Everyone Loves the IFC Center, But There Are Still Too Many Movies

by Anthony Kaufman
August 31, 2007 2:37 AM
1 Comment
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Friends, collegues, enemies, my Village Voice article "Crowded House" has engendered some good, healthy, debate about the flooding of films into the marketplace, but come on, people, didn't you read the entire article? While IFC's day-and-date program was a main element of the story: It was not the only one. I love the IFC Center, the actual venue and its programmers, and I love the fact that they take a risk on some challenging films, which is stated as much in the article, but there is a real problem out there: There are too many films, and the IFC Center's parent company is part of the problem -- one piece among a large and complex puzzle. And the article says this.

On Eugene Hernandez's blog, he writes critically, "What about the sub-par titles from other companies that gain a theatrical release seemingly only to raise awareness for a film's DVD release. To be totally fair, where's the list of rotten films from other companies that are jamming our beloved art theaters?"

In the article, before I even mention the IFC Center, I've written an entire paragraph that does just that: "With more companies than ever vying for art-house box-office dollars, from Hollywood's powerful specialty divisions (Fox's Searchlight, Warner's Independent Pictures, Paramount's Vantage, et al.) to new ventures entering the market every day (City Light Pictures, Peace Arch Releasing, Overture Films, et al.) to DIY releases seeking theatrical runs merely to promote future DVDs, there's an increasing array of options for filmgoers. But there's also more clutter (see: Arctic Tale, Cashback, Dedication, Descent, September Dawn) for good films to cut through."

So to reiterate, the article wasn't meant as a singular slam against the IFC Center or its day-and-date program (I do also mention Mark Cuban's HDNET day-and-date program), it set out to explore the several complicated relationships going on within NYC indie exhibition, from indie distributor's release patterns to art-house booking policies: the IFC Center and what comes with it is just the latest addition to the scene and that's why it got called out more than most.

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1 Comment

  • jrd22 | September 2, 2007 4:28 AMReply

    Why is the absolute number of movies even an issue, when virtually *nothing* exceptional comes out of American indie film?

    You Filmmaker article quotes self-sacrificing producers, at some length, on the difficulties they face. Fine and well; but who the hell appointed Gil Holland, and a host of others, as gatekeeper(s)?

    Would you expect great novels or paintings to emerge if every work of art required an indie film producer? Relegate art to lawyers, production managers, trust fund brats and dot.com billionaries, and expect --what? A sort of simulationof a movie ? One resembling the Sundance Dramatic Competition?


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