Harvey Weinstein

African-American Film Isn’t Having a Renaissance: Harvey Weinstein and the Myth of the “Obama Effect”

Earlier this week, while on record with the entertainment blog The Wrap, Hollywood producer and power-player Harvey Weinstein blithely declared, “It’s a great moment [for black films]… Hopefully it signals, with President Obama, a renaissance. He’s erasing racial lines. It is the Obama effect. It’s a better country. What a great thing.” … Read More

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Why Do Foreign Films Have to Be Dumbed Down for American Audiences?

The Grandmaster, the new film from lyrical Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai (In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express) is his greatest financial success to date, grossing $50 million in China, where it was released back in January. But that is not the film appearing in American cinemas this Friday. It has been cut by more than 20 minutes, from its 130-minute Chinese edit to a 108-minute US version. Scenes have been reorganized and deleted; new voice-over narration was recorded. And most egregiously, extensive intertitles and documentary-style character identification captions have been added, often to “clarify” narrative turns and new characters that are already abundantly clear to anyone paying attention to the picture. The result is like trying to read a book while someone is sitting next to you reading aloud from the Cliffs Notes. Who thinks we’re this dumb? … Read More

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10 Foreign Films American Distributors Thought You Were Too Stupid to Sit Through

Here’s a story you won’t hear much about outside the film-geek world, but it’s worth hearing: there’s this South Korean thriller called Snowpiercer, which is a giant hit in its home country and has played, to much acclaim, at festivals here in the US. Last November, the Weinstein Company picked it up for distribution in English-speaking markets, presumably drawn both to its genre elements and a cast that includes Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, and Alison Pill. And now, according to director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother), they’re demanding that he cut 20 minutes out of it. … Read More

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