Kevin Smith's Red State Coming To VOD Labor Day Before October Theatrical Release

By Katey Rich 2011-06-28 13:55:20discussion comments
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It's been more than three months since we last wrote about Kevin Smith and Red State, allowing the indie director to run his nationwide tour with the movie in peace, content with our Sundance review and the knowledge that we could finally stop writing about the guy's endless self-promotion. The tour wrapped up in early April, and the plan had been for the movie-- which Smith distributed himself and didn't pay to promote at all-- to have a more regular theatrical release in October, for everyone who didn't live in the major cities where the film played already.

As with so many things in the process of getting Red State out to the masses, though, Smith has opted for something a little different. In a very long, very rambling blog post he goes over all the negative press attention he's gotten since Sundance, focusing a lot of anonymous but easily identifiable ire at Deadline's Mike Fleming, and essentially repeats what he's been saying for months now: "You guys are mad because I'm such a maverick, everything I'm doing is great, and I'm not listening to any of you anymore." A few thousand words in, he finally gets to the point: Lionsgate has picked up the video on-demand rights to the movie, and on Labor Day weekend will have Red State on all the on-demand cable platforms. The Smith madness is coming to your living room!

The October theatrical release is still happening, but it's going to be a one-night-only kind of thing, a virtual recreation of the Red State tour in which a Q&A-- livestreamed from wherever Smith winds up talking-- follows the movie screening, which is then followed by a live podcast. As Smith puts it, "Thatís four hours of once-in-a-lifetime entertainment for less than $20: a movie, a show, then another show." That also guarantees that the only people who will pay to see Red State theatrically are the die-hard Smith fans who actually want to see him talking for hours after the film, but that was probably always going to be the case anyway.

If you cut through all the self-promotional nonsense and retread of the "Kevin Smith hates independent distribution!" "No, Kevin Smith is the new face of independent distribution!" argument that's been raging since Sundance, this all makes a lot of sense. Anyone who was curious about Red State but unwilling to shell out the $65 for the road show tour now has the chance to watch the movie, in the privacy and anonymity of their own homes, for just $10. And if you missed it the first time around, you'll have the chance to get the theatrical experience again in October, and probably also in the smaller markets that Smith himself didn't visit this spring. If you're on Team Kevin Smith-- and if you still are at this point, more power to you-- you've got a lot of options in front of you and can continue funding his one-man effort against the moviemaking machine. Or just check out a movie that's flawed but bizarre enough to be worth a look.
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