35mm Doc 'Out Of Print' Now Online After New Beverly Controversy
Over the last few weeks we've written a few articles about Quentin Tarantino taking over managing the New Beverly Cinema, the repertory 35mm theater in Los Angeles. However, there's an interesting development on the other side today and it involves one of the theater's longtime employees speaking out about the new changes. It seems things have taken a turn for the worse, and after being told to keep quiet, Julia Marchese (@juliacmarchese) has written a blog about her experiences and being unfairly forced to quit. Marchese is also the filmmaker behind the documentary Out of Print about saving 35mm film made mostly at the New Beverly. But due to this break-up, she has released the doc in full online immediately for everyone's viewing.
In her blog, she explains her story about how she felt like she had found a home when she first walked into the New Beverly years ago. In 2006 she finally got a job and became the face of the New Bev, managing their social media accounts and helping keep up the enthusiasm. If you've ever been to a show there you have probably met her, she is one of the nicest people and truly adored that theater with all her heart. After Tarantino took over, apparently one of his assistants got the job of running the New Bev and suddenly the changes have been weird. Marchese explains her story, how things suddenly changed, then she was ousted:
This social media muzzling eventually became a confidentiality agreement that I refused to sign which would forbid me to say anything at all, on any public forum, about my job, the New Beverly Cinema or Quentin Tarantino. Ever. […]
I was completely frozen out.
In fact Julie, my immediate superior, hasn’t answered an email of mine since October 3rd.
And yet, I was supposed to be managing a theater during all of this time.
This past Monday morning I was called to a last minute meeting by Julie McLean – the new general manager of the Bev – who informed me that, although I had only started my new position less than two weeks before, she had come to the conclusion that I was not manager material.
Effective immediately, I was to be demoted to snack bar, with no shifts guaranteed. In layman’s terms: I won’t fire you, because then I would have to pay unemployment, but I simply won’t schedule you – which forces resignation. […]
My last words to her were:
“You’re going to turn this place into a fucking multiplex, and it’s a goddam drag.”
I think Quentin Tarantino is an incredibly talented filmmaker with his heart in the right place. He’s been my personal hero for several years – here’s a man who uses his celebrity in the best possible way – to insure 35mm will be around and to save a theater that both of us see as something extraordinary.
However, I think he has people working for him that aren’t serving his best interests.
He needs to wake up and see that these people are killing the very thing he is trying to keep alive.
I strongly suggest reading the entire blog on her Tumblr here, even though it's a very sad story to hear. However now I'm not sure what to say now - should we still support the New Beverly and all of its events? Should we join with Julia in opposition to them and fight to find another great repertory cinema to support? I don't know. At the least, though, we do get to take a look at the documentary that Julia spent years making at the New Beverly. She made it out of passion for the New Beverly, for 35mm, for the experience of cinema and the joys of it. "I hope it will encourage you to support that struggling mom and pop theater near you."
Here's the documentary Out of Print available in full for free online via Vimeo. A Film By Julia Marchese:
Julia explains on her blog the reason behind why she released this now: "Out of Print is a film I made about how important 35mm exhibition is and how special revival cinemas are – I illustrate this case with showing you ONE special cinema – The Bev. I have been struggling to make this film since 2012, and am proud to say it is finally finished. I was planning a big premiere at the New Beverly in January – on a 35mm print. Obviously, that isn’t going to happen. That’s why I have decided to let you all watch the documentary I made about the New Beverly Cinema – Out of Print – now… I hope you will see first hand the enthusiasm I had for that place, and the passion I will always have for cinema." So, enjoy, and if you like it spread the word.
As for the future of the New Beverly, for now it's in Tarantino's hands – for better or worse. Only time will tell how it turns out with new management, but it's sad to see one of its most loyal supporters gone for good.