Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cannes Winner "Barley" Dumped Onto DVD Same Day It Hits Theaters

How stupid is the IFC? Filmmaker Ken Loach has never been a box office force anywhere in the world, including the UK. But his Cannes winner "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" has done better than any of his other movies in the UK, thanks to the accolades and its relevance to Ireland. (The film is about the endless cycle of violence there.) Now the IFC has picked up the film for the US and foolishly plans to release it on DVD the same day it hits theaters. This film would never break out and make a lot of money. But it could certainly be nursed along to several millions of dollars and enjoy extended runs in the arthouses with the likely support of film critics. It's EXACTLY the sort of film that needs that months-long exposure in movie theaters for critics to champion it, reporters to write stories and discerning moviegoers to discover it. All that would INCREASE its prominence when the film finally hit DVD. Putting it out on DVD the same day undercuts the very delicate, hot-house flower care a film like this needs and deserves.

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