Combining many of my favorite things, documentary director Rory Kennedy (Ghosts of Abu Ghraib) was a guest on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews this afternoon to discuss her latest film Thank You, Mr President about White House press corp reporter Helen Thomas.
The film premieres next month as a part of HBO's Documentary Film Series, a program spearheaded by Sheila Nevins to showcase a new documentary film each Monday throughout the summer. The series also includes Susan and Alan Raymond's (the Police Tapes) latest Hard Times at Douglass High and the Black List (produced by film critic extraordinaire Elvis Mitchell) as well as festival darlings like Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired and the Recruiter.
While premiering on television (even a premium channel that was home to critical favorites like "the Sopranos", "Sex and the City" and "Entourage") may be considered a step down for a lot of film-makers one can't help but sense that in a year that has seen the demise of no fewer than five indie distributors and boutique studio branches (with another circling the drain) having a captive audience of 40 million paid subscribers (which also makes their checks less likely to bounce) if cable television may not play a bigger role in the changing distribution system that is presently in total upheaval.
Of course my basic cable package and I will be waiting to these films on dvd, which are slated to be released later this year.