Originally Posted by txfilmguy
It's my understanding that Mel Gibson wasn't happy with it and just didn't "get it" after he was instrumental in making it happen, so his studio made no effort in marketing it. Sad.
In an October 2000 press conference in Sydney, before the Australian release of the film, Mel Gibson said, "I thought it was as boring as a dog's ass." He later explained:
It was at the end of a day where I had done 6,000 interviews, some guy was ragging on the film and it just slipped out. Later, I thought 'God, why did I say that? I'm an idiot! I produced this film. I'm distributing it!' It was pretty thoughtless of me, because a lot of people worked very hard on that film, and the fact is there are moments of genius in it. The soundtrack is by U2, and it's phenomenal. So I really regret saying that. I have written a lot of apology letters about it.
iW: What's your reaction to Mel Gibson's quote about the film that has gone around? Have you talked to him since then? Has he apologized?
Wenders: In a way. He wrote me, and we talked afterwards. He said, "you know me, if there's a chance to crack a joke, I can't resist." Of course, he would do it. I can totally picture him with these Australian journalists and doing that macho joke. And he regretted it and didn't have any idea that it would be all over the place the next day. So we're both at peace.
iW: You know that critics have been bashing the film? You know this. . .
Wenders: I know this and I know the opposite: I know the people who think it's the most beautiful thing they've seen in ages. I'm not quite sure why it's this film that's polarizing opinions so much. In England, it bombed quickly; it was gone after a week and we didn't have a single good review. In Italy, it grossed more than any European film in the last few years and left big American productions in the dust and was in theaters for 6 months.
iW: What do the Italians see that the British don't?
Wenders: It's perception. The film is not cynical. And that is, in a strange way, running against a certain zeitgeist, and very much, running against the English culture of the moment that is deeply cynical. I'm not saying there's anything bad about that; it produces great things as well. But at this very moment, this film, conceived by an Irish guy -- you should have seen the reviews that were bashing Bono like there was no tomorrow -- is very polarizing because it's this innocent fairytale told amidst this Hell without any cynicism. And that is not exactly a product that a lot of people go for.