The first horror film/thriller to base its story on American evangelicals gone wild, Red State has not been seen in many cinemas, and for good reason. The nastiness it portrays is America today, and what some Christian believers would do if they got their way. It is the ultimate horror film, and it has had an unusual life ever since it premiered at Sundance.
About the Screening and Twitter Talkback
In a special “One-Night-Only” event, Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema will screen Red State, the controversial thriller written and directed by Kevin Smith (Clerks), on Sunday, September 25, at 7 p.m., followed by an interactive webcast Q&A session with Smith from Los Angeles. Little Cinema is one of only 32 exceptionally brave theaters nationwide to participate in this event. Tickets are $25; $20 members.
Smith’s post-show Q&A will be digitally streamed, live, from Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, and audience members will be able to interact with Smith and a special guest moderator, using Twitter. SModcast Pictures and Emerging Pictures are the sponsors of the event, which mirrors the format of the record-breaking Red State USA Tour from earlier this year.
We encourage you to watch this video featurette in which Kevin Smith documents his journey in the making of Red State. From the inception of the film’s concept to shooting it to the infamous 2010 Sundance Film Festival premiere, this behind the scenes accounting gives you a juicy narrative of the long and strange ordeal that awaits anyone who dares to portray the dark side of the religious right.
About Red State
Red State tells the story of a group of teens in Middle America who receive an online invitation for sex, but soon encounter a cult of fundamentalists with a much more sinister agenda. In a case of life imitating art, the film has aroused the wrath of the infamous Rev. Fred Phelps and his family of fellow haters that are part of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. They have threatened to boycott and protest all screenings of the film but it is doubtful they can be in 32 places at once.
The film, Smith’s first in the horror/thriller genre, is rated R, but more for the violence practiced by the fictional religious extremists than for any sexual hanky-panky or profanity. Many see it as a prophecy of what could happen if extreme religious views went further than a God Hates Fags picket line.
Written and directed by Kevin Smith and produced by Jonathan Gordon, Red State stars Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo, Golden Globe-winner John Goodman, and Michael Parks. Both deliver indelible performances. Additional information about Red State is available at www.coopersdell.com.
The film debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to much notoriety when Smith ended studio bidding by buying his own film for $20 and declaring he would be self-distributing the film theatrically. Smith has since toured the film around the country to enthusiastic audiences, grossing more than $1 million to date.
SModcast released the film on March 5 when it embarked on the 15 city Red State USA Tour, which kicked off at the legendary Radio City Music Hall and grossed $162,000 during one show. The film quietly topped the per screen average charts for three weekends, making it the highest per screen average film of the year and the 9th highest per screen average film of all time.
About Kevin Smith
Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American screenwriter, actor, film producer, and director, as well as a popular comic book writer, author, comedian/raconteur, and internet radio personality best recognized by viewers as Silent Bob. His films include Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Cop Out, and most recently, the horror film Red State.
In an interview with Robert K. Elder for The Film That Changed My Life, Smith attributes the film Slacker as his main inspiration to becoming a director: “It was the movie that got me off my ass; it was the movie that lit a fire under me, the movie that made me think.”
His first several films were mostly set in his home state of New Jersey, and while not strictly sequential, they frequently feature crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon in what is known by fans as the “View Askewniverse”
About the Berkshire Museum
The Berkshire Museum is located at 39 South Street on Route 7 in Downtown Pittsfield. Regular museum admission is $13 for adults and $6 for children. Members and children aged three and under enjoy free admission. Berkshire Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.berkshiremuseum.org or call 413.443.7171.
Berkshire Museum is the first public museum in Berkshire County, established by Zenas Crane in 1903 as a museum of Art and Natural History. Geckos: Tails to Toepads is extended through October 30. Collectors’ Choice: Selections from the Jane and Jay Braus Collection is on view through October 11. Roberto Juarez: Mural Paintings, 2000-2010 is extended through October 22. Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation, Aquarium & Touch Tank, Alexander Calder Gallery, and other exhibits are ongoing.