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  1. Movies

Brando, Vidal/Buckley docs opening at Tampa Theatre

One of the most frustrating things about this job is enduring exhibitors, bookers, distributors and their publicists, who are entrusted with the visions of artists and moviegoers' tastes, then treat them with such low respect.

Cases in point: Two well-reviewed (elsewhere) documentaries opening Friday at Tampa Theatre but somewhere along the marketing line no one thought to let the media know in time to effectively spread the word.

Listen to Me Marlon (unrated) uses hundreds of hours of Marlon Brando's personal, tape-recorded diaries to create what has been termed "a superbly crafted collage" by Variety. Certainly movie buffs will be interested.

Playing in rotation with the Brando documentary is Best of Enemies (R), a documentary recalling the nationally televised debates in 1968 between intellectuals and political opposites Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley. Variety called it "provocative as an account of what arguably was an early step in the decline of political discourse on television."

In other words, we can blame either Fox News and Bill Maher on these guys, depending upon your political leaning.

The screening schedule for each film at Tampa Theatre is still being worked out, the additions came so late. But you have to wonder what anyone along the distribution line is thinking when such things happen. How will the widest possible audience be reached if media outlets aren't made aware in a timely, deadline-conscious fashion?

The answer is: It won't, and two more movies mattering more than, say We Are Your Friends or American Ultra get shafted by the people hired to do them the most good. It isn't the first time, and sadly it won't be the last.

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