Have You Seen Soderbergh's Che Double Feature Yet?
by Alex Billington
December 21, 2008
I'm still very proud to say that I sat through all 262 minutes of Steven Soderbergh's Che epic back at the Toronto Film Festival. Even if you hate Che Guevara or even if you don't like Steven Soderbergh, it's worth the time and money to sit through such a beautifully made cinematic epic. IFC Films debuted Che publicly in theaters on December 12th a week back to not only qualify for Oscar consideration, but to give viewers a chance to experience Soderbergh's two films back-to-back just as I did. Well apparently the film has been so successful, including selling out shows over the weekend, that IFC is letting it run for another two weeks.
Che opened in two theaters last weekend: Clearview's Ziegfeld in New York City and The Landmark in Los Angeles. IFC's plan was to run it for only one week as a "roadshow" double feature before pulling it from theaters and re-releasing each film individually in early January. IFC will now put Che back in those two theaters starting on December 24th (in New York) and December 26th (in Los Angeles) for another two more weekends of exclusive runs. "We thought Che would have a great deal of interest, but to sell out in Los Angeles and New York City was even beyond our expectations," IFC distribution VP Mark Boxer said.
So if you live in New York or Los Angeles, there's no excuse, you should have seen Che by now. Okay, maybe I understand that it's hard to find an extra 5 hours in a day to sit down and watch an entire 262 minutes of guerrilla warfare in Spanish, but I'm telling you, it's worth it! Whether or not you end up loving it in the end, I'm certain anyone who appreciates cinema will walk out at least admiring what Steven Soderbergh and Benicio Del Toro accomplished. Arguing over the politics of Che Guevara and what he did is something to do on your own time, espcially because Che doesn't shy away from all that reality. And thinking back on my own experience in Toronto, its become something that I'm increasingly very proud of.
If you're only able to dedicate smaller segments of time to Che, then you're in luck. IFC will still be releasing Che: Part One and Che: Part Two on January 9th in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco before expanding to five additional markets the following weekend. The film will also be available via Video on Demand starting on January 21st as well. IFC expects to have both films playing in more than 50 theaters in the top 25 markets by January 23rd, the day after the Oscar nominations arrive. I hope Che has gained even more buzz by then, because it definitely doesn't have enough at the moment. Will you at least see Che when Benicio Del Toro gets an Oscar nomination?