Another twelve hours or so have passed, which means there’s more to talk about when it comes to the unreleased, North Korea-provoking comedy “The Interview,” that, for now, Sony won’t release, though at some point in the future they promise they will. And it’s in that framework that the independent cinema owners group Art House Convergence has issued a petition, supporting, but not necessarily pushing, Sony to release “The Interview” theatrically. Here it is in full:
We, the independent art house community, specifically the theaters below, express our support for Sony Pictures and all of its employees worldwide in this difficult time. We want to share our encouragement and appreciation for Sony and the great contributions it has made to the film industry, especially to our sector of art houses and independent cinemas.
On December 16th, the Terrorist Organization, “The Guardians of Peace,” escalated their threats by promising terrorist attacks against cinemas showing THE INTERVIEW. “The world will be full of fear,” their message read, “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”
With this threat, the issue became larger than any film, larger than Sony and larger than the entertainment industry: societal and artistic values are in peril. We are at an important crossroads with an opportunity to reaffirm clearly our dedication to the value of freedom and the absolute necessity to keep our film industry free of restriction, censorship and violent intimidation. We implore our fellow exhibitors and our nation of moviegoers to stand up in recognition that freedom of speech and artistic expression are vital not only to the entertainment industry but for all art and commerce worldwide.
We stand in solidarity with Sony and offer our support to them in defense of artistic integrity and personal freedoms; freedoms which represent our nation’s great ability to effect change and embrace diversity of opinion.
We understand there are risks involved in screening THE INTERVIEW. We will communicate these risks as clearly as we can to our employees and customers and allow them to make their own decisions, as is the right of every American. Understanding those risks, the undersigned, independent cinema owners and operators of America under the banner of the Art House Convergence, do hereby agree to support Sony and to support theatrical engagements of THE INTERVIEW should Sony, at its sole discretion, decide to release it to theaters.
Meanwhile, others aren’t playing so cautious. EW reports that New York’s Treehouse Theater has decided to host a free live reading of the script on December 27th. They claim to have gotten their hands on a draft of the screenplay that is “close to the final version,” with members of the Upright Citizens Brigade helping bring it to life. No word yet if Sony legal will swoop in and put a stop to this, but we can’t imagine they’ll be too thrilled when they find out.
Lastly, it appears the United States has responded to the Sony hack, with North Korea experiencing nationwide internet outages today according to The New York Times. But is North Korea really behind the hack? Some folks aren’t so sure.