Wednesday, December 10, 2008

IFC Films' Repeat Performance

I was able to continue my education in the ways of movie distribution companies, and it is getting interesting. At Gold Derby yesterday, in the 'Hunger' thread I created, the latest comments by two posters shined a light on how IFC Films promote, or rather, not promote their prized films properly. One would think that they would learn their lesson, but alas, it looks like they are comatose or just plain stupid.

Last year, the treasure film that IFC Films had was the acclaimed '4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days', and as it came to pass, while this film was honored the world over, a fuckery of massive proportions here in the States doomed it for 2007-2008 Oscar consideration.

Check this out:

Novicmode: I was pretty shock to learn that Michael Fassbender was in 300. He's a versatile actor. Steve McQueen is adding to his awards with LAFCA's New Generation Award! I wish they would recognize Michael Fassbender and keep him in the game. So let's see, Hunger has won:Camera d'or at Cannes, Gucci Group Award at Venice, Silver for Best Actor, and Golden Hugo for Best Film at Chicago International, Best Actor, The Douglas Hilcox Award, and Best Technical Achievement at British Independent Film Awards, Discovery Award at Toronto, New Generation Award at LAFCA. I'm baffled at the fact that it doesn't have more momentum.

Agrado: Getting a Golden Globe nod for MF, not only is unlikely but is not much of a help. It didn't help Juliette Binoche for "Blue" or Stephen Fry for "Wilde."Hunger will not go away from this award season empty-handed. Of course the awards have come from, and will continue to come from, maybe, Britain.This is the perfect example of a small movie, flying under the radar, with a dynamite performance that should sit on the shelf until nine months from now and be released then. Like I said earlier, it didn't help The Lives of Others (outside of FF) and it certainly didn't help last year when IFC Films stupidly, very stupidly, released 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days for one week in LA, thereby killing its Oscar chances in any category. Whomever is releasing Hunger should wait until next year.

Novicmode: IFC Films is releasing Hunger in the US. It released it in limited VERY limited release last week to qualify it for Oscar season. It should get a wider release March 2009 according to their website.

Agrado: So essentially IFC is doing the exact same thing to Hunger that it did with 4 Months? Way to go. What a bunch if idiots. Release one week in LA in December, release in rest of the country March 09? What is the point?

See? Isn't this insulting and retarded? This is so frustrating, and I know I'm not alone in my sentiments. I did venture over to to check up on the website today, and they do have 'Hunger' on the front page in a scroll presentation of their top films, along with 'Che' and 'Gomorrah', proudly listing all the nominations and awards these films are collecting. IFC Films, again, is not a not-for-profit welfare operation. They have enough money and common sense to finance films that are obviously the type of films that win awards. So with that said, why in hell do they just sit on their butts while the world passes them and their films by? They are literally giving the studios with the deeper pockets, red carpet carte blanche access to the public and most importantly, the industry insiders who vote in the awards that are lined up the next 10 weeks.

I don't understand how IFC Films did not learn from the massive screw up of '4 months' last year, and is literally repeating the same formula with Hunger! However, I do realize that since Hunger has a wide release in Europe and the UK THIS YEAR, that it would be strange to just release it in March 2009 for the US, and cross their fingers for it to possibly receive a nomination in Jan 2010. As hasty as it appears, unfortunately, now is the time to have this one measely screening in Los Angeles and take a gamble on how it may pay off.

Well, all I can do is just keep updating FF daily with information I learn and just do what I can to rally for Michael and Steve. As you will see on the sidebar, the New York Film Critics will announce their list of nominees/winners, and this will be an important critic's circle for Hunger to make a strong appearance. **ETA: The NYFC never heard of Hunger (I don't think Hunger met their qualification criterias)**. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Film Critics recognized Steve McQueen for Hunger, but no nod for Michael. I'm hopeful that just as long as these very important and respected guilds are just aware of Hunger and give it proper kudos.

Like Agrado stated above, chances might be slim to none that Michael will get a nod from AMPAS, but because Hunger has actually been on wide release screens in the UK and Europe, the BAFTAs will surely honor him and the film in a way that the Oscars cannot due to the half-assed promotion of Hunger by IFC Films.


greyeyegoddess said...

Thanks for the info. I was wondering when you posted the calender of film events. It will be a great help, and I'll keep a watch for what comes of those dates.

I agree...what's the point? Is IFC hoping for a miracle? That they only have to the minimum to get Hunger noticed?

Lessons are never learned, because studios and companies are still trudging along the same old way they always do.

As much as awards and acknowledgments are wonderful, I do have to agree that they don't really least the big awards in the US don't help much. I just hope that Michael does get noticed at the BAFTAs next year.

I just want people to watch the film and appreciate Michael's performance. Our Irish Film festival should be happening in Feb, as it did last year. Friends of mine have already pushed to see Hunger at the festival.

I do have to giggle at the comment that one of the blog posters didn't know Michael was in 300.

Maybe someone needs a new job at IFC in their publicity department.

Simone said...

I would be happy to submit my resume for a marketing position at IFC Films. That, along with writing, is my dream job.

I do agree to an extent that awards don't mean much at the end of the day, it's the drama and sagas leading up the win. Already, people want Sean Penn to win, again, his second Oscar in 5 years, while there are many actors who haven't even gotten one nomination yet whose work should be reviewed and given Oscar consideration. It's all such a silly and tiring game of showbiz politics.

But someone has to stand up for the little guys.

In the larger scheme of things, before I blow a brain circuit nerve, I will be happy if Michael just won a BAFTA - I think it would have more meaning for him personally and professionally since he's mainly done his work in the UK/Europe. Oscar IS Hollywood, and he's not 'hollywood'. He could be considered an outsider and that may discount him for a nomination.

Oh well, time will tell.

Tina said... knwo I was goign to say I knwo a few people who could do that job!