Thursday, May 08, 2008

end of the current crop of film independents?

It's interesting reading in Variety about the "independents" having been purchased now being folded into the studio structures. Is this a sign of a cold economic winds? Here's a link

but here's a quote that caught my eye:

"Horn cited the fact that 600 pics get released annually as having made the specialty biz less attractive financially in recent year. He also said that such pics have becomce more likely to screen at multiplexes rather than art-house venues and expressed confidence in Warner's distribution side to ensure that smaller films receive the proper handling.

Horn admitted that the announcement's likely to be interpreted as Warner Bros. getting out of the indie film biz but stressed that it will still acquire and produce specialty pics. He cited the success of such fare as "March of the Penguins," "Before Sunset," "We Don't Live Here Anymore," "La Vie en Rose" and "Snow Angels" as examples of the kinds of projects that Warner will still look to buy and produce."


BLC said...

I think its a comment on society more that we have to pigeon hole pics at all. When we stop viewing pieces as being worthy, or just down right enjoyable for their own right, rather than if they are part of the exclusive indie club is a shame.

I wonder at the big "houses" deciding how much of one and how much of the other I will have access to.

I know that the world is very profit driven, and this is at the expense of some intersting, enjoyable and pertinent things missing out on being heard, screened or published. Its a shame, but a reflection of how the dollar is the driving force behind so many hings in our world, both artisitc and mundane.

I do believe at times that the "arthouse" fascination by some is a clumsy swipe at being part of an exclusive club and have to wonder why a smaller cinema ina mutiplex does not have the same potential to screen such movies. Is it indeed the fact that more are being released, or it the snob factor of the potential viewer clientelle that are unimpressed by this?

Andrew's black dog blog said...

I found what you said very interesting. I've just been listening to the last program in the Canadian Broadcasting Commission's Massey lectures given this year by Alberto Manguel. He fires salvo after salvo against the industrialization of publishing by the big publishers. It think he'd agree with you.

From where I sit, you can't see or "read" everything. Not every film can be made or book publisher. Somewhere a choice has to be made and the market is as democratic a way of choosing as there is likely to be. It's not perfect and it's good to be sensitive to its imperfections. But then nothing is perfect there's lots of random paths and flaps of butterflies wings at work in art as well as weather.

If we lacked the discipline and opportunities of profit, that would also be at the expense of some interesting, enjoyable and pertinent things perhaps. Balance is important and a shared sense of community so that profit is a discipline rather than something that acts as stranglehold on thought.

It strikes me that in good economic times art (painting, sculpture, books, film - the whole gamut) flourishes. And as society needs a certain critical economic mass for personal expression to flourish. Are we now exiting those good economic times and will that make it really tough for "independent" films and publishers?

Part of my gut response to Manguel is that he is something of an "arthouse" academic harkening back to some mythic golden age of literary creation. A version of the snobbery you mention.