Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Mining For Gold: Sony Classics Sued For Paraphrased Faulkner Quote In 'Midnight in Paris' By Humorless Estate

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist October 26, 2012 at 9:42AM

If this year's long-standing theatre run of “Moonrise Kingdom” represented a financial change in winds to Wes Anderson's other work, then the box-office windfall behind “Midnight in Paris” last year proved a hurricane to Woody Allen's mainstream success. Clocking in as the director's highest-grossing film ever with $148 million made worldwide, it was a landmark for a career already rife with many, but naturally there are entities looking to carve out a piece for themselves, as the estate of one of American literature's giants now is taking legal action against Allen for an ill-paraphrased quote.
1
Midnight In Paris Owen Wilson

If this year's long-standing theatre run of “Moonrise Kingdom” represented a financial change in winds to Wes Anderson's other work, then the box-office windfall behind “Midnight in Paris” last year proved a hurricane to Woody Allen's mainstream success. Clocking in as the director's highest-grossing film ever with $148 million made worldwide, it was a landmark for a career already rife with many, but naturally there are entities looking to carve out a piece for themselves, as the estate of one of American literature's giants now is taking legal action against Allen for an ill-paraphrased quote.

Allen's films are of course filled to the brim with playful literary allusions, sometimes to the detriment of the narrative itself, but up until now nothing has been made of the filmmaker's permission in doing so. However, the humorless rightsholders behind William Faulkner's work have come forth with a claim saying Sony Pictures Classics had no right utilizing a quote from the writer's “Requiem for a Nun” in the 2011 film. Also -- in true gold-digger fashion -- Faulkner Literary Rights have requested a jury trial, which in the end would lead to compensatory and punitive damages, legal fees and some of the movie's profits to boot.

Looking to the film's scene in question, it occurs when Gil Pender, the time-travelling screenwriter played by Owen Wilson, explains his exploits by saying, “The past is not dead. Actually, it's not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party.” Because of this irreparable damage to the author's career, the rightsowners claim the quote could “deceive the infringing film's viewers as to a perceived affiliation, connection or association between William Faulkner and his works, on the one hand, and Sony, on the other hand.”

A screenwriter working alongside the likes of Howard Hawks himself, it's nevertheless irrelevant to think what Faulkner would think of the lawsuit against Allen, one in which the writer/director isn't even listed as a defendant. Instead, what remains are the frivolous and petty efforts of a great writer's estate to capitalize on a film's success, and so hopefully the next action regarding the matter will be its swift removal from a courtroom docket, and not an ensuing pile-on of Legal Avengers from the estates of Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, and Ernest Hemingway. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Midnight In Paris, Sony Pictures Classics


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates