Haute 100 New York Update: Harvey Weinstein

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Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—MiamiNew YorkLos Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. On our Haute 100 New York list is Harvey Weinstein whose passion for unconventional films and rhetoric continues to confront industry ratings.

Harvey Weinstein

Category: Power Couples

Company: The Weinstein Co.

Industry: Film

What Makes Him Haute: Harvey Weinstein started Miramax Films with his brother Bob in 1979. The film label had been an art house and independent film producer for years. The brothers sold Miramax to Disney for $80 million and stayed on as managers. The brothers founded The Weinstein Co. after a very public spat with Disney over distributing Michael Moore’s 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which Disney refused to distribute. Miramax has been hugely successful with many award winning films under its belt including Life is Beautiful, Chocolat, Bridget Jones Diary, Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction and No Country for Old Men.

What Makes Him Haute Now: Harvey Weinstein is again wielding social power for one of his beloved indie films; He artfully delivered an argument against the NC-17 rating that Blue Valentine was given last week — a Sundance Festival romantic drama that is praised as having Oscar potential and that The Weinstein Co. is distributing — by publicizing a statement Oct. 14 that critically acclaimed, “We are taking every possible step to contest the MPAA’s decision. We respect the work of the MPAA and we hope, after having a chance to sit down with them, they will see that our appeal is reasonable, and the film, which is an honest and personal portrait of a relationship, would be significantly harmed by such a rating.”

It is the 20h anniversary of the Motion Picture of America’s NC-17 rating — a ruling that does not allow select films to be seen by children 17 and under that was prompted by two of Weinstein’s appeals and eventual lawsuit against the conglomerate in the late 80’s regarding other art-house movies as they applied to the rating system (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down) — and all has become headlines just two months before the expected nationwide premiere on Dec. 31.

The official trailer was released on Oct. 8 and TWC has no intention of letting the film, which stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, fall victim to limited box office release for a scene that is said to depict more emotional discomfort than physical promiscuity. Weinstein is once again showing his devotion to and influence on the independent film market by challenging the MPAA’s seemingly closed standards on creative industry projects.

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