Once Upon a Time in Conservative Hollywood

American Greatness | 1/9/2020 | Staff
jolanjolan (Posted by) Level 3
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The elevator pitch for “Run Hide Fight,” a film currently in production, is simple: “a 17-year-old female ‘Die Hard’ in the middle of a school shooting.” Swap out cop Bruce Willis for student Isabel May, exchange the Nakatomi Plaza in “Die Hard” for Vernon Central High School in Texas, and you have the plot.

It’s an offensive idea for a movie—and a dumb one. “Run Hide Fight,” written and directed by Kyle Rankin, is being produced by Rebeller, a new right-leaning film production company. Rebeller is the brainchild of Dallas Sonnier. Sonnier is also the founder and CEO of Cinestate, a film production, distribution, and publishing operation launched in Dallas in 2016.

Sonnier - Rebeller - Films - Outlaw - Cinema

According to Sonnier, Rebeller will offer films in the “outlaw cinema” category, focusing on “genres that Hollywood is ignoring and from scripts that Hollywood is too afraid to touch.”

Yet mainstream Hollywood is already producing films much more daring, and more conservative, than “Run Hide Fight.” Quentin Tarantino’s award-winning “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is the best example. It’s a subversive film that anathematizes the 1960s. It’s also stylish and smart.

Cinestate - Rebeller - Films - S - Craig

Cinestate, under which Rebeller will operate, is known mostly for the films of S. Craig Zahler. Zahler’s films include the western “Bone Tomahawk,” with Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins; “Brawl in Cell Block 99” with Vince Vaughn; and noir police drama “Dragged Across Concrete” with Vaughn and Mel Gibson.

Zahler’s films, in the words of one critic, have “gotten attention for their hyperviolence and reactionary politics.” Liberals have accused Cinestate of producing films in which the heroes are all white men and the antagonists minorities. For his part, Sonnier rejects the idea that he’s pushing a Trump-savvy brand: “I didn’t even vote for the guy,” he said in an interview. “I don’t necessarily crave a conservative audience, but that may be...
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