Blockbuster is busted
Noting the rise of internetbased mail-order DVD rental and the looming threat of digital movie downloads, it remains somewhat surprising that Blockbuster, the king of video rental chains, still keeps its metaphorical head above water. Now it has emerged that the company is saddled with debts of $975 million and, squeezed by colossal interest repayments, is, indeed, facing a real struggle to survive.
Last week Blockbuster’s bosses swallowed hard and issued a bankruptcy warning. It looks like the end of an era. despite MGM’s ownership of the James Bond franchise and its financial interest in the upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit. the creator and Morgan O’Sullivan, longtime stalwart of Irish film, is to be one of the producers.
Martin Cullen, outgoing Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, seemed delighted by the news.
“Landing a series of this scale is indicative of the quality of Irish film talent both in front of and behind the camera,” he said. “The adjustments made to the Section 481 tax relief for those wishing to invest in film and television in Ireland have also been a catalyst for securing this international production for Ireland.”
The Camelot series should, all going well, get to punters before Guy Ritchie’s recently announced film version of the legend. Tuesday. At the time of his death in 1998, there were mutterings from some posh critics that the director of The Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Throne of Blood and a dozen other classics may have been “overrated”. Yet his reputation has, if anything, grown over the intervening years.
Check out the nicely presented BFI editions of Yojimbo and Stray Dog to discover why.