Spike Lee has spoken out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently announced that he would be relaxing quarantine restrictions and reopening select non-essential businesses, such as cinemas, beginning 27 April. His decision has sparked controversy, with many believing it is too soon to go back to movie theatres, given that the Covid-19 pandemic is still sweeping America, the country currently worst affected by the crisis.
The BlackKklansman director made it clear that he doesn’t support the decision in a statement to Vanity Fair, in which he stated that the focus should be on testing people for the virus.
“Open Movie Theatres Now? Hell To Da Naw,” Lee wrote in an email in his signature style. “I Got Alot More Movies To Make, Not Rollin’ Da Dice Wit’ Da Only Life I Got. TESTING. TESTING And Mo’ TESTING (sic).”
Lee isn’t the only filmmaker taking a stand. Veep creator Armando Iannucci took to Twitter this week to make it known that he doesn’t support his film The Death of Stalin being shown in the reopened movie theatres.
“I’d like to make it clear I don’t approve of any of my films being shown in US movie theatres before it’s clear the virus has been overcome. So, I don’t approve of The Death of Stalin being shown in US movie theatres as early as May 29th. That’s simply too early,” he wrote.
Officials at IFC Films, which distributed his satire, announced this week that they would be making 200 of their titles available for free to independent movie theatre owners looking to fill their slates when they reopen.
There won’t be any new studio films to populate the cinema schedules for weeks as they have all been postponed due to the crisis. The next big releases are Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan, which are currently slated to open in July.
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