TORONTO 2008

Steven Soderbergh's Che Picked Up by Magnolia Pictures

by
September 5, 2008
Source: NY Post

Steven Soderbergh's Che

Coming out of the Cannes Film Festival in May, buzz for Steven Soderbergh's Che seemed only mediocre, but now heading into Toronto, it's been boosted back into the spotlight. In advance of the film's public premiere next Friday and press premiere this Monday, the NY Post reports that Mark Cuban's company Magnolia Pictures has made a deal for distribution. No details on how much they bought the film for or any other major plans, besides an expected limited release starting on December 12th in order for the film to be in the running for the Oscars. With Benicio Del Toro's performance being praised by almost every critic so far, we can expect Del Toro to eventually get a nomination next year.

The NY Post article did mention that the cut here in Toronto has a running time of 4 hours, 22 minutes, which is a bit shorter than the version shown at Cannes. This lengthy cut features both stories from individual films The Argentine and Guerrilla combined into one epic feature. Back in May when everyone was talking about the film during its Cannes premiere, we posted an article discussing Why You Should Take an Interest in Steven Soderbergh's Che. As we slowly get closer to the Monday morning debut here in Toronto, I find myself increasingly excited, not only due to my interest in Benicio Del Toro's supposedly incredible performance, but because of my fascination with Steven Soderbergh as a director.

If you're concerned about the running time being too long to en joy, don't get too worked up. A previous article written before the film was picked up by Anne Thompson at Variety, mentions that the plan is to cut it back into two individual films for its theatrical run. "The film has been done to be exploited in two parts. We did that screening of the two films together only for Cannes. The idea is to release them separately. But Steven would like for the US to have a small exploitation of the film as one film." I'm personally not at all fond of Magnolia Pictures and really don't think they have the money or the manpower to really market a film like this. But I guess we'll see later this year if they pull it off. Thoughts?

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  • Keith
    didn't Harvey buy this for a dollar...
  • Fucking Scissorhands joined the army to learn how to kill.
  • Will S. (Co Springs)
    Why can't we make more movies about capitalists?
  • Sounds like Magnolia is meeting Soderbergh's wishes. He was hoping for the early Oscar-eligible release, then wider, staggered releases of both films in 2009. Great vision.
  • Eric
    Ha Keith thanks for the Entourage connection there. But hey maybe the buzz for this movie might be real. And i feel that it could be an amazing film. Not just an Ari Gold Tactic.
  • Matt
    Why do so many people idealize this person?
  • Matt
    *idolize. whoops
  • Lorelei
    Hmmm. I guess I don't find watching a movie about a murderous "revolutionary" very pleasurable, even if a celebrated actor is cast in it. I don't mean to say that I only enjoy happy-go-lucky movies where everything is perfect (believe me, people who know me are aware that I can't stand shallow movies), I just can't seem to find anything enticing about sitting through this extraordinarily long movie about someone who murdered thousands of innocent people. But that's just my opinion....
  • Viva CHE !
    I can't wait for these 2 films ! CHE is one of the most heroic men to ever live and my personal hero :o) “Che is not only an intellectual, he was the most complete human being of our time – our era’s most perfect man.” ~ Jean Paul Sartre "Che's life is an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom. We will always honor his memory." ~ Nelson Mandela Hasta la Victoria Siempre !
  • Cubano
    “In Bolivia, images of Che hang next to images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, & Pope John Paul II.” ~ The Observer, September 23, 2007 “It was difficult to recall that this man had once been one of the great figures of Latin America. It was not just that he was a great guerrilla leader; he had been a friend of Presidents as well as revolutionaries. His voice had been heard and appreciated in inter-American councils as well as in the jungle. He was a doctor, an amateur economist, once Minister of Industries in revolutionary Cuba, and Castro's right-hand man. He may well go down in history as the greatest continental figure since Bolivar. Legends will be created around his name.” ~ Richard Gott - Guardian journalist, 1967 dispatch on the day of Guevara's death “This secular saint (Che) was ready to die because he could not tolerate a world where the poor of the earth, the displaced and dislocated of history, would be relegated to its vast margins.” ~ Ariel Dorfman, Time Magazine “With the news of Che’s death, rallies were held from Mexico to Santiago, Algiers to Angola, and Cairo to Calcutta. The population of Budapest and Prague lit candles; the picture of a smiling Che appeared in London and Paris…when a few months later, riots broker out in Berlin, Paris, and Chicago, and from there the unrest spread to the American campuses, young men and women wore Che Guevara T-shirts and carried his pictures during their protest marches.” ~ Erik Durschmied
  • Paul Escobar
    In reality, this is a film for the south. It's sad that most of the focus is on North American audiences. People in India, South Africa, and most Latin America understand colonialism and exploitation. They understand the necessity for, and downsides of, guerilla warfare. They've had intense debates over power, ideology and politics. They'd not only understand this sort of film...They'd actually relate.
  • This is horrible news. The most a MAGNOLIA reeleased film has ever made was $6M and that was like 5 years ago. They usually average under $1M. I don't see this one turning anything around.
  • Lorelei
    In reply to both 9 and 10, it is a true tragedy that so many people are so misled....
  • Wolffsart
    Care to say more about your comment Lorelei? Give some facts that back your personal opinion?

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