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Roger Ebert, Tom DiCillo, & a "Kafkaesque nightmare"

It is a simple conversation but one conducted & shared through e-mail & 'net articles & blogs; so a Web Age conversation. It is about a 90's product - the independent movie with a budget & a couple of known actors, created by a previously well received director, & shot on film - adapting to the theatrical exhibition & other distribution realities of the mid to late 2000's. A conversation between Tom DiCillo, one of the original (or we can say First Wave - from the early Jim Jarmusch & Spike Lee days) indie film directors (his Living In Oblivion is still the best comedy about that kind of indie filmmaking), and famous film critic Roger Ebert. At Tom DiCillo's blog, here's a segment:

"A few months ago I was still staggering around reeling from the “theatrical release” of Delirious and I realized I was getting no answers to any of my questions from no one–not even Dr. Owen. More as an attempt to simply get the questions out of my own brain I sent an email to Roger Ebert with the questions attached. I sent the email blind. I have never met Mr. Ebert. I did appreciate his take on Delirious in his review of the film though and told him if he answered the questions perhaps I’d post them here.

To my amazement Ebert not only answered the questions, he wrote another article on Delirious. I’ve posted the entire article below because I found the answers clear, eloquent and extremely helpful."

Read the rest of the post here.

I like the answer Ebert gives to DiCillo's question #5, re: the existence of indie film. Mostly because it includes a position similar to the one I took a few months back re: indie film festivals sharing their box office take with filmmakers. Check it out here at Ebert's site. Here is a little bit from that exchange:

"5. Does independent film exist anymore?

Yes, barely. The irony is that indies are embraced at film festivals, which have almost become an alternative distribution channel. "Delirious," for example, was invited by San Sebastian, Sundance, San Francisco, Seattle, Avignon, Munich and Karlovy Vary. All major festivals. But you didn't make "Delirious" to sell tickets for festivals. I frankly think it's time for festivals to give their entries a cut of the box office."

Read the rest of the answer at Ebert's site.

- Sujewa


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