Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Studio Cancels All Screenings of 'No Good Deed' to Preserve Shocking Twist That It's Probably Terrible Studio Cancels All Screenings of 'No Good Deed' to Preserve Shocking Twist That It's Probably Terrible 'No Good Deed' Reviews: And the Twist Is That It's Good! (Not Really) 'No Good Deed' Reviews: And the Twist Is That It's Good! (Not Really) 'The Cobbler' Reviews: 'Makes Me Want to Upgrade Everything I've Ever Seen Half a Star' 'The Cobbler' Reviews: 'Makes Me Want to Upgrade Everything I've Ever Seen Half a Star' 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them': 'Between Just Enough and a Bit Too Much' 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them': 'Between Just Enough and a Bit Too Much' Daily Reads: The Death of Adulthood, the Future of Film in 'Snowpiercer' and More Daily Reads: The Death of Adulthood, the Future of Film in 'Snowpiercer' and More Kevin Smith Is OK With Critics Now Kevin Smith Is OK With Critics Now Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' 'Phoenix' Reviews: A Postwar-set Masterwork By Way of 'Vertigo' 'Phoenix' Reviews: A Postwar-set Masterwork By Way of 'Vertigo' 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them Criticwire Classic of the Week: Federico Fellini's '8 1/2' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Federico Fellini's '8 1/2' 'The Duke of Burgundy': With Butterflies and BDSM, a Kinky Romance Woos Critics 'The Duke of Burgundy': With Butterflies and BDSM, a Kinky Romance Woos Critics 'Men, Women & Children': Frowny Face Emoticon 'Men, Women & Children': Frowny Face Emoticon Kevin Smith Turns to Horror With 'Tusk,' and the Results Are Insane: First Reviews Kevin Smith Turns to Horror With 'Tusk,' and the Results Are Insane: First Reviews 'The Expendables 3' Torrent and the Techno-Utopian Delusion 'The Expendables 3' Torrent and the Techno-Utopian Delusion Comparing Lena Dunham to Woody Allen Is Unfair — to Lena Dunham Comparing Lena Dunham to Woody Allen Is Unfair — to Lena Dunham Did 'Edge of Tomorrow' Just Get a New Title for Home Video? Did 'Edge of Tomorrow' Just Get a New Title for Home Video? 'The Maze Runner' First Reviews: Once More Around the Dystopian YA Block 'The Maze Runner' First Reviews: Once More Around the Dystopian YA Block Now Streaming: 'Ida,' 'Last Year at Marienbad' and 'A Woman is a Woman' Now Streaming: 'Ida,' 'Last Year at Marienbad' and 'A Woman is a Woman' Daily Reads: The Disgusting But Important 'Wetlands,' Comic Book Movies That Thankfully Never Happened and More Daily Reads: The Disgusting But Important 'Wetlands,' Comic Book Movies That Thankfully Never Happened and More 'The Counselor's Extended Cut Is Inspired Madness 'The Counselor's Extended Cut Is Inspired Madness

'No Eulogies' Resurrects 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford'

Photo of Sam Adams By Sam Adams | Criticwire October 18, 2013 at 4:51PM

'No Eulogies' aims to make Andrew Dominik's Brad Pitt-starring 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' a repertory staple.
2
Okay, so you're Brad Pitt.
Okay, so you're Brad Pitt.

Jesse James may be dead, but his legend lives on, and thanks to a devoted fan, the 2007 film about his life and death is getting a theatrical resurrection as well. New York's Museum of the Moving Image announced today that director Andrew Dominik will attend a special screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford on Dec. 7. (Tickets go on sale to the public at noon Oct. 20; museum members will be able to buy earlier.) With its gorgeous widescreen photography, Assassination is a natural fit for the museum's ongoing "See It Big!" series. But the screening also marks the maiden effort of No Eulogies, a formal effort to establish the film as "as a classic and a staple of repertory cinema."

No Eulogies began with Jamieson McGonigle, a 28-year-old film editor from Sunnyside, Queens who saw Assassination on opening night at Manhattan's Angelika Theater. "I was completely entranced," he recalls. "It was just one of those films where I knew the minute I walked out that it was a classic, an all-timer, or whatever you'd want to call it. It was so clearly heads above everything else that was out, or had been out in recent memory."

Although Assassination got relatively strong reviews, it was clear that Warner Brothers didn't know what to do with a two hour and forty minute art Western, even if it did star Brad Pitt, so it limped into theaters with little fanfare and ended up taking in less than $4 million at the U.S. box office (as against its $30 million budget). But for McGonigle, and a group of like-minded fans including HitFix's Kristopher Tapley, The Film Stage's Jordan Raup, and McGonigle's friend, Anders Nelson, that wasn't nearly good enough. 

It's an especially personal crusade for McGonigle, who reached out to Dominik through friends and initially offered to bundle an Assassination screening in with his wedding, which McGonigle is renting the museum out for in January. The timing didn't match up, but by then, McGonigle had gotten the museum's chief curator, David Schwartz, interested as well. "David was immediately receptive to the idea of doing this screening on our very first phone call," McGonigle recalls. "I had a 20 minute pitch ready and he said yes in five."

"I knew right away it was a winner of an idea," Schwartz said via email. "With its great photography by Roger Deakins, its contemplative style and pacing, and its atmospheric quality, it is clearly one of those movies that truly can't be appreciated unless it's seen in a movie theater. It's also a movie that is steeped in movie history; it's more of a reflection on the Western than an actual Western." Although 35mm diehards may balk at the fact that the museum is showing Assassination via DCP, Schwartz says that Dominik actually prefers the digital version's color timing to that of the original film prints.

For the moment, No Eulogies, whose name comes from a line in the film, is focused on the New York screening, but McGonigle hopes to turn the effort into a bonafide movement, and says the initial response has been overwhelming. 

"Today's reaction has been amazing. People have already reached out from all over the country asking me to help bring a screening to their city. People have been very interactive with us so far on social media which is exactly what I hoped for. I couldn't be happier with the response."

This article is related to: From the Wire, Brad Pitt


E-Mail Updates