Yesterday Fox 411‘s Roger Friedman said he’d been “banned” from seeing Bryan Singer‘s Valkyrie, and then Patrick “Big Picture” Goldstein had a discussion with Mike Vollman about the Friedman situation, during which Vollman said that the New York-based columnist “just wasn’t invited…screenings are a privilege, not a right, and [if Freidman had] indicated a desire to be open-minded and not telegraphed his intentions ahead of time, we would’ve acted differently.”
The interesting part comes when Goldstein writes that he doesn’t “like the idea of studios banning writers from screenings, since judging from the state of my frosty relations with a couple of studios right now, it’s quite possible that, ahem, I could be next.” I don’t believe that for a nano-second. Nobody would dare ban Goldstein because of the lingering (i.e., actually much diminished) don’t-tread-on-me factor stemming from his L.A. Times employment. On top of which he’s finally too much of a political chess player and not nearly enough of an emotionally free-swinging, Miles Davis-styled loose cannon to get banned by anyone. I know, having experienced a few temporary freeze-outs by some major distributors in my time.
Friedrich Nietzsche once said words that I’ve always lived by: “When in danger, always move forward.” If a studio bans you, my advice is to just go “okay, whatever” and focus your energies elsewhere. Keep your head down, keep moving. Most of the time the anger over the banning issue subsides and the studio reconsiders after three or four months. I’m proud to say that right now I am no one’s shit list right now.