Sundance Film Festival 2011 is winding down and the big news isn’t about any breakout critics’ darling or big acquisition. The buzz is all about Red State, a movie that received mixed reviews at best and didn’t earn a distribution deal at all.
To be specific, the buzz isn’t so much about Red State, an uneasy mix of horror film and political/religious diatribe, as it is about the film’s director, Kevin Smith. Has Kevin Smith gone too far this time with his fake auction stunt? Is his decision to self-distribute his new film via a whistlestop nationwide tour of personal appearances a viable model for film distribution in the social-media era? Has Kevin Smith burned his bridges? Why is he biting the indie distribution hand that has fed him for years?
The truth, of course, is that Kevin Smith is just doing what he always does. Turning chicken feathers into chicken salad. This is the genius of Kevin Smith.