Spike Lee gave an interview in which he elaborates on why he wants to use Kickstarter versus other means of funding his films. Despite his undeserved reputation he's still a very savvy guy and his reasoning is respectable. He defines himself as someone who has always been a bit of a hybrid between the independent and studio worlds. This is a facet that makes a considerable amount of sense, all you have to do is go back to She's Gotta Have It and see the grainy, indie sensibility mixing in wonderfully with that pristine, studio-quality dance sequence.
I also admire the fact that he's doing it to give unknown performers a chance. It's difficult to bankroll much of anything these days without a big name to back it up. Lee's last film, Red Hook Summer, didn't do very well but was still an obviously personal film with a great performance from Clarke Peters. I hope that other artists take Lee's lead and offer an additional perspective on what they hope to accomplish, artistically, by moving outside studio funding into the crowdsourcing realm.
The trailer for the rebooted Cosmos is also out and, despite some tonal shock, I'm excited for it. Neil Degrasse Tyson is the closest thing to a celebrity physicist that we've seen for a long time and he's a funny, personable guy to boot. Though I am a bit weary of the slam-bang presentation that it has been initially positioned as. If it were not for the title appearing it could stand for a trailer for a more action-oriented science fiction film. But its heart is in the right place and despite his other flaws it speaks well of Seth MacFarlane that this is one of the projects he championed to get made.
Finally, check out the films programmed for the Toronto International Film Festival when you get the chance. Right now it's looking like a murderer's row of movies scheduled for screening. I'm most excited about Atom Egoyan's film on the West Memphis Three, Devil's Knot, with a ridiculous list of talent including Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, and Can't Stop favorite Elias Koteas. If you have a pick that you're excited for please feel free to share.
Another James McAvoy film is scheduled for review tomorrow in Welcome to the Punch.