Yoko Ono has lost her bid to have use of John Lennon’s “Imagine” removed from the problematic Ben Stein anti-Darwinist doc “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” reports the AP:
U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein ruled that if the case went to court, the filmmakers would probably win under the fair use doctrine.
“That doctrine provides that the fair use of a copyrighted work for the purposes of criticism and commentary is not an infringement of copyright,” Stein wrote in his decision in Manhattan federal court.
On Stein’s side, the claims were that Ono and co. were trying to censor the film; on Ono’s, that they’d used her husband’s song for free without permission. While just about everything about “Expelled,” particularly the way the film’s been handled in terms of gloatingly antagonistic publicity, has struck me as ugly and repellent, this does seem an impressively firm ruling on the side of doc makers and others who employ fair use in their work. Sorry, Yoko free speech isn’t always pretty, and sometimes it inexcusably equates evolution with the Holocaust.
IESB claims that Tim Burton is attached to direct a movie adaptation of “Dark Shadows,” with his frequent screenwriting collaborator John August on the script and Johnny Depp rumored to star as Barnabus Collins. Meanwhile, having reportedly made children in test audiences cry, Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are” will be reshooting in L.A. from June 5-30, according to Bloody-Disgusting.com.
Jean-Luc Godard has dropped out of Tel Aviv’s 12th International Student Film Festival after earlier announcing he’d attend “as a private citizen and as an eternal film student.” From the AP:
“We are very disappointed because he seems to have succumbed to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups who launched a campaign for people to boycott Israel,” [festival official Morane Tal] added, without elaborating.
To elaborate for her the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel called Godard out last week with this open letter, which suggests that “Taking part in this festival is not art separated from politics, as if it can be; rather, it is a crude politicization of art, allowing it to become complicit.” Apparently, it stuck.
Finally, at Time, Pelin Turgut notes that the films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, despite being heralded abroad, “routinely flop back home”:
Critics bemoaning the dearth of interest in cultural fare (book sales are shrinking along with art-house film audiences) point to a brutal 1980 military coup as the start of this malaise. The generals ushered in an era of economic liberalization and anything-goes cowboy capitalism that rapidly transformed the country into a consumerist McHeaven.
[Photo: Once again, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Rocky Mountain Pictures, 2008]
+ NY judge: Film can use John Lennon song (AP)
+ Director and Writer Named for Depp’s DARK SHADOWS! (IESB.net)
+ ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Preps for Reshoot (Bloody-Disgusting)
+ French-Swiss director pulls out of Israeli film festival (AP)
+ Open Letter to Jean-Luc Godard from occupied Palestine (PACBI.org)
+ Turkish Director FÃªted in Cannes, Ignored at Home (Time)