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20263, Brooklyn follow-up, please|
Posted by REDeye, Mon Jan-22-01 05:26 AM
So, in summary, as reported at variety.com:
- The film was pulled because Artisan was unhappy with the quality and unsure as to its market potential.
- Artisan and Levin reached some sort of detente.
- Tariq Trotter is good in it, and perhaps has a future as an actor, if desired.
A report from the front would be appreciated.
BROOKLYN' UNWRAPS SLAMDANCE AFTER ALL
Artisan logo gets negative feedback at screening
By CHARLES LYONS
LevinVisit the Sundance Online Resource Center.PARK CITY, Utah -- Artisan may not like "Brooklyn Babylon," and the producers of the pic may have wanted a bit more controversy to give it heat, but the hip-hop love story ultimately opened the seventh annual Slamdance Film Festival as planned.
Reps for Artisan and Off-Line, the films' producer and distributor, respectively, had sent a fax to Slamdance forbidding the film's exhibition (Daily Variety, Jan. 19).
Just before the screening, however, at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at the Silvermine, Slamdance fest director Peter Baxter and "Brooklyn Babylon" director Marc Levin spoke to Daily Variety about their decision to show the film against Artisan's wishes.
Levin explained that, in his dealings with Artisan topper Amir Malin, it was unclear to him that Artisan had objected to screening the film at Slamdance and if so, why.
Although Baxter was concerned about legal action, he said, "I think it's important that a festival like Slamdance really stands for freedom to show films. We will stay strong with the films we programmed until the end."
Sources close to Artisan say Malin attempted to contact Levin late Saturday to reverse his decision to restrict the screening and let the pic play as planned. But Artisan says the two never connected. Malin and Levin finally spoke early Sunday and have agreed to meet and discuss a plan for the film.
It remains unclear whether Artisan will follow through on its commitment to distribute the film theatrically, and, if not, what other life the film will have outside of the festival circuit.
At the film's packed screening, Slamdance co-founder Dan Mirvish joked, "Don't be surprised if the sheriff shows up and takes the print." When the Artisan logo appeared on screen just before the pic's opening credits, members of the audience hissed. But the pic played on sans interruption.
Artisan would not comment, but reps for the shingle say Malin felt the pic was weak, that it would be a very tough sell to the hip-hop market and, further, that he never committed to allowing it to screen at Slamdance in the first place. Documents provided to Daily Variety make more specific Malin's reasons for at first trying to stop the screening. "Slamdance is a joke," he stated in an email. "If they want Tariq (Trotter) to play, tell them to call his manager."
As for the film itself, it may lack the strength of Levin's earlier "Slam" but it does introduce audiences to a new star: Trotter, amember of hip-hop band the Roots. This is Trotter's first sizable film acting gig (he also appears in Spike Lee's "Bamboozled"). His charisma flies off the screen and may augur well for the performer's acting career, should he want one.
I'm still writing 20th century on all my checks.