It seems almost criminally insane that a new Steven Soderbergh movie(s), starring Bencio Del Toro in an awards baiting performance as Che Guevara, wouldn’t get picked up by a major studio, but that’s just what happened. After a tepid showing at Cannes, and a brief flirtation with Magnolia Films, both parts of Che, the The Argentine and Guerilla, have been scooped up by IFC Films. The studio hasn’t stated whether it will release the two films together (with an intermission) or as separate entities, but they have confirmed that Che, in some form, will be appear on screen in NY and LA for an awards qualifying run in December. After that, the film will be hitting select screens around the country and also, your television set, via “IFC in Theaters” video on demand service in January.
Maybe the major studios (and by extension, their boutique wings) were sacred off by the prospect of having to market a potentially four-hour long film with subtitles? Or maybe Mr. Soderbergh’s epic is actually pretty lousy? If you believe the reports from Cannes, the movie was met with only slightly less bile than Medellin.
Still, we know one thing is certain. Come January we’ll stumble out of the IFC Center on a cold winter evening, most likely blown away by what we just saw and simultaneously wondering why everyone was hating on Che in the first place. Viva la Soderbergh!