The controversial Christmas Day release nearly shelved by Sony and now available online a day early will be on a big screen in North Park at noon Thursday.
“The Interview,” a goofball comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about plot to assassinate North Korea’s dictator, will be shown at the Digital Gym theater at the Media Arts Center in North Park. The Christmas Day screenings are sold out, but the movie will be shown at least through New Year’s Day, according to the theater.
“Although this film may not be typical of the films we generally screen, we made a decision to do so from a philosophical standpoint — that of artistic freedom, creative license and defense against censorship,” executive director Ethan van Thillo said.
The Media Arts Center rarely shows major Hollywood releases, but says it provides a place for community self-expression through the use of new technologies.
Sony, which canceled the general release when theaters began balking at showing “The Interview,” instead began streaming the film online at 10 a.m. today via Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and a Sony site called seetheinterview.com.
Watching the movie on YouTube and other streaming sites will cost $5.99. Buying the film, in HD format, will cost $14.99.
The limited theatrical lease that includes Digital Gym was announced Tuesday.
The FBI has blamed the North Korean government for the hacking of Sony last month by a shadowy group calling itself Guardians of Peace.
The cyberattack exposed thousands of employees to identity theft, embarrassed executives and celebrities with the release of off-color emails and crippled the studio’s digital infrastructure. Sony announced it was canceling the release a week ago today, saying big exhibitors were backing out of agreements to show the movie. In response, President Barack Obama said he thought that was a mistake, signaling a shift in sentiment about withholding the movie.
— City News Service
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