Carlotta Raises the Bar With ‘Massacre’ (EXCLUSIVE)

France-U.S. classic films distrib plans record 100-copy release, coffee-book publishing

LYON –France and U.S.-based Carlotta Films, one of the world’s top classic pic indie distributors – whose 1970 “Puzzle of a Downfall Child” will be presented at Lyon’s Lyon Fest Wednesday  by Faye Dunaway and Jerry Schatzberg – plans a 100-copy re-release bow in France of Tobe Hooper’s gore pioneer, 1975’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

The copy spread reps Carlotta’s biggest bow ever in France, and big play for a modern classic revival.

“Massacre’s” theatrical opening, to take place by the end of October, comes as Carlotta’s preps its first two offers in anew coffee-book publishing venture.

Both initiatives rep a move into ever-greater event distribution as the classic film biz threatened to become a victim of its early success, satiating the market with an over-abundance of heritage titles.

“Massacre’s” about 100-copy release is part of a far broader campaign.

A 4K restoration copy of “Massacre,” with Hooper in attendance, bowed as a Special Screening at 2014’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Carlotta staged what co-founder Vincent Paul-Boncour describes as a “a huge” national premiere at Paros’ Grand Rex Cinema on Sept. 23, with a poster underscoring the movie’s status in classic – and genre – cannons: “Indispensable, Terrifying, Cult.”

Playing off the movie’s road-movie and genre profile, Carlotta will target both arthouses and multiplexes, in a roughly 50/50 split, with 70% of copies original version, accompanied by digital subtitles into French.

“Trying to reach more diverse audiences with bigger releases and screening in multiplexes, playing off the specific potential of titles, is something of a new strategy for us, and one of our challenges this year,” Paul-Boncour commented.

“Massacre’s” big release – by classic film standards – is aided by the advent of DCP distribution, he added.

“Even five years ago, making 100 subtitled 35mm prints would have been prohibitively expensive. We could have reached 100 screens, but not in a simultaneous release which allows us to play in medium-sized and smaller cities on initial release with DCP.”

Also driving into bigger, event releases, Carlotta’s coffee book publishing operation, accompanying key releases, will bow with a first tome on Orson Welles and Shakespeare, marking the DVD/Blu-ray releases by year-end of Welles’ masterpieces, “Othello” and “Macbeth.”Publication will feature new translations of the two Shakespeare plays, illustrated by photos from Welles’ movies. The event release anticipates Welles’ centennary in 2015.

“The idea is to create something bigger, to have a film in theaters, on DVD/Blu-ray and a book as well,” commented Paul-Boncour.

A second coffee table book features U.S. indie filmmaking couple Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin whose 1953 “The Little Fugitive,” the story of a child growing up on Coney Island, was a huge influence on the French Nouvelle Vague in its use of non-pros, naturalism and hand-held 35mm camera.

Coinciding with the re-release of “The Little Fugitive,” publication marks the first book ever on the couple, also distinguished photographers, Paul-Boncour said.

Carlotta holds international rights to “The Little Fugitive” and Engel and Orkin’s “Lovers and Lollipops,” and “Weddings and Babies.”

Carlotta titles at Lyon’s Lumiere also include Sergio Corbucci’s cult spaghetti Western “Django,” the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s movie.

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