Thanks Joel, I’m in for tomorrow’s meeting
On Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 2:11 PM Joel Johnson <joel_johnson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I hope everyone (except the McCanns) can make it. If you are not able to
be there it would be helpful to know beforehand so we don’t delaying
I have shortened the original printed list consistent with the decisions
that we made at last week’s meeting and attached it to this e-mail.
I don’t know if all of you are aware of this, but the New York Times
published its Fall movie schedule of New York opening in early September.
It’s a useful tool to figure out what films have distribution and might be
available for our film series. It also has the expected opening dates for
many of the big fall movies that we have already been seeing trailers for
in our local cinemas and are expecting to be players in the unfolding
“award season.” The films cited on this will include some of the films
already on our list as well as a number of others that we have not yet
considered. Here is a link to that article:
*Some topics for discussion:*
We have several films on our list that are on streaming services. Since
IMDb seems to now be a subsidiary of Amazon, we readily get info on
accessing a number of films either on Prime Video or on DVD/Blu-Ray through
Amazon. Unless the DVD/Blu-Ray is a super bargain price, that is probably
of less concern to us than accessing it through streaming which may just be
the subscription fee or the subscription fee + surcharge for that film. The
surcharge fee seems to vary quite a bit and it is not always clear why.
These often seem to be go from a low of $1.99 to about $5.99 with a few
considerably higher. Since some are much less than the price of a movie
ticket, should we avoid booking these films? Where do we draw the line or
is it just enough to have a surcharge for the specific film?
Similarly, we may want to eliminate “HALA” from our list. It is among a
handful of films that will be offered through the new Apple TV+ service.
The plan for “HALA” is that it will be released into select theaters
beginning in November and then be available on their streaming service in
December. The subscription fee for Apple TV+ is just $5.00. They are also
bundling AppleTV+ with purchases of new Apple products like iPhones. Alice
and I really liked the film after seeing it in Toronto, but having this
film that doesn’t really need to be seen on the big screen so readily
available for streaming would seem to be a losing proposition.
I have made contact with Barbara Merson at MJFF. I have confirmed that the
dates for MJFF are 3/28/19-4/5/19 which is later than usual. Our series
will be over when MJFF starts so we do not have to be concerned about
scheduling around the weekend of the MJFF satellite screenings at RRSQ. We
are both early in our process. Though I suspect that we may have several of
the same films potentially under consideration, we discussed just two over
our e-mails. One was “ADVOCATE” that is already on our list and “THOSE WHO
REMAINED” which is not. “THOSE WHO REMAINED” is the Hungarian submission
into the Best International Feature Film Oscar competition. Ken usually
doesn’t like for us to try to book potential Oscar films, but this is, like
“1945” and “BUDAPEST NOIR,” set in Hungary during more or less the same
time period. Here is a link to the Menemsha website:
https://www.menemshafilms.com/ Go to the link for “Our Films” and it will
lead you to an array which includes “THOSE WHO REMAINED.” You may also note
that the film “FIG TREE” that is currently on our list is there as well as
several other possibilities.
I want to thank Clif and Laurie for their work in going through the list
and providing their reactions. There are several films on our list that are
from the distributor FilmMovement. I have requested screeners for
“ADVOCATE” (mentioned in discussion with MJFF) and “COMPLICITY” for which
they expressed interest and for “SONG WITHOUT A NAME,” “TWIN FLOWER,” and
“A WHITE, WHITE DAY” for which they didn’t express interest as well as a
few other selections—including some from this year’s TIFF—as well as an
older comedy from Scottish director Bill Forsyth called “GREGORY’S GIRL”
(1980). I had also intended to include “ULYSSES AND MONA” on my screener
request, but didn’t. Perhaps there is general agreement that a “cancer
movie” doesn’t provide much incentive for people to get up and get going to
the movie theater on a winter morning. However, we may have the opportunity
to see the other films (to some degree or other) in making a decision about
them. I had received an e-mail from FilmMovement about “SONG WITHOUT A
NAME” over the summer and thought it might provide a window into the
experience of being separated from one’s child which is a topical concern
even though the story is set in Peru. I saw “DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND” about 30
years ago. I thought it was a really interesting film about repressed
desires at an Australian school in the 1950’s. The film was directed by
Fred Schepisi who along with Bruce Beresford, Gillian Armstrong, and a
couple of other Australian directors were becoming well-known—at least by
connoisseurs of independent film back in the 1980’s. Schepisi will turn 80
at the end of the year and hasn’t made any films since 2013. He did, of
course, make “Empire Falls” in and around Waterville. I don’t know if we
could capitalize on that connection or not to perhaps set up a Skype or
Facetime post-film Q and A, but I thought we might want to explore that. I
certainly can appreciate that the “VARDA” film is different from what we
usually show and films about filmmaking may not have the appeal for a
general audience. I did think that the audience for “FACES PLACES” really
appreciated it and liked her. I don’t have a recollection of that audience
being smaller than our typical crowd, but I couldn’t find any records on
attendance though I suspect we may have gotten a report. “FACES PLACES”
would have shown during the 2018 film series.
That is probably enough for now. We will have quite a bit to talk about
tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing everyone.
*From:* cinemaexp-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <cinemaexp-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> *On
Behalf Of *Laurie Graves
*Sent:* Tuesday, October 01, 2019 4:40 PM
*Subject:* [cinemaexp] Clif & Laurie's list
Clif & Laurie’s Interested and Disinterested List
We went through one through fifteen on the IMDB list—many thanks, Joel,
for providing this list—and we sorted the movies into two categories: Those
we were interested in and those we were disinterested in.
First our *interested list* as this is the shorter one.
*At War:* We are both keen on this subject of a company closing the
effect on the workers. An added interest is seeing how this plays out in
*Socrates: *Great reviews, gripping story of a scrappy orphan trying to
make it on his own. What’s not to like?
*Advocate**: *A doc that tackles a compelling subject: An Israeli lawyer
defending Palestinians who have been accused of being terrorists. According
to reviews, the rotoscope is used to obscure faces of clients.
*Complicity**: *Good reviews by a few critics. A food film that also
deals with the terror of being undocumented. This is probably one that
should be screened first as there isn’t much written about it.
*The Load:* Really, really interested in this film that deals with the
moral consequences of just doing your job. Great reviews by many critics.
Our *Disinterested* List
*The Other Story**: *Just not interested in this subject. Sorry.
*What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire:* Sounds like it could be
Hale County 2.0.
*Song without a Name:* Not enough critical commentary provided to make a
*The Ground Beneath My Feet:* As a former social worker, Clif is very
leery about using mental illness as a plot device.
*Enigma:* Again, not enough critical commentary on this movie.
*Devil’s Playground: *Not exactly a classic but too old to be
*Twin Flower: *Only two reviews. One good, one bad, and the good one
sounds like a splat.
*A White, White Day:* Sounds like a tired story and better suited for
television, say a Netflix series.
*Ulysses & Mona: *Laurie just can’t take movies where one of the
characters has cancer. Too much of it in her own family.
*Varda by Agnes**: *We actually are interested in this one, but we don’t
think this movie will draw enough of an audience to make it worth showing.
*Faces/Places* had a very small turnout.
We are eager to learn about everyone’s praises and pans.