The interwebs have been all a’buzz about the straightwashing of the American DVD for the unexpected summer indie hit Pride, but it appears there might be a silver lining, according to the film’s director Matthew Warchus.
He told BBC Radio 5’s Phil Williams that, “Changing the cover is kind of clumsy and a bit foolish, but this is a film that is loved by people of all political persuasions and sexual orientations. I’m just keen for as many people who have yet to see the film to see it.”
He continued by reasoning that he, “didn’t want to preach to the converted” and that his desire is “to find a mainstream audience [and] broaden people’s minds.”
And perhaps he has a point, though tricking people into watching a film about a topic they wouldn’t have normally chosen doesn’t seem like the most productive way of winning hearts and minds.
“I think someone in the marketing department in the U.S. used their marketing judgement to try to remove any barrier to the widest possible audience. It’s clumsily done but I understand it and it’s a valid instinct.”
Then he got a little deeper, describing the “nature of marketing” as “over-simplification [and] reductive.” Can’t argue there.
Still, is it better to appeal to as wide an audience as possible by watering down the film’s themes, or advertise it as what it is — an inspiring story of gays and lesbians connecting with another mistreated community at the height of AIDS hysteria — and hoping viewers still want to stick around and watch it?