Flooding Theaters Isn’t Good for Filmmakers or Filmgoers

January 10, 2014 1:00 AM

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Flooding Theaters Isn’t Good for Filmmakers or Filmgoers

On Jan. 16, some 7,000 entertainment industry professionals and journalists will converge on Park City, Utah, hoping for a miracle. Distributors will push past exhibitors who will hustle past programmers, agents and critics, all of whom will be sifting through 117 features and 66 shorts at the Sundance Film Festival, looking for the next big thing: for the new Jennifer Lawrence (class of 2010 with “Winter’s Bone”) or for another “Beasts of the Southern Wild,""Fruitvale Station” or “Upstream Color,” three of the most talked-about titles from recent festivals. It will be exciting, exhausting and at times exasperating to be in the thick of such coordinated madness.

But I have a little favor to ask of the people cutting the checks: Stop buying so many movies. Or at least take a moment and consider whether flooding theaters with titles is good for movies and moviegoers alike. Because no matter how exciting Sundance will be this year, no matter how aesthetically ...

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