Wednesday, January 26, 2005

New Documentary Rules

In response to frequent criticisms, documentaries which had a theatrical run --characterized as "a minimum of 25 commercial exhibitions for paid admission in motion picture theaters in 15 states, each exhibition to be at least two consecutive days" --are now mostly exempt from their respective rules about television broadcast dropping the films from contention.

To further even out their rules they really should drop this television exemption altogether -features are not subject to these disqualifications if they're on cable four months after their theatrical run, so why should documentaries be? And while they're at it if they would make the features have to meet this exhibition rule (the 15 states part --I like that!) than we wouldn't have so many stupid one week only showings in LA to subvert the year's natural chronology.

I realize this post may sound like gobbledegook butI can't help it. I hate all these special rules. Features should have to exhibit in more than just LA & NY just like the documentaries do. This would also help weed out that awful December release glut each year. Basically if features had to follow these documentary rules, things like Million Dollar Baby would be in danger of not qualifying... which is a good thing. You shouldn't be able to be called the best of a year in which no one was able to see you (except for those blessed souls in LA and NYC like myself). There's no reason why Marty should undergo public scrutiny but Clint should be spared, you know?


Anonymous said...

I think everyone should stop complaining and think about people in other countries who get movies anywhere between 1 month-1.5 years late!

I say 1.5 years because Gus Van Sant's "Gerry" was only released in August 2004, here in Australia. His "Elephant" was about nearly a year late.

But, anyway, this year has actually been good so far. We're getting all the movies at least BEFORE the awards ceremony. And other countries get it MUCH worse.

In Australia, Ray is only just opening, and Neverland only opened a couple of weeks ago. We haven't got The Aviator yet (Feb 10) and $ Baby and Sideways open next week. Closer and Kinsey just opened too. And we're getting Vera Drake soon.

Nigel said...

Hell, "Safe" by Todd Haynes was only released in Australia last year. It's quite shocking sometimes, but it's much better than it used to be. Still, when an American film is released here it's often available on DVD in the US.