As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
she is keeping a diary exclusively for this web site
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Another Berlin

Oh Moscow

The Press Junket

In the Snow

Invitation to Armenia

Tango Ghost


The Cleaners Revenge

Gorbachev and Kissinger

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Anyway – back to Berlin.

At the dinner after the screening I talked with two women from Deutsche Grammophon, (who are releasing the soundtrack) about the problems facing the music industry; and to the distributors of YES in Turkey, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and the former Yugoslavia.

Fisher Stevens from Greenestreet Films had flown in from NYC at the last minute to be at the screening and made a nice warm speech. In fact everyone was nice, in spite of which I ended up feeling very tired. The activity known as ‘schmoozing’ is tiring; at least for me, partly because distributors, exhibitors and others usually need to air some of their anxieties about how a film will perform. The pressure to get good box office receipts has become an economic necessity for the smaller companies, and though the larger ones can ‘afford’ to have some films succeed financially more than others, the overriding anxiety seem to be about quantity rather than quality – the number of tickets sold, rather than the intrinsic merit of the work. Box office figures are relative anyway – even a wildly successful play comes nowhere near even a moderate failure of a film in terms of audience figures – but still, within the industry, box-office figures are the measure of ‘success’. I remember my shock the first time I read ‘Variety’ (the trade magazine) and saw the shameless brazen way the box-office takings were blazoned across the adverts - $110,000,000 and rising! – I found it surreal – a parody of value measured in cash. Knowing (as every artist does) that you sometimes get paid for your most boring work whilst the work you know is good goes unrewarded, the equation between real value and money is not a simple or clear one.

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Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated