist writes about the movie or even speaks about it with a third party – friends, colleagues, what have you – before September 17, a fine will be imposed: 100,000 euros, to be split between the journalist’s employer and the journalist him/herself – personally. 50K each.
In an August with little else going on in the entertainment biz, this one false move has kicked up precisely the sort of coverage it was meant to dissuade, rousing a formal protest from the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband and stories from Franz Baden in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Sonja Pohlmann in Der Tagesspiegel, Hanns-Georg Rodek in the Berliner Morgenpost and Die Welt and Volker Behrens in the Hamburger Abendblatt.