Musician-turned-actress Courtney Love and her legal representatives' efforts to quell the controversial documentary "Kurt and Courtney" have slowed considerably with the completion of the movie and its subsequent showing in January at the Slamdunk Film Festival.
But the film's distributor, Bill Banning, says that so far all legal and other threats he's received have been little more than "hot air."San Francisco's Roxie Theater was the first movie house to show "Kurt and Courtney" after the January "guerrilla" screening. Banning, who also owns the Roxie, said he did receive a search-and-desist order order from Love's attorneys but continued to show the film, which broke all the theater's box-office records.
"It's done phenomenally everywhere it's played. All the publicity it's gotten certainly doesn't hurt," he said. "Isn't it ironic that all of (Love's) protests just make people want to see it more?"
Greg Tanner, programmer for the Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City, agrees and says he's expecting similar interest this weekend ("Kurt and Courtney" began an exclusive two-week run at the Tower on Friday.)
"All the talk has made the movie more commercially viable for theaters and all (Love) has done is succeed in damaging her reputation," he said.
Tanner added that he isn't afraid of legal retaliation from Love because Roxie Releasing licenses the movie to theaters and would therefore be liable instead.
"It's in (Roxie's) court, so to speak, if there were lawsuits as a result of us showing it," he said. "But I'm not really expecting to get any cease-and-desist orders in the mail, frankly."
Besides, though Banning and the Roxie received a torrent of threats early on, they have ceased altogether - probably due in part to the recent release of "Who Killed Kurt Cobain?" a controversial book co-authored by Canadian journalist Ian Halperin, which goes much further in discussing Love's alleged role in her husband's death.
"It's certainly taken the heat off us and let us concentrate on getting the movie out to the theaters," Banning said.