You’ve no doubt heard of the Ramones documentary “End of the Century” as it’s been playing to rave reviews at major film festivals. We missed it at Slamdance 2003, but we figured that this film would surely score some major distribution. It’s a documentary on The Ramones, c’mon! So there were no worries that we wouldn’t be seeing “End of the Century” any time soon.
Well, it’s been well over a year now and “End of the Century” is nowhere in sight. We’ll let co-director Jim Fields explain the situation:
Recently, I asked a few of you for a bit of lobbying. We needed a flood of emails to www.ramonesworld.com asking about the release of our movie. I saw a lot of you did that. It was great! Thank you sooo much. But we need more…more more!!!
Here’s the deal for those of you unfamiliar with our predicament. Michael and I made this film in about 8 years, put up our own money, etc. Suckers? Maybe. Idealists? Definitely. But we thought this is a band that’s going to be forgotten if they’re not properly understood. We also intended to make a film that would appeal to non-Ramone fans, thus exposing the Ramones music to a much wider audience. I think our film succeeds at this and the critics bare this out.
BUT-there are always other things to consider when dealing with the Ramones. The long and short of it is there is a certain person, who shall remain nameless for now, in the Ramones organization (not a band member, mind you) who has some sort of power. This person, let’s call him Mr. X, claims our film is no good, nobody likes it (in spite of all the rave reviews and its success at major film festivals) and he’s going to, “kill this project.” He wants to make his own straight-to- video documentary. Now since Dee Dee and Joey are gone he plans on doing it with photos and narration to fill in for that stuff. In other words, he wants to make money off the Ramones by making his own film because he wouldn’t be making any money from ours.
Mr. X, to my mind, is denying the life this film deserves because of his own puny, short-sighted self-interest. He doesn’t care what the fans want, or what’s good for the Ramones. It’s only about him.
Please help us re-educate Mr. X. Help us steer this wayward brother towards the light of punk righteousness. Don’t less cynicism and the all-mighty buck lead us all by the nose. There is a place in this world for a film of integrity and, dare I say it….artistic merit. (There, I said it and I’m proud).
So we need to spread the word. Ramones fans and friends of the film need to speak out EN MASSE.
Email www.ramonesworld.com Ask them about our movie. Ask them to release it, please. Flood the ramones official site with masses of e- mail to show there’s an audience out there for us. Or you can post to their guestbook. I’m talking grassroots people! I’d even be happy with Howard Dean’s numbers. Yeeeeahh!
Also, visit our website www.endofthecentury.com. We need to show that we’re getting thousands of hits.
What is at stake here? Freedom of speech? Sure. Or could it be overcoming the soul-breaking, music-biz types squashing the little guy? You bet. And you better believe we’re little. Like the Ramones, Michael and I had no money, no credits and no particular skill but, like the boys themselves, we managed to hobble our amateurishness into quality garageband entertainment (art?).
FINALLY-Except for this enormous a-hole in the way, we’d be signing a distribution deal for theatrical release and then DVD release in the US, the UK, all over the EU, Japan, Australia and South America RIGHT NOW. We’re soooooo close here, people. We can no longer do it alone. We need your help. (I know, it sounds like pledge week on PBS. Sorry but it’s honestly needed.)
THANK YOU ALL. ^ -Jim Fields ^ co-director, End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones