Eric Esrailian

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Apr 20, 2017 10:51 PM
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I'll go see it (unlike Lost City of Z it happens to be playing nearby) because I like the talent and the issue, but, man, the trailer looks pretty awful. I hope the film itself is not so saccharine.
Apr 20, 2017 11:09 PM
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I am curious why the thread is named after the gastroenterologist/producer. Are you suggesting a specific aim against Armenians in the film business?
Apr 20, 2017 11:12 PM
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Janson JinnistanI am curious why the thread is named after the gastroenterologist/producer. ?Are you suggesting a specific aim against Armenians in the film business?

He is the source of the quotation.

Eric Esrailian, now in charge at Survival, told THR where he places the blame: ?It became clear that the government of Turkey was going to have an influence on this movie. One of the most insidious realities of our existence in the United States is that foreign governments can control art. I would say at the highest levels from different studios, we were just basically told that no matter how good the film would be, it was never going be released by certain companies. I think that that?s truly shameful, but it?s just a reality that we had to deal with.?
Apr 20, 2017 11:13 PM
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I guess I should read the link.

I think it's funny how the article tries to refute Esrailian by talking about the risk of "big budget" films, and then noting the flop of several films all of which cost at least twice as much as The Promise, and (except maybe for Allied) have nothing in common in terms of genre or audience with The Promise. People skipped out on Alice in Wonderland and Ben Hur? I guess that's bad news for the CGI-action extravaganza of doomed romance amidst the Armenian genocide
Apr 20, 2017 11:23 PM
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What gets me are the changes that we're making to a lot of films for Chinese censors, like changing the bad guys in Red Dawn to North Korea (that superpower with starving people, a wooden navy, and missiles that don't work). I remember when Hollywood took a stand against the deformation of art by suing companies for editing family-friendly versions of major Hollywood releases. When a handful of prim and proper Mormon families want to watch Mission Impossible, it's about art. When major studios find they're at risk of losing the Chinese market, suddenly it's about sensitivity. Hence, it's friendly Chinese people that bail out desperate Americans in The Martian.



A couple of takeaways from the overall pattern - 1. We're no longer 100% cultural hegemons anymore. Hint, hint, we don't matter as much as we used to. 2. We cannot count on Hollywood to be brave in making films which challenge the regimes of foreign nations. #1 isn't so bad. Indeed, there was always something perverse about America pimping Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and equally cheap movies all over the globe. #2, however, suggests that we will need to do more than just filter for more than just domestic politics. What are the odds that we ever get a $100 million dollar film about about Tiananmen Square? Film matters because it is a very effective form of propaganda.

Apr 20, 2017 11:49 PM
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The YETIWhat gets me are the changes that we're making to a lot of films for Chinese censors, like changing the bad guys in Red Dawn to North Korea (that superpower with starving people, a wooden navy, and missiles that don't work).

In fairness, remaking Red Dawn was a rotten idea regardless of the enemy.

The YETII remember when Hollywood took a stand against the deformation of art by suing companies for editing family-friendly versions of major Hollywood releases.

I don't remember this, but I do remember Blockbuster making their own approved edits of some films, ostensibly for family-friendly purposes, and of course I remember the total ban on NC-17 films.

The YETI1. We're no longer 100% cultural hegemons anymore.

I'm not as disturbed by this because I think that this seat should be earned and frankly the quality of our cultural product is not hegemony-worthy anymore. I don't think that it's arbitrary, if we were to start making better films, more rewarding culture, then we could be back on top. As it is, i just want whoever has the best stuff to make it available.

The YETIIndeed, there was always something perverse about America pimping Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and equally cheap movies all over the globe.

Yes, exactly what the American New Wave was known for.

The YETIFilm matters because it is a very effective form of propaganda.

I prefer its power as a propaganda solvent, anti-prop. Not just counter-images but more profound art that sharpens our perspective against popular platitudes and enhances more personal thought.
Apr 21, 2017 12:17 AM
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It seems the greater problem than foreign governments influence is the film apparently isn't particularly good. ?Its only at 49 percent and the majority of the fresh reviews are hedged that the film is considerably flawed and a film about something as serious as the Armenian genocide shouldnt be this lame.
Apr 22, 2017 9:03 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyU1Y1SCX-Y
Apr 22, 2017 11:15 PM
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The YETIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyU1Y1SCX-Y

Flowers of War came under the same scrutiny when Bale made a visit to Chen Guangcheng (despite the film's overt patriotic stance).
Apr 23, 2017 12:15 AM
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Robin McDonaldIt seems the greater problem than foreign governments influence is the film apparently isn't particularly good. ?Its only at 49 percent

Yes, and critical reception is the reason why Suicide Squad bombed.

I also liked Flowers of War more than its 42% Tomatoscore would suggest, so I'm not sure why this would sway me.

Perhaps more insidiously, I've also heard some rumors that Scorsese's Silence suffered from distribution and award-silence due to an unspoken taboo on films produced in Taiwan, again implying Chinese discouragement. I've haven't seen this rumor corroborated, but if true it's something to be very wary of.
Apr 23, 2017 12:22 AM
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Forget Flowers of War which was panned. See City of Life and Death a Chinese black and white film about the same tragedy. It's unforgettable.
Apr 23, 2017 4:29 AM
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Black PhilipForget Flowers of War which was panned. See City of Life and Death a Chinese black and white film about the same tragedy. It's unforgettable.

Or maybe watch both, which is also an option.
Apr 23, 2017 5:27 AM
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Janson Jinnistan
Robin McDonaldIt seems the greater problem than foreign governments influence is the film apparently isn't particularly good. ?Its only at 49 percent

Yes, and critical reception is the reason why Suicide Squad bombed.

I also liked Flowers of War more than its 42% Tomatoscore would suggest, so I'm not sure why this would sway me.

Perhaps more insidiously, I've also heard some rumors that Scorsese's Silence suffered from distribution and award-silence due to an unspoken taboo on films produced in Taiwan, again implying Chinese discouragement. ?I've haven't seen this rumor corroborated, but if true it's something to be very wary of.

Well, of course its not a sexy topic. But you have a chance it the movie has good buzz.
I saw one not quite memorable movie about the Armenian genocide probably over ten years ago.
I'm sort of interested. I used to live in Glendale California which is basically little Armenia.
Apr 23, 2017 8:17 PM
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You're telling me you couldn't read the synopsis or watch the trailer (which was terrible) and not know that this would tank at the box office? There's not much that can be done for a historically based romance. Plus the stars weren't exactly compelling. Outside of the Dark Knight trilogy Christian Bale doesn't have a huge following. And when I think of someone like Oscar Isaacs I think of his big three performances in A Most Violent Year, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Ex Machina. But the average moviegoer remembers him from The Force Awakens in which he was more or less wasted.
Apr 23, 2017 8:37 PM
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Robin McDonaldWell, of course its not a sexy topic. But you have a chance it the movie has good buzz.

It is curious why they didn't try to, or couldn't, get a late-year release for the awards season, which seems more appropriate than April, squeezed between the "pre-summer" blockbusters and B-movies.

Robin McDonaldI saw one not quite memorable movie about the Armenian genocide probably over ten years ago.

I wonder if that was the Atom Egoyan film Ararat, also plagued by political pressures and negative reviews. (The film was OK.)
Apr 24, 2017 12:08 AM
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D.H.Plus the stars weren't exactly compelling.

I will cut this fucking rug, dude.

D.H.Outside of the Dark Knight trilogy Christian Bale doesn't have a huge following.

You should watch a little known movie called American Psycho. You don't even deserve Newsies.

Bale's backlash has always baffled me because Bruce Wayne is one of his weaker performances all around. His Alfred Bordin from The Prestige is much better, even given whatever qualms about the rest of the movie. Do you think his Oscar noms for Fighter and American Hustle earned themselves?

D.H.But the average moviegoer remembers him from The Force Awakens in which he was more or less wasted.

At least no one remembers him from X-Men: Apocalypse. That was a close call.
Apr 24, 2017 12:14 AM
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Janson Jinnistan
Robin McDonaldWell, of course its not a sexy topic. But you have a chance it the movie has good buzz.

It is curious why they didn't try to, or couldn't, get a late-year release for the awards season, which seems more appropriate than April, squeezed between the "pre-summer" blockbusters and B-movies.


Robin McDonaldI saw one not quite memorable movie about the Armenian genocide probably over ten years ago.

I wonder if that was the Atom Egoyan film Ararat, also plagued by political pressures and negative reviews. ?(The film was OK.)

Yes yes yes. That was it!?
I don't even know what I was supposed to take away from the film.

Apr 24, 2017 11:25 PM
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