People are talkin’. Talkin’ ’bout theaters â€” or, more specifically, 2929’s Landmark Theaters, which will be enabling Mark Cuban’s latest jaunt into experimental film distribution. Via Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE:
Three films have been tapped to launch Truly Indie, a new distribution
initiative formed by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner’s 2929 Entertainment.
Truly Indie will enable theatrical distribution funded by filmmakers
themselves, mainly through 2929’s Landmark Theaters, the country’s
biggest arthouse theater circuit. Offering a twist on the service deal
model, a filmmaker pays an up front fee that covers all distribution
costs (marketing, advertising, and publicity). Securing a one-week run
in at least five markets (or as many as twenty markets), the filmmaker
keeps 100% of box office receipts and retains all rights to their film.
The first three projects on tap for the venture are Ian Gamazon and
Neill dela Llana‘s "Cavite," Mari Marchbanks‘ "Fall to Grace," and
Donal Logue‘s "Tennis Anyone?"
Well, nothing does say "truly indie" like having the filmmaker pick up the initial tab. Ah, but we’re cynics â€” color us a little depressed after reading the Boston Globe‘s pieces on the embattled Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, one of last two single-screen theaters in the Boston area, and currently in the midst of attempting to raise $400,000 by the end of the year to save itself. Rhonda Stewart:
When Ned Hinkle thinks about films the Brattle Theatre would be unable to show if it closes, Tsai Ming-Liang‘s ”Goodbye, Dragon Inn" comes to mind. In the 2003 film, a handful of people gather on a rainy night for the final screening at a once grand Taipei theater that will be shuttered the next day. It’s a quintessential art-house film â€” impressionistic, with little dialogue or traditional narrative â€” and the kind of work the Brattle has become known for presenting.
Ty Burr reflects on why the Brattle is having such a tough time (attendance is down 40%), delving into the history of indie cinema in Boston, and its present:
In the early 21st century, students are drifting off to shinier things, and other audiences aren’t going to the Brattle in viable numbers. Really, can you blame them? Harvard Square has been corporatized into a mass of banks and chain stores, with little of the boho allure of the film-rep glory days. The Brattle increasingly resembles "The Little House" in Virginia Lee Burton’s classic children’s book, surrounded by the type of new that sees the old as merely shabby. People move on; the culture moves on. The Brattle may be more relic than survivor.