Why You Should Care that Miramax is Gone

It was a long, slow descent into darkness, but it did finally happen. Miramax is gone. Downsized last fall by its (relatively) new parent company, Disney, most analysts could already hear Miramax’s death knell. Flops like Everybody’s Fine didn’t help matters, and it’s kind of tempting to revel in a fail for Miramax because in some way it means a fail for Disney. But that’s like loving when NBC messes up by screwing over Conan. It’s funny to think that NBC messed up, but people got hurt. Something tall and ginger was lost.

This article at Entertainment Weekly gives you a good overview of how Miramax changed the landscape of moviegoing, especially for the city of New York. (It’s kind of hard to imagine, but there was a time when art house fare was few and far between. Now you can’t throw a rock without hitting a place that show French New Wave in the afternoon, Prom Night in Mississippi and Let the Right One In in the evening, and Plan 9 from Outer Space and Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight.)

Miramax should be commended not just for its position as the first powerful independent distributor, but as the company that gave us this:

and this:

and, of course, this:

I’m not an industry analyst, and I don’t know if this means the end of the studio “indie” model. Lionsgate is still going strong. Well, as much as the studio that released The Spy Next Door can be said to be going strong. In the end, Shakespeare gotta get paid, son.

Rest in Peace, Miramax. Thanks for the memories. For Joseph Fiennes in a doublet (and sometimes nothing at all.) For supporting Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino. For the emotional devastation one experiences when watching The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. For the delectable chick flick that became so much more, Chocolat. For marketing The Brothers Grimm in a half competent way (unlike most Terry Gilliam films.) For The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Just The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

The Weinsteins will get by. They have another company. After all, it was them who helped teach us a name is just a name:

As Tennesse Williams said: “Time rushes towards us with its hospital tray of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for its inevitably fatal operation.” Thanks for the narcotics Miramax. You will be missed.


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