I used to chase tough stories during my reporting days with Entertainment Weekly, People and the L.A. Times Syndicate. Whenever I called about something a little scary people would lie or duck my calls or return them a week later or refer me to a spokesperson. Business as usual. But I’ve never been given the runaround — stonewalled, in fact — about the release of a small hand-to-mouth documentary, which is what happened today. The film is Colin Hanks‘ All Things Must Pass, a doc about the rise and all of Tower Records which played at SXSW last March after seven years of effort and a crowdfunding campaign that raised $92K. A 3.29 Variety story by Dave McNary reported that Gravitas Ventures had signed to distribute with a projected September release.
Encouraged by the respectful to glowing SXSW reviews, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to see this doc for several months. Everyone loved the Tower Records experience during the boom decades. But it hit me today that if ATMP was going to pop next month (probably on VOD with a small theatrical break in a few cities, if that) an online trailer would be viewable now. And there ain’t one. So I emailed Gravitas Ventures spokesperson AJ Feuerman and asked what was happening. She referred me to a spokesperson at Sunshine Sachs. So I called and asked if the film was coming out in September. “You’re being kinda rude,” she said. “I’m just asking a direct question, which you’re kinda ducking,” I said. “Is the September opening that Variety reported about being postponed?” She said she couldn’t confirm anything except to say that Gravitas is distributing the film. She again suggested Sunshine Sachs.
The official website says Gravitas will open All Things Must Pass “in theatres in fall 2015.” In other words possibly October or November. If Feuerman were less of a droid she would have let her guard down and eventually said the same and that would have been that, but her rigidity ticked me off so I made a few calls. I tried to reach All Things Must Pass producer Sean M. Stuart — still working on that. I tweeted my question to Hanks — nothing. I wrote the webmaster on the movie’s official site. I tried the sales agent guys, Don and Josh Braun at Submarine in NYC — nothing. I tried Marc Bortz and Kevin Iwashina, the reps at Preferred Content who negotiated the release — no dice. The word has obviously gone out. I wasted almost two hours because I didn’t like Feuerman’s attitude and I wanted to attempt an end run. Brilliant.
I used to love hanging at Tower and sifting through albums, especially late at night on the weekends. I also hated paying those astronomical prices for CDs back in the ’80s and ’90s, which is why I said “good riddance to those greedy fucks” after Napster put a dent in things. But I was invested for so many years, which is why I hope the film comes out soon. I’m keen to see it. Many have said it’s pretty good. Here’s hoping.