March 27, 2008

Shootout with Charlize Theron and Patricia Clarkson

I've been critical of the insider Hollywood show Shootout with Peter Bart (editor of Variety) and Peter Guber (uber-producer) as being so boy-centric. I was catching up on some recent episodes and was happy to see Charlize Theron, Patricia Clarkson, Cheryl Hines and Joan Rivers interviewed.

I was also surprised to have the Peters take on the issue of how Hollywood neglects the older market. Bart believes (as I do) that this strategy is self-defeating since this is a growing demographic that has money. Guber responded that the studios know the audience is there but getting them into the theatres is another story. It requires more patience and older people don't necessarily come to sequels or buy merchandise.

Just goes to show how uncreative the marketing arms of the studio are and how overly obsessed they are with the first dollar instead of long term performance.

Here is some of what Charlize Theron and Patricia Clarkson had to say. Charlize Theron talked about being a producer as well as an actor. She co-stars and produces Sleepwalking currently in theatres.

I believe there is an audience for these [indie] films if you are smart about marketing. They need special care, they are not studio films.

I believe you can make a great film and it can get lost in the marketing campaign.

I asked Michael Seitzman who wrote the screenplay for North Country - why don't you write these kinds of stories more, why don't you write these kind of roles for women? And he said, Charlize, I would write every movie like this but there isn't a demand for it.
This makes me so sad. I believe that people would see the movies if they are good. Lots of the female-centric films released are very weak and watered down in order to appeal to a wider audience.
It's reflective of who we've become as a society. We've become completely fluff obsessed.
Patricia Clarkson's mom Jackie is a Councilwoman in New Orleans so she knows a thing about women in politics. She came on to promote her film Married Life but wound up making comments about women in politics.
Peter Bart: Do you think there is residual resentment of strong women in politics?

PC: Yes. It is difficult. There is this underlying misogyny that exists. It's American and it's difficult for women to rise to power.


The people who are most difficult on women are women.
Amen, Patricia.

(Photo credit: Wireimage)