Director of Oscar-Shortlisted 'Paradise' Wants to Ban Popcorn Sales at Screenings of His Film

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Andrei Konchalovsky

Andrei Konchalovsky has long been lashing out against "popcorn-eating" viewers.

Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky, whose Venice Film Festival-winning WWII drama Paradise recently was shortlisted for the Oscar in the best foreign language film category, intends to ban popcorn sales at screenings of his film.

"My films are not for those who eat popcorn," Konchalovsky was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS. "I'll try to make sure that popcorn is not sold at screenings of my films."

WDSSPR, Disney and Sony Pictures' Russian distribution venture, will release Paradise in Russia on Jan. 19.

Konchalovsky has long been lashing out against "popcorn-eating" audiences, who he says can only watch Hollywood blockbusters, not serious films.

Two years ago, he declined to theatrically release his previous film, The Postman's White Nights, which, just like Paradise, won him the best director's Silver Lion at Venice.

Back then, he said he didn't want the film to be watched by "Hollywood" audiences, in whose heads "popcorn crunches."

Similarly, Konchalovsky, who worked in Hollywood in the 1980s but has become an ardent critic of the U.S. film industry lately, withdrew The Postman's White Nights from consideration as Russia's entry in the best foreign language film race that year.

This time, however, he didn't protest, and Russia submitted Paradise, which went on to be shortlisted for the best foreign language film Oscar.

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