Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Lions Gate Buys Another Controversial Film

Lions Gate Films is likely courting public controversy once again with its decision to pay $4 million for David Slade's Hard Candy, which screened last week at the Sundance Film Festival. Boston Globe critic Ty Burr described the movie in today's (Tuesday) edition as one of the few at the festival to "draw blood ... make people uncomfortable and angry." Burr said that although the movie starts out as "a carefree drama," it later "takes a left turn into an altogether different movie -- one that owes as much to horror and suspense as to social-message melodrama -- and it is that movie that divided audiences." Burr quotes one volunteer ticket-taker who remarked after hearing a couple discussing whether to see it, "Dude, I saw that thing. ... Stay away. I mean it: Stay away." Slade said that during a Q&A session after a screening, one man "started screaming at me, 'What gives you the right to make this film?' and I thought he was going to attack me.'" One woman who saw it, however, remarked, "I thought it was fantastic ... but I still haven't decided whether I liked it." Another woman remarked: "Everyone should see it. ... Especially men." Lions Gate President Tom Ortenberg conceded that the movie "will shock many people, but I think that's a good thing."