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A place for you to post comments on our articles.
74

Miramax quiets "The Quiet American"
Topic by: dpowers
Posted: November 30, 2002 - 2:57 PM PST
Last Reply: December 1, 2002 - 4:29 PM PST

author topic: Miramax quiets "The Quiet American"
dpowers
post #1  on November 30, 2002 - 2:57 PM PST  
miramax is already discredited as a thoughtful distributor. they always err on the side of sap. this makes them look like their search for "quality" was actually bigoted, that they were looking for movies that would not challenge popular american ideas about the world "outside." (okay i'm sure i'm not the first to say that.)

i'm curious about it, though. is it more like advocacy, or is it more like trying to march in step with elite opinion? or what if the weinsteins are waving the flag because they like how the bushies are treating israel.
dwhudson
post #2  on December 1, 2002 - 4:29 PM PST  
Because I'm about to archive the item you're responding to, let me repost it here:

"If a major star like Michael Caine, with a shot at Best Actor, has so much trouble persuading a Hollywood studio to release a film that criticizes US foreign policy of a half-century ago, what is happening to other films that somebody might consider unpatriotic or anti-American?" Jon Wiener in The Nation on the shelving of The Quiet American. More on the film and novel in the London Review of Books and the LA Weekly.

Now, then. Once again, you raise some great questions. IMHO, I think the Weinsteins are waving the flag for the very simple reason that that's what they perceive to be the profitable thing to do at the moment. They're not going to want to spend more on a film if they think it's just going to amount to throwing good money after bad.

Which is precisely why I think the whole thing presents such a pitiful picture. A decade ago, these brothers were doing quite a lot for indie film by picking up movies their undeniable savvy told them people would pay to see. Granted, they'd often use questionable marketing angles (she gets naked? that's the poster!), but there was a sense, anyway, that they were doing it for the film. That once they'd lured the audience in, the audience would be glad to have been there and to have seen the film.

These days -- and how common, how cliche this story is -- that savviness seems to rely more on what they read in the mainstream press rather than on their own considerable gut. I mean, for a while there, they actually believed the CW (conventional wisdom) that Tina Brown knew where and what buzz was. That chapter is over, but it's left them even more removed from what they think their target market is than they were before.

How many critics have to write again and again that The Quiet American has more to say about an impending "regime change" in Iraq than it does about 9/11 and/or Americans' immediate reactions to it? Who knows, maybe the Weinsteins don't even read the mainstream press anymore. Whatever they're looking at, it's not telling them that there are serious reservations out there about extending America's imperial reach.

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