erik lundegaard

United Artists

Two interesting and contrasting articles on movie studios in today's New York Times. First, Dave Kehr's piece on the history of United Artists: starting out as the baby of Fairbanks, Griffith, Chaplin and Pickford in 1919, being salvaged by producers Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin in the 1950s, and then reaching its artistic heyday in the 1960s and '70s, backing and distributing such films as Midnight Cowboy, Last Tango in Paris, Manhattan and Raging Bull. In the '90s, in Kehr's apt term, UA became a financial football, "kicked around by various bankers, promoters and avaricious studios." Now it's owned by Sony and MGM (who can keep track?) and headed by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, Film Forum in Manhattan is running a five-week tribute starting Friday night. Another reason to live in New York.

The second article is about a potential split between acrimonious partners DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. What's depressing isn't the split, nor the title subject ("Who keeps the movies?"), but the hints the article lays out about movies-in-the-planning. Transformers 2 is inevitable. But in the lead graf they mention "a comedy about a couple who have to live Valentine’s Day over and over again until they finally get it right."

It's kind of like studio heads who have to produce the same idea over and over again until they get it so wrong it doesn't make any money. And then they abandon it for the next thing. United artists, indeed.


Posted at 10:43 AM on Thu. Mar 27, 2008 in category Movies, Movies - Studios  
No tags

COMMENTS

No comments yet

You may bypass the ID fields and security question below if you log in before commenting.


 
 





Receive notification of further comments via e-mail

« The Meek, etc.   |   Home   |   One-sentence review for “Black Book” »
 RSS    Facebook

Twitter: @ErikLundegaard

ARCHIVES

All previous entries

LINKS
Movies
Hollywood Elsewhere
The Film Experience
Roger Ebert
Baseball
Joe Posnanski
Rob Neyer
Cardboard Gods
Politics
Andrew Sullivan
Alex Pareene
Friends
Jerry Grillo
Jim Walsh
dative-querulous