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What Did Miramax Ever Do For Us?
Posted on Friday January 29, 2010, 11:54 by Chris Hewitt
The scene: The Empire offices, Friday. Chris Hewitt is leading a news meeting (yes, we have news meetings).
Chris: So, Miramax has been closed down by Disney.
Helen O’Hara: We should do something on that. A celebration or something.
Chris: A celebration? Of Miramax? Are you mad? What have they ever given us?
Ali Plumb: [meekly] Quentin Tarantino?
Ali: Quentin Tarantino?
Chris: Oh yeah, Quentin Tarantino. After all, Harvey and Bob Weinstein were the guys who took a chance on him with Reservoir Dogs, and then partnered with him throughout his illustrious career. You could make a case that Miramax is the House That Quentin Built, so yeah, they did give us that.
Phil de Semlyen: And they introduced world cinema to a wider audience.
Helen: Oh yeah, world cinema, Chris. Remember what distribution of foreign films used to be like before the Weinsteins started buying films like Life Is Beautiful, Cinema Paradiso, and the Three Colours trilogy, and bringing them to the mass market. It was awful.
Chris: Yeah, alright, I’ll grant you that Quentin Tarantino and bringing world cinema to a wider audience are two things that Miramax have done.
Ian Nathan: And Kevin Smith.
Chris: Well, obviously Kevin Smith. I mean, Kevin Smith goes without saying, doesn’t he? But apart from Quentin Tarantino, bringing world cinema to a wider audience and Kevin Smith…?
James Dyer: Steven Soderbergh?
Ian Freer: Making the Oscar race interesting by taking on the big boys and securing wins for films like Shakespeare In Love?
Mark Dinning: All those great tales about Harvey Scissorhands?
Chris: Yeah, alright, fair enough…
Amar Vijay: And they gave the indie business a real bump by becoming more aggressive about marketing and picking up low-budget films.
There is a general murmur of agreement.
Nick de Semlyen: Yeah, that’s something the indie film industry will really miss, Chris, now that Miramax has gone.
Phil: Dimension Films and genre movies like Scream, Sin City and Equilibrium!
Helen: Yeah. And they continued to make quality films, even after the Weinsteins left in September 2005. Films like No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood.
Nick: Yeah, they certainly knew how to make quality films. Basically, the only ones who could in an industry like this! (laughs)
The room laughs along with Nick. Chris, though, is not amused.
Chris: [increasingly irate] Alright, but apart from Quentin Tarantino, bringing world cinema to a wider audience, Kevin Smith, Steven Soderbergh, making the Oscar race interesting by taking on the big boys and securing wins for films like Shakespeare In Love, all those great tales about Harvey Scissorhands, giving the indie business a real bump by becoming more aggressive about marketing and picking up low-budget films, Dimension Films and genre movies like Scream, Sin City and Equilibrium, and continuing to make quality films even after the Weinsteins left in 2005… what have Miramax ever done for us?
Dan Jolin: The Scary Movie franchise?
Chris: Oh, Scary Movie… SHUT UP!
[With apologies to Monty Python]
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Posted on Friday January 29, 2010, 13:13
Points to you if you managed to write that out without having to refer to Monty Python first!
Posted on Friday January 29, 2010, 14:03
Great read... so annoyed that miramax is gone :(
Posted on Monday February 1, 2010, 14:50
Well, back in the day they took a chance on a strange splatter-making guy from NZ and secured the rights for this totally unheard of book and started the progress that brought us Lord of the Rings.... just sayin'.
Of course even back then Disney was an idiot, but that's not something new.
Posted on Thursday February 11, 2010, 11:53
Brill. Very entertaining!
Posted on Wednesday February 17, 2010, 08:39
Totally unheard of book??? Lord Of The Rings was originally published in 1954 and has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. I am quite sure some of those were sold before the movie was even thought of.
Visit The Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival site.