If you’ve been following this year’s Sundance Film Festival then you know there’s been a bit of hoo-haw concerning famed Clerks director Kevin Smith’s new film, Red State. Obviously, one of the aims of going to a film festival is to get noticed AND, depending on the festival, to get your independent film sold to a distributor. But, Smith announced at a press conference, that he was shunning the traditional method of film distribution and purchased the distribution rights himself, and plans on releasing the film on a city by city basis across the US this year.
Red State is raising highbrows not only for this announcement, but for its content. Smith earned his indie cred with his debut break through Clerks, but his more recent films haven’t fared as well commercially or critically. Red State is reportedly a return to edgier, artier, more relevant film making for the director. But, he’s not shying away from working in a specific genre. Red State is being described as a “religious horror film” and concerns three horny teenagers who become involved with a mysterious older woman and a right wing religious group rather pointedly based on the Fred Phelps led Westboro Baptist Church famed for protesting at funerals and significant public events with their “God Hates Fags” signs. The film, starring Michael Parks, John Goodman and Melissa Leo will open at Radio City Music Hall in New York on March 5 ,then play on a city by city basis in cities across the US leading up to a wide release in October.
And, it was revealed today that Seattle will be one of those original stops with a screening and appearance from Kevin Smith, on Monday, April 4 at McCaw Hall. Tickets for the event go on sale, Friday, January 28 at all Ticketmaster locations.
Now, the question remains; how will the Westboro Baptist picketers manage to hit every single theater screening this film? The Phelps Family is large, (in both senses of the word) but not large enough to cover the entire country. They could only manage three protesters at Sundance and were greatly outnumbered by counter protesters. They need to make new cultists, STAT!