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Legendary actor/director Robert Redford spoke to the media and the audience at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, responding to critics and discussing his thoughts on movie violence.
A conservative group recently suggested that Utah should stop providing the international festival with government subsidies. The festival brings people from all over the world to the small town of Park City, but the group suggests that films shown at the festival promote liberal values.
“Sometimes the narrowest mind barks the loudest, and we’ve over time come to ignore it,” Redford told the media, reports Entertainment Weekly. The Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid actor brought up the $80 million a year in revenue it generates for the state, adding, “We’re also offering a wide spectrum of choices. It’s up to the audience to choose … So I would just say to these people — we either ignore them or remind them that it’s a free country and maybe they should look at the Constitution.”
As for gun violence in movies, Redford said that the discussion is “overdue,” reports the AFP.
“I’m thinking back when we started Sundance, back in 1980, and I remember, (President Ronald) Reagan was shot at that same year. I remember there was talk about gun control coming up then,” the Oscar winner said. “Now it’s 30 years later. I think it’s absolutely not only appropriate but overdue to have a dialogue. And the dialogue is now going on between the parties that it should be.”
Redford also questioned the use of guns in ad campaigns. He remembered seeing a billboard for a movie that showed two young people with guns.
“My thought was, does my industry think that guns will help sell tickets? I don’t know … It seems like a question worth asking my own industry. And maybe there’s a reason, maybe yes. I don’t know, but it seems fair,” he remembered. “I’ve noticed how often guns are used in ads, as though there’s something that translates in a positive way. I just don’t know. But I think it’s worth asking that question.”
You can watch Redford’s press conference here.