May 12, 2007

"I had known about Madison for years. It’s the home of The Progressive magazine..."

Robert Redford explains why he chose Madison for the first Sundance Cinema -- which is opening this weekend.
I’d been there years ago on a fund-raiser for Sen. Feingold, and I had known about Madison for years. It’s the home of The Progressive magazine, and there were just a whole lot of connections with my interests. So I said to the two guys that are working for me on this, “If we could get into Madison, I would be a happy camper. That would be a great place to start, and maybe San Francisco after that.”
For our politics, we are rewarded with art. Does that mean the films will have a political slant?
We want to work with the local people and use the local elements environmentally, like the local timber, the local stone and recycled elements. We want to create a sense of place, and each place will be different. Madison is Madison, and Madison has certain characteristics that are part of its heritage. We want to honor that.
Okaaay. Environmental. That's nice. And the films?
Is there still the entertainment value so it’s not too much like a castor-oil experience? Do we have enough diversity out there to satisfy multiple levels of audience?
Okay.... I'm hoping for the best. Playing this first weekend:
Waitress
The TV Set
Black Book
Air Guitar Nation
After the Wedding
Away from Her

22 comments:

Bissage said...

I learn all kinds of things here at Althouse. Hitherto I thought only conservatives used the expression “happy camper.”

You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be.

-- Dan Quayle (in a speech to American Samoans)

(Don't know much about the ex-Vice President's taste in movies, though.)

boston70 said...

Go Madison! Madison first and then maybe San Francisco Redford says-wow!

You know I actually think Feingold is one of the best politicians around too. My parents have been to some fundraisers for him. He does seem to be honest and down to earth.

Yes he is liberal and that may not sit well with your audience but I like him.

He does seem to have good ethics. Also, didn't he like run for office with very little money and still win? That is still pretty cool in this day and age.

He's also kind of hot and I think single again. I think he would be a good catch. He has good hair.

Actually I think you and him would be good couple.

vnjagvet said...

I guess we can add a rerun of The Matchmaker to the list.

Cedarford said...

Imagine a conservative antithesis of Redford publicly announcing siting of a high tech park in a conservative state because they read the Bible, not "The Progressive" more frequently. That they are good folks because they are common sense about all the environmental posturing crap happening elsewhere. And have "the family values our industry needs".

Let the puffed-up "shock, horror!" start with liberals who would "be amazed at such narrow-minded politicized criteria">

Boston 70 - You know I actually think Feingold is one of the best politicians around too. My parents have been to some fundraisers for him. He does seem to be honest and down to earth.

Yes he is liberal and that may not sit well with your audience but I like him.

He does seem to have good ethics.


He doesn't seem to care much for the 1st Amendment, according to many scholars. Not when it interferes with his progressive politics. With McCain-Feingold, he only shifted the clout to the wealthiest of the Ruling Elite - like Soros, Geffen, Bloomberg - from organized groups.

Is he sincere? Well, yes.
I wouldn't call him ethical though, when he leads the charge for enemy terrorists "sacred rights and deserving to have all their issues adjudicated in proper civilian courts".

In a global struggle with radical Islam, Feingold sees the answer in Open Borders, more Muslim immigrants, and more enemy rights abroad, the UN, and "International Criminal Courts".

His "ethics" will get more people killed, I think. By interrogating several key terrorists, we saved many thousands of lives.

Ann Althouse said...

"didn't he like run for office with very little money and still win?"

Feingold was the first (and still almost the only) politician I ever gave money to. Back when he was first running for office, he was calling me up over and over being completely nice and reasonable about asking for money. I finally had to give it to him. And when he called back, I gave him more, probably up to whatever the limit was back then.

AlphaLiberal said...

Viva Madison! Great to see The Progressive bring investment to the the community. Thanks for highlighting that article, Ann.

This was funny, in a tragic way:
That they are good folks because they are common sense about all the environmental posturing crap happening elsewhere.

Yeah, because the more of a fundamentalist (or conservative) Christian you are, the more you hate "environmental crap." So conservative family values include...
... polluting the lakes and streams where our families fish and play.
... polluting the air leading to increases in childhood asthma.
... making the food supply for our fmailies less safe by going easy on industry regulation.

I liked it better with non-politicized Christianity where stewardship of God's gift was a tenet of the faith, not something to be ridiculed and scorned.

Anyway.... Madison pioneers in film and also in environmental progress!! Yay, Madison!

AlphaLiberal said...

Feingold's great.

And the fact if the matter is that he has suport from across the political spectrum for principled stands protecting our freedoms, on principled votes for Bush appointees (some liberal Cheeseheads are still peeved over the Ashcroft vote) against the growing US Police State.

The idea that campaign finance reform is anti-free speech is a joke. Writing big checks is not speech anymore than waving a big club is.

Luckyoldson said...

Cedarford said...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...

same ol', same ol'.

Luckyoldson said...

AlphaLiberal:

finally...someone with a brain.

Kirby Olson said...

Progress just means creeping communism. So progress is something like saying, your cancer has progressed. Soon, if you are very lucky, Nicolae Ceasescu and his Security forces will be in charge of your destiny. They will then tell you what you can say, and even what you can think. And these movies will help induce in you a will to make it happen! That's progress!

ShadowFox said...

He's also kind of hot and I think single again.

If I want that kind of hot, I'll put some Tabasco sauce on a dry prune.

With McCain-Feingold, he only shifted the clout to the wealthiest of the Ruling Elite - like Soros, Geffen, Bloomberg - from organized groups.

Interesting, but deluded, perspective. If you want real data, take a look at the last WI Supreme Court elections (last month, in fact). Who spent the most money and go the most bang for the buck? You're confusing people with money with "the Ruling Elite".

And one other thing--did you intentionally list all Jews for your Ruling Elite? Inquiring minds want to know.

By interrogating several key terrorists, we saved many thousands of lives.

Really? Can you name a few? I assume there is more than one, since you made that plural "terrorists". And "interrogating" is not something that gets Redford's goat--it's "interrogating with torture". How much valid information do you think has been extracted with torture?

Kirby,
Get your head out of ...
the sand once in a while. I wonder what made you so bitter.

PatCA said...

I guess they're showing Black Book, which has been in release for some time, to make sure that the "alternative" story of the Jews and Resistance is shown.

If the movies adopt handsome, lovable Nazis, though, who's left as the fallback Bad Guy/Terrorist?

Finn Kristiansen said...

While I do think the right gets a little bit more criticism when we do projects that are targeted in such a fashion--and I am thinking of comments I had read about Spitfire Cafe and some projects by billionaire Anschutz--I think Redford's project is a worthy one.

It's a smart businessman who looks and asks, "Where can I place my business where the customer will be most receptive?" In this case it just happens to be somewhat liberal cities with educated populations.

(Magic Johnson has done a more pedestrian version of this idea in lower income neighborhoods, in terms of creating a merger between commerce and a broader vision).

In Redford's case, he is not merely replicating something that is out there (another multiplex), but rather, trying to create unique experiences, and that should be applauded.

As to the environmental comments, I do think we are at a point where conservatives can cherish the natural world we believe God has created, and without necessarily turning the process into a type of idolization or God substitution. We have to move past the point where caring about the environment in itself carries some sort of negative--yet vague-implication.

On the pure merits of what Redford is doing, and politics aside, it is hard to find any criticism.

ShadowFox said...

If the movies adopt handsome, lovable Nazis, though, who's left as the fallback Bad Guy/Terrorist?

That's an odd perspective on that film. Have you seen it? Or is this a third-hand account?

Not every film on the subject has to be like Schindler's List. As Verhoeven explained, it's not just the country that hid Anne Frank, it's also the country that betrayed Anne Frank.

Palladian said...

I hate the word "progressive" when applied to politics. You're "progressive"? What are you progressing toward? What's the goal?

My best political advice: distrust political people who think society needs a goal.

The Drill SGT said...

Cedarford said...
Imagine a conservative antithesis of Redford publicly announcing siting of a high tech park in a conservative state because they read the Bible, not "The Progressive" more frequently.


Wasn't that the rationale for putting the Saturn plant in Tennessee?

PatCA said...

That's a fair question, Shadow Fox. My comment was based on reviews and trailers. I don't want to see it. In a media and academic environment that ascribes overwhelming, subconscious power to narrative and image (I'm trained in critical studies), I think it's telling that mainly it's American, Nazi (and now Jews?) who are allowed to be portrayed as cruel, bad, etc. So let's see where this takes us, to more anti-Semitism or a brave new world of filmmaking. Can a movie about, say, the cruelty and greed of Arafat now be made, or have we just opened the window a crack to introduce another Bad Guy, one who happens to be on America's side?

I loved Soldier of Orange--and then Verhoeven went a little nuts. This leads me to believe he's completely there.

boston70 said...

"wealthiest of the Ruling Elite - like Soros, Geffen, Bloomberg - from organized groups"-is there anyone not jewish in your definition of ruling elite?

Your definition of ruling elite smells of anti-semitism.

Also, your defintion of "ruling elite" is confused with rich jewish people. The ruling elite at the current time officials in the adminstration who have been making decisions over the past 6 years. Soros and Geffen have contributed to causes that that are important to them but are certainly not ruling this country.

The people that are the "ruling elite" currently are Bush, Cheney, Gonzales etc. You know, the ones that actually make the decisions in the federal government. They are also the current "politicans" that are making decisions regarding the war. But to hear Bush refer to "politicans" its like he is referring to everyone else but himself. He is actually a politican also.

I think Feingold is handsome. He looks much better than most of the politicans on television.

Compliments are not something that comes easily here. And yes, I am guilty of not being civil but it is amazing how most conservations here turn to plain nastiness.

ShadowFox said...

Patca,
I think you are being a bit closed-minded here. The Black Book is supposed to be a kind of sequel to Soldier of Orange. It's actually an extract that they did not want to incorporate in what was originally a TV movie/mini-series. That it took them 30 years to make it should not be a deterrent.

The stuff in the middle was not so much weird as just bad. The Fourth Man was intriguing but a bit over the top. I don't know the other Dutch films, but then there is RoboCop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Starship Troopers and Hollow Man sequence--all crap made within a decade.

I'd rather look at the Black Book as return to the roots. Hey, go see it--if you don't like it, you're just out 10 bucks. But you might like it.

Boston70, you must have missed my comment to cedarford on the same subject.

rsb said...

Madison is also home to The Onion.

PatCA said...

Not closed minded--I don't see movies because of political content or controversy but because they appeal to my senses and emotions. I will probably rent it but that's me...

J. said...

Art + politics can interact in amazing ways.

But far too often the combination ruins the former to serve the latter. Frequently, those worlds collide with all the grace and panache of a demoltion derby.

And why aren't more artists true evangelists, if they're so freakin' bold? Why don't they go to the "non-progressive" parts of the country if they're so gutsy and brave, instead of playing to the same old adoring crowds?

Sadly, art too often resembles commerce, which I can get anywhere.