Tipped as one of the hot titles of Sundance 2003, Joey Curtis’ “Quattro Noza,” a modern-day “Romeo and Juliet” for the street-racing set, didn’t exactly crash and burn after its January premiere, but it didn’t make the impact the filmmakers were hoping for.
Even after winning the fest’s cinematography kudo, says producer Fredric King, “we had some distribution offers, but they were really horrible, like $55,000. It was shocking. I think it was just a weird time in the industry where people were uncertain.”
Pic, which nabbed two Spirit noms (for first feature and cinematography), was a labor of love for first-timer Curtis, who along with d.p. Derek Cianfrance, studied with avant-garde luminary Stan Brakhage at the U of Colorado (and previously collaborated on “Brother Tied”).
It was shot intermittently over a two-year period, using a documentary style that suited the film, says King, whose marketing agency Fountainhead Creative helped finance the pic. With a whopping 300 hours of footage, pic’s first two-hour cut was considered overlong by many viewers.
Now, aided by Mark Amin’s Sobini Films, which acquired worldwide rights and provided finishing funds in the fall, the filmmakers will unveil a 90-minute cut — with less lyricism and a tighter narrative — at the Cannes market in May. Says Amin, “We have a first-look deal with Lions Gate and we’ll give other distributors a chance to look at it.”
Meanwhile, King and Curtis are working on “Beat Master,” a sci-fi romantic thriller set in London’s DJ culture.