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February 27, 2011 9:16 AM   Subscribe

'The studios have won' Interview with Alex Cox, director of Sid And Nancy, Repo Man and more recently Repo Chick.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's not enough to control the means of production. You have to have some control over the means of distribution as well.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:41 AM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


His (audio) interview with Nardwuar is interesting too.
posted by palacewalls at 9:45 AM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


... wait ... did he really just say he wanted to go back and put special effects into Straight to Hell? Really? Has George Lucas's cavalcade of failure taught us nothing?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:09 AM on February 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would love to see what Cox would do with any Harry Harrison novel. Also, I didn't know Repo Chick was out on DVD, so I'm glad I read that.
posted by immlass at 10:21 AM on February 27, 2011


True. For now.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:30 AM on February 27, 2011


Per Lexica: "Repo Chick looks to be to Repo Man what Will Smith's Wild, Wild West was to The Adventures of Briscoe County, Jr.".
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:42 AM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alex Cox puts his new film trailer up on YouTube... and in a month, it garners all of FIVE comments?

This, in a world where any given cat video gets a hundred comments?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 11:03 AM on February 27, 2011


What took 'Repo Chick' so long to end up on home video?

David Lynch's people attempted to prevent the screening of the film at Venice, they threatened an injunction against the film at Venice. Universal threatened the production with a cease and desist letter to attempt to prevent the production from taking place. That is so charming, so delightful a part of filmmaker's existence.

I wasn't familiar with this conflict with David Lynch-

No, [I was] entirely puzzled by the Lynch thing too, because in theory David Lynch has a sales company which is supposed to be selling the film abroad, but all they [had] done so far is threaten legal action. They embarked on legal action against me to prevent me from screening the film. Why David Lynch would be involved in the process like that, which only benefits Universal, I really don't know. I don't know what's up with David Lynch, why that would be happening. It's totally mysterious to me. It's totally mysterious. But it really does make me feel like in the end, you just can't beat the studios. I mean the studios are so powerful, and since they also control distribution, even if you managed to beat them in the sense that if you get the film made, will anybody ever see it? I used to think, yeah, yeah, they will see it, it's worth doing anyway. You know, but after that, I'm beaten. I can't beat the studios.
I would be very, very, very interested in hearing Lynch's version of this. He just doesn't strike me as the type, somehow.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:41 AM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cox fails to mention exactly why he was blacklisted in '88.

Repo Man is a masterpiece. Sid and Nancy is painful to watch
posted by to sir with millipedes at 12:39 PM on February 27, 2011


... wait ... did he really just say he wanted to go back and put special effects into Straight to Hell?

He did it, it's done, and as far as I can tell the original version is now out of print. It's that last part that really annoys me.

I really don't think that film should be a liquid medium, but if filmmakers are going to go ahead and tinker, they could at least make it so that the original versions are still available. I'm not just looking at Lucas and Cox, but the Coen Brothers (Blood Simple) and Walter Hill (The Warriors) as well.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:46 PM on February 27, 2011


Karlos, you're very right, but as someone who works in film I can tell you (and many, many people I work with have said the same to me), a film is {i}never{/i} finished, you just run out of time. Certainly I've always felt I could do with more time on every project I've been involved in, but sometimes you just have to let go and get it out there.

So film is a liquid medium in that you never consider a film really finished. But yes, if you're going to make changes you should always make the original available as well.
posted by ciderwoman at 1:53 PM on February 27, 2011


Alex Cox puts his new film trailer up on YouTube... and in a month, it garners all of FIVE comments? This, in a world where any given cat video gets a hundred comments?

Your average cat video has better directing, higher production values, and a more attractive lead. Seriously, that video didn't garner comments because it didn't deserve them.
posted by happyroach at 2:06 PM on February 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


a film is {i}never{/i} finished, you just run out of time

This also works if you substitute "novel" for "film" and "Neal Stephenson" for "you".
posted by asterix at 2:25 PM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


This also works if you substitute "novel" for "film" and "Neal Stephenson" for "you"

Have you been going through my drawers again?
posted by tapesonthefloor at 3:03 PM on February 27, 2011


the original version is now out of print

I have a treasured VHS copy. It is a truly spectacular film, with some of the best casting ever.
posted by biscotti at 3:34 PM on February 27, 2011


Cox fails to mention exactly why he was blacklisted in '88.

All from my failing memory...wasn't because he told the studio that he'd never do Viva Rockvegas or whatever the horrible Flintstones sequel was? He had just made Sid and Nancy and had a bit of acclaim. The studio wanted him to do a three picture deal: Flintstones, another studio-selected film and then another picture that he could select. He chose to walk.

Anyone else remember the story?
posted by zerobyproxy at 4:21 PM on February 27, 2011


Wait, that Repo Chick thing isn't a joke?

Good god.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:11 PM on February 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


"The entire flick was shot green screen on the new RED digital cameras. Which probably means something to someone somewhere, but honestly, it just makes this look like one big ass karaoke video that was shot with cell phones at an low-rent Ohio amusement park."
"The crew came in for work on the fourth day and found that the RED Digital Cinema Camera, most camera accessories, a portable sound package, two computers, digital still equipment, and personal effects were stolen. The RED #1605 has not been found."
posted by unliteral at 6:47 PM on February 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


To elaborate on what sounded like drive-by snark: Repo Man was a huge milestone for me in my youth, when it came out, and I liked Sid and Nancy a lot at the time, too. Although in that scene from (I think it was) Breakfast With Hunter, the Hunter S Thompson doco from a few years back, Cox pulled off the near-impossible and came off as even less sympathetic than Hunter himself, I have a soft spot for the man and his work. Respect due for trying something different.

But man, that trailer looks terrible.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:19 PM on February 27, 2011


That Repo Chick trailer is the most visually queasy thing I've seen since 200 Motels.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:36 AM on February 28, 2011


For me, years before I knew Alex Cox was even a film director, he was the guy who would give interesting introductions on the BBC's Moviedrome. Here is his introduction to The Wicker Man (the full version) for example. Many more have made their way to Youtube
posted by rongorongo at 3:26 AM on February 28, 2011


My God, unliteral, the comments on that first link:
...What in the fucking fuck was that? It looked like what happens when severely mentally disturbed six year old gets her hands on mommy's camera and films her barbies shooting each other.
Posted by: Jeremy Feist at January 26, 2010 10:45 AM

That trailer hurt my heart.
Posted by: Jerce at January 26, 2010 11:01 AM

That's what my dreams look like after I eat 4-alarm chili.
Posted by: Kballs at January 26, 2010 11:04 AM
Also, WRT the RED One camera, here's a list of movies shot with it. I don't think that the problem is with the cameras, Alex.

for the record, Repo Man and Sid & Nancy rocked my world, back in the day.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:09 AM on February 28, 2011


Loved Repoman (watched it an arts cinema during uni), got very very drunk watching Sid and Nancy, enjoyed his intros to films on Moviedrome and he introduced me to some great cinema and I also enjoyed his occasional writings in the Guardian (especially the one saying all you need to write a script is the ability to set two tabs in your word processor and if you forked out to buy special screen-writing software you were an idiot). But his other films... I can't remember getting to the end of Walker when it turned on tv and the same another tv thing he did. Seeing the trailer for Repo Chick just bemused me and reading the interview just made me depressed and wondering what the fuck happened.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:13 PM on March 1, 2011


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