April 18, 2007

From the Research Department: Freebies for Peter Bart

SOMEONE PLEASE SHOW THE EDITOR of Variety how to use Google. I like watching Peter Bart on his TV show. And I appreciate curmudgeonly exaggeration in the interest of making a point. But seriously, who fact-checks Bart's columns? From April 13:
"Why did absolutely no filmgoer in the U.S. pay to see 'Perfume'? Here was a non-odoriferous movie that grossed $130 million overseas but couldn't get arrested here."
Absolutely no filmgoer? I wouldn't say $2,223,293 equals no one. Given average ticket prices, that's about 340,000 filmgoers in the US. Not huge, but more than the number who saw the Mutant Ninja Turtles movie this weekend.
"Since festival directors supposedly get to see every good (and bad) movie made anywhere in the world, how come every festival last year turned thumbs down on 'The Lives of Others'?"
Every festival turned it down? Including one (AFI FEST) that screened it four miles from Variety headquarters? And another (Toronto) that gave it a standing ovation? And Telluride?
"Does an old pro like John Wells really believe his heralded new 'writers company' is workable when the idea has failed several times in the past?"
Right. And "who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" (H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.)

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