Sundance 2011: Kevin Smith Sells Red State ... To Himself
Well, we knew the screening of Kevin Smith's Red State was going to be a circus, but we didn't see this one coming. As stated by Smith himself, following the film an auction was held for the distribution rights, and they went for ....
Twenty dollars from Smith himself! That's right, kids, he bought his own movie for some quick chump change. Word coming out of Sundance is that producer Jonathan Gordon told the audience the bidding was open, Smith offered $20, and Gordon proclaimed the film sold!
Seems that the whole auction thing was just a stunt to build up some steam for Smith's ultimate plan to release the movie himself. Next up, Smith will take it on the road to various festivals before what we're gathering will be an official self-financed release in October.
Seriously? The idea is genius. Since Red State's outset Smith has involved his fanbase every step of the way. It only makes sense that he would be the one to bring it to them sans dealing with the Hollywood machine.
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Ever since Clerks (cowinner of the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival), Kevin Smith has been known for his sharp, subversive, comedic writing. He shifts from comedy to horror with Red State and aptly demonstrates that good writing transcends genre. Red State begins by following three horny high-school boys who come across an online ad from an older woman looking for a gang bang. Boys being boys, they hit the road to satisfy their libidinal urges. But what begins as a fantasy takes a dark turn as they come face-to-face with a terrifying “holy” force with a fatal agenda. Instead of relying on archetypes and predictable formulas, Smith meticulously fashions all-too-real characters, utilizing exceptional performances (notably by Michael Parks) and an intelligent script. His realistic style gives the film an intimate feeling, heightening the terror to biblical proportions. Red State is a shocking new kind of horror film that aggressively confronts higher powers and extreme doctrines with a vengeance.
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