Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine are a nonfiction filmmaking team whose previous work together includes "The Overnighters" and the Netflix series "The Family".
Co-written and directed by Peter Sullivan. US, 2020, 89 minutes. Available on Netflix.
Directed by Bill Duke. US, 1984, 118 minutes.
Co-written and directed by Judd Apatow. US, 2020, 136 minutes.
On short films and other artworks recently made by the "Random Acts of Flyness" crew.
Since just about every “local film institution” has news to share, it’s not possible for me to cover the full breadth of things in case-specific articles like those linked above. So every month or so we’ll also be publishing a more general list of updates, beginning with this one.
On the status of the Boston area's major independent film festival during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fate of an iconic movie theater, plus that of its programming and personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kasi Lemmons is an American filmmaker whose pictures include Eve’s Bayou (1997), The Caveman’s Valentine (2001), and Harriet (2019). Her most recent work is as a director and executive producer on Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (2020), a four-part miniseries released on Netflix earlier today. The first two installments of Self Made are directed by Lemmons, and the last two are directed by DeMane Davis.
“For perspective on the scale of need before us: If we were to pay a week’s missed wages to every [movie theater employee in New York City] who applied, we would need approximately $185,000.”
On Sunday, March 15, Gov. Charlie Baker established a ban on gatherings of more than 25 people in Massachusetts, set to take effect on the 17th and to last until April 7. This was in line with decisions made in both New York City and Los Angeles, where mayors Bill de Blasio and Eric Garcetti had announced the enforced closure of movie theaters and various other businesses that same night.
On Monday, March 16, the corporate multiplexes of Boston opened their doors to the public anyway, and played movies until they were pretty much legally prohibited to do so. The following notes detail when they announced their respective closures, when they’re currently slated to reopen, who owns them, whether they’ve made any public statements about paying their workers, and whether their workers have made any public statements about getting paid.
AMC Boston Common 19, AMC Assembly Row 12, and AMC South Bay Center 12:
All three locations opened for business on Monday, albeit with reduced schedules that seem to have been instituted earlier that weekend. They are each owned and operated by the largest U.S.-based movie theater chain, AMC Theaters, which announced Monday night that as a result of the pandemic all of its locations would be closed “for up to 12 weeks.”
Reports online suggest that AMC will not be paying most of its theater staff during the shutdown, and at least one petition is circulating asking the corporation to reconsider that position. AMC Theaters is a publicly-traded company whose majority owner is the Wanda Group, a Beijing-based entertainment conglomerate that reported $5.461 billion in revenue during 2018. Requests for comment were directed to an AMC-specific media line that was not accepting calls.
Was scheduled to open for business on Monday, per a company representative who I spoke to that morning, but parent company Arclight Cinemas announced the closure of all its locations later that day. On Tuesday morning I was told that “as of today, the Boston location is closed”, and that “we [Arclight Cinemas] are also working diligently to make sure our employees are taken care of as these closures impact them in the short term.”
When I asked a company representative “whether all employees will be receiving their full pay during the closure”, that individual stated that “the details regarding employment are personal and confidential between employer and employee. Our human resources team is working with our employees to answer questions about their employment status as these weeks unfold and to assist them in accessing available government relief.” Arclight Cinemas is owned and operated by The Decurion Corporation, a Los Angeles-based parent company that oversees two different theater chains, a senior living center, and Robertson Properties Group, “one of the leading real estate development, acquisition, and property management companies in Southern California.”
Embassy Cinema and Kendall Square Cinema:
Both locations were “showing movies tonight”, per a representative at one who I spoke to early Monday. The Embassy and Kendall Square Cinemas are currently operated by Landmark Theaters, which later that night announced the temporary closure of all its locations “until further notice.”
Online reports suggest that the vast majority of employees at Landmark-owned theaters will not be receiving any pay during the closure, and we’ve corroborated that fact with regards to the Embassy and Kendall specifically. Landmark Theaters itself was recently purchased by the Cohen Media Group, which also functions as a distribution company and is led by CEO and chairman Charles S. Cohen, whose net worth is currently listed by Forbes at $3.5 billion. Inquiries were directed to a Landmark-specific media line that did not answer our call nor return our message.
Regal Fenway & RPX:
Was open for business on Monday but with an earlier closing time than usual, per a company representative I spoke with that day. Later that night the Regal corporation announced that all of its locations would be temporarily closed for an indefinite period effective Tuesday.
Reports online suggest that Regal will not be paying most of its theater staff during the shutdown, and