Occupy Cinema Day hits screens on March 2

If you hadn’t heard, Friday (March 2) is Occupy Cinema Day. New York–based movie journalist Anthony Kaufman called for the action on his ReelPolitik blog for indiewire.com, prompted, he told the Straight, by “Occupy Wall Street, of course, and the way Adbusters was able to translate a simple blog posting and Twitter announcement into a massive political action”.

Adding that new-media guru Brian Newman had earlier toyed with the idea in one of his blog posts, Kaufman said: “When Occupy announced their Shut Down the Corporations Day of Action on February 29, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to glom onto that spirit and do something to fight the Hollywood corporations.” Kaufman described the movie industry’s problems as “systemic”, from “the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America] ratings board to the
way Hollywood has created a global monopoly”.

His idea couldn’t be much simpler. “On March 2, go see a noncorporate film in a noncorporate theater,” he said. “I like the term noncorporate because I think it speaks specifically to what Occupy is all about, but it really does apply to lots of independently made and released films, as well as the independent art houses around the country that show those films.”

Kaufman also launched a petition on ReelPolitik and a Facebook event page to monitor the success of the action, but he said he’d be just as happy if people simply voted with their wallets.

Not too surprisingly, there’s been little feedback from the industry, which has been heavily involved with a certain awards ceremony for the past month. “The Oscars is just the kind of desperate corporate spectacle that Hollywood is about,” Kaufman said. “Hopefully, by March 2 that’ll all be over and maybe people can turn their focus to something more important.”