Terry Gilliam faced a problem in 1985: Although it had been released without a hitch by distributors outside the US, his final cut of Brazil was deemed unfit for release in North America by executives at Universal. Faced with Gilliam’s stern refusal to re-edit his work and craft a more commercial movie as proposed, a team at Universal — headed by Sidney Sheinberg — took on the job themselves and began to reshape the film. In October, with hands tied, Gilliam went public, and responded by way of a very brief open letter to Sheinberg.
A fauxgo (fake logo) is a symbol or other small design created to represent a fictional company or organization that exists only on film.
According to Harold Ramis, on the Groundhog Day DVD commentary, Bill Murray spent 10 years trapped in his own little corner of hell… But this seems like an arbitrary number. We can do better than that.
Record companies and movie studios like products. Real, tangible, physical products you can buy, place in a bag, and carry home. This keeps the issue of distribution and ownership nice and straightforward – those who are holding the product in exchange for money hold a licence to use it, within predefined boundaries. Accountants, lawyers, and those fresh out of an economics degree can cope with this model with no problem at all.
But what if the customer doesn’t necessarily want or need a physical, touchy-feely product in a box? What if, for example, they can download the album or film or book or whatever, and this fits in with their highly digital lifestyle?
At Christmas, my mother sent us both some money to be used, she insisted, to buy something we could enjoy rather than putting it towards boring things like phone bills. After some consideration, we decided to put it together and buy ourselves a cute little DVD player, which now sits proudly atop our television. In choosing the player, I put quite a lot of effort into ensuring that it would be able to play a variety of formats from recordable media.
The question, then, is what to burn. We could, for example, download and burn episodes of our favourite American animated sitcoms in an effort to relieve some of the arguments over control of the cable remote, but that would be naughty and illegal and stuff. Hmm. Anyway, the answer must be found in movies with more open licences, and where better to begin than with the Prelinger Archives of ephemeral films.