Friday, January 29, 2010

Goodbye Miramax

Farewell Miramax. You were always my favourite distributor logo (random, I know) and no matter how many people hate on Harvey Weinstein, you can't deny that he, quite literally, revolutionised cinema, distribution, film festivals and award season. The idea that in 2010 a movie about an IRA operative having an affair with transsexual lounge singer could made over $60mil at the American box office would be laughed at, so that the team at Miramax got one there in 1992 is still stunning. Yes, Harvey became intolerable with his habit of buying, shelving and cutting habits, but is there any doubt that if Harvey was still at the wheel in the later years that Sally Hawkins would be an Oscar nominee? He was savvy, that you can't deny. He made City of God a four-time Oscar nominee for crying out loud!

From big arthouse sensations like sex lies and videotape and Trainspotting to the little-known titles such as Priest and Just Another Girl on the I.R.T and the collective films of Quentin Tarantino, Miramax were such a vital part of my development as a film-lover. I'd sit in my room with my old dial TV, sitting on the edge of my bed with the volume down so my parents didn't hear the swearing and the sex that were prevalent. Even though I was watching them through static, the above films and others by the likes of Jane Campion, Kevin Smith and Woody Allen opened my eyes. I seriously cannot imagine where I or any of us would be without them. You can bet that we wouldn't be discussing Oscars 52 weeks a year and you can be assured that movies like Precious, Slumdog Millionaire, Secrets & Lies and Little Miss Sunshine wouldn't have been the Oscar nominees and winners that they eventually became thanks to the door that Miramax tore down.

However, It is Scream that I am most thankful for. Of all the films out of the Miramax wheelhouse it was Scream that truly kick-started my obsession with film. I've mentioned many times about my affection for that movie and its sequels. I've seen Scream and Scream 2 over 150 times each (EACH! I watched them every day for about 4 months, I kid you not) and without them I wouldn't be here.

Goodbye Miramax, you were good to us even when you made it hard.


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I'm thankful for Miramax's The English Patient, and many more, but especially that one. I hope Weinstein has a good year, I don't hate the guy and I'm looking forward to their Brit film The King's Speech with Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter.

Neel Mehta said...

I always thought Harvey Weinstein's most impressive accomplishment in the Miramax era was the 9-nomination haul for Good Will Hunting. Not a lot of films can score 9 nominations, and certainly not a character drama set in present day. Then add the other heavy hitters that particular year, and it looks all the more unlikely.