By Kenji Fujishima
[Published at The Wall Street Journal on September 21st, 2009.]
With the release of her latest film, Rage, which stars Jude Law, Steve Buscemi and Eddie Izzard, among others, British director Sally Potter is trying something no other filmmaker has yet attempted: She will be distributing a feature film for free on mobile phones.
Starting today, the monologue-heavy drama will be released gratis in seven parts, one part a day, through a free application for iPhones and iPods offered by Babelgum, a Web- and mobile-content platform. The only theatrical distribution planned for the film—which screened in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in February—is a red-carpet premiere at The Box theater in New York tonight, and the DVD will be released tomorrow.
A red-carpet premiere is also planned for Thursday, Sept. 24, in London, but with a major twist: both the premiere event and a Q&A session following the screening will be broadcast live in screens all across the U.K. and Ireland, as well as online. It will be interactive, as audience members from all over the world will be able to ask Potter and some of the actors questions through text messages and/or Skype.
The atypical release pattern for Rage befits the typically inventive Potter, whose last film, Yes, was a love story in which all the characters spoke in iambic pentameter. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Potter about her new film, the nature of its multi-platform release, and her thoughts on the future of cinema and new media.
To read the interview at The Wall Street Journal, click here.