One day before Harvey Weinstein’s films got 16 Oscar nominations, we sat down in Park City to discuss everything from the Oscar race to the slow pace of acquisitions at Sundance, to how important day-and-date theatrical and VOD releases will be to the independent film business. And how, after The King’s Speech was an underdog that roared past The Social Network to win Best Picture last year, Weinstein is in the uncharacteristic position of being the frontrunner with The Artist. The film has gained momentum, winning the PGA Award, as well as the DGA prize for director Michel Hazanavicius. Last night, Jean Dujardin was named Outstanding Male Actor In a Leading Role at the SAG Awards.
DEADLINE: Last year at this time, I asked you to explain why The King’s Speech was a worthy Best Picture candidate against the hipper Social Network. The Artist certainly was a prototypical Oscar film–in 1929. Why does a black and white silent film deserve Best Picture in this era of cutting age VFX and 3D?
WEINSTEIN: There is that great line in the song in Casablanca, “the fundamental things apply, as time goes by.” We can always relate to the story of a man who is up and then falls and then gets replaced by new technology. It’s how I feel every day; I still can’t even operate my Blackberry and my kids laugh at me. This story deals with what’s happening to all of us, facing a world that is changing too fast, as his world is changing too fast. And it’s deeply emotional and a love story, and you feel fabulous at the end of it. Great stories never go away. (more…)