These days when you want something, there’s usually a way to get it. In terms of media, whether it’s a song, episode, book, or movie, you can download it, steal it or buy it on Amazon. But when it comes to seeing a film (one that isn’t a new release) in actual cinematic quality, this is not the case.
As the release of the Autumn calendar approaches, we encourage you to keep this in mind. When you’re looking through to see what’s interesting, what’s lame, what’s unfamiliar, and you’re weighing your workload against cinematic exposure and other free time activities—the opportunity to experience CASTLE IN THE SKY or PINK FLAMINGOS (or any other of this quarter’s 80+ incredible titles) in the immersion of a theater, it does not come often.
I can AND will defend a director and writer’s use of any word. Language is as much an artistic tool as the camera itself.
What is not always defensible is the why a word was used. Which can be easy to parse at times and at others can be muddy and convoluted. And sometimes there is no why. Again, it comes down to choice.
What becomes incredibly difficult to defend is when any creator demonstrates a continued lack of understanding and empathy, especially when they have ultimate control over the worlds they are creating. As Spike put it later, “[Tarantino] says he grew up on Blaxploitation Films and that they were his favorite films but he has to realize that those films do not speak to the breadth of the entire African-American experience.”
Tarantino never seemed to truly acknowledge that it would be natural and right for folks to be offended when he used the word “nigger”. He’s defensiveness at times signaled almost an unwillingness to take responsibility for what he had written and created.
Spike on the other hand, never really acknowledged that Tarantino’s worlds are specific and were never meant to speak to or replicate the African-American experience. At least not the African American experience that existed outside of a certain genre of films. A genre that, while reflected the themes and issues of African-Americans, never claimed or aimed to be realistic. Tarantino has repeatedly noted that some of his movies are meant to exist as a heightened reality in an alternate universe he’s called the “Realer Than Real World Universe”. Others exist in the “Movie Movie Universe” and these moves are much more like comic books and films.
We receive films that have women calling each other “bitches” and “ho’s”, black men and women calling each other “nigga” and LGBT characters calling each other “fags” or “dykes”. Over the years we have programmed some of those films with no reservations and with no concerns.
But, the number of film submissions over the years that have had straight characters casually calling each other “fag” and “homo” has been troubling. Yes, it’s true that people straight and gay call each other “fag” or “homo”. However, just because one replicates an event, big or small, in a film, in a book, or on stage, doesn’t mean that replication has verisimilitude. It doesn’t mean that replication gets deeper to the ideas, themes and undercurrents that those events represent and what led to those moments to begin with.
Single Ladies, multiple viewing options:
So how to watch it? Ay, there’s the rub. The first time I saw Bachelorette was at its Sundance premiere in a 1,500-seat theater where audiences gasped, roared and walked out in droves. (Also Kirsten Dunst was there, which was awesome.) The second time was by myself in an empty apartment, and while I enjoyed the movie just as much, the viewing experience left something to be desired.
There’s no easy answer to this Video On Demand development, but it’s not going away. Not after these numbers. And in this town, where you’ve got once-respected theaters routinely charging audiences $11 to watch DVDs projected from a Sony PlayStation3, sometimes the choice to stay home isn’t much of a choice at all.
After four and a half months of this, Carney got in touch with me to propose a deal, saying, “I sincerely wish you well and I am sorry this issue has come between us.” “I am willing,” he writes, to “ship everything back for a modest consideration, simply to cover my costs and the time and trouble of having stored the material for the past seven-and-a-half years.” In return for my own films, I was to pay him $27,000! Some may call this extortion, I call it merely outrageous. Just to put it in perspective, that would equal 3 years of the monies I get from Social Security. To continue the suit to trial would have cost me about the same amount, in addition to the thousands I had already spent. I couldn’t afford to continue.