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A Plea for "Forty Shades of Blue"

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik October 4, 2005 at 11:09AM

A Plea for "Forty Shades of Blue"
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I'm worried that the audience for artful, engaging (and yes, sometimes challenging) American cinema is truly dead. Lodge Kerrigan's utterly gripping and emotionally satisfying "Keane" -- one of the best U.S.-made movies of the year -- has made a dismal $30,303 at the box office. Despite strong reviews, the ticket-buying public just wasn't there. If it's still playing somewhere, anywhere, see it quickly, tonight, now, before it's gone forever.

Now the same sorry fate seems to be in store for Ira Sachs' "Forty Shades of Blue," an equally mesmerizing, solid piece of work from an up-and-coming American auteur -- the film even won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, for chrissakes. Do New Yorkers care? What does it take?

Sachs himself even sent out an email plea to supporters on Tuesday.

"It seems that even with very strong New York reviews, "Forty Shades of Blue" still needs your help. Without money for advertising, its been more difficult than we might have hoped to get people into the theaters, and sad to say, if this weekend is not better at the Film Forum, the film will be gone from New York cinemas before you blink an eye. . .

"I