With cult 1980s neo noir Cutter’s Way returning to cinemas following its opening at BFI Southbank, Park Circus’ Managing Director, Nick Varley, explains some of the film’s critical reception and the rise in popularity of cult cinema.
Park Circus blog: You recently re-released The Last Picture Show in cinemas to great acclaim. Did you expect it to be as popular with critics and cinemagoers?
Nick Varley: The film had not been in active distribution for a number of years and the extended cut produced by Peter Bogdanovich for Home Video in the 90s had not been screened widely, so it was an opportunity for people to revisit the film in the full version. I was not too surprised that the film has proved popular, it is one of the classics of 70s independent American cinema.
Cutter’s Way is very much viewed as a cult classic now – before BFI approached you had it been a popular title?
No, I have to say it wasn’t. In fact the film was an utter failure for United Artists on it’s initial release. Pleasingly it is one of those films that has matured with time and is probably appreciated more now than in the early 80s.
What’s the process you follow to re-release a title such as Cutter’s Way?
There is no process as such. You engage with exhibitors/festivals to see what might be of interest. If a film has had restoration that might also be an influence. Sometimes we will pitch an idea (as is the case of The Last Picture Show), and in other instances the programmer will approach us.
Have you seen a rise in popularity for cult or forgotten films?
There has certainly been a generational shift. Films of the 60s and 70s seem to be in vogue and you can only really put that down to the age of the audience. Whereas the films of the 30s and 40s were once the solid programmers of repertory cinema, we have now progressed to those later decades.
Read Josh Olson’s love letter to Cutter’s Way.
To find out where Cutter’s Way is screening near you visit www.backincinemas.com