Hollywood Reporter summarizes my sympathy for this man in this soundbite: “while his dramas won awards, it was sex and sensationalism that often paid the bills”. This also explains why Brauner too is a bit of a cinematic Losfeld who typically financed high art with exploitation.
Ben Barenholtz was a film producer who is best-known for financing Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991) and Requiem for a Dream (2000).
“Best-know” is a exaggeration, because outside of the film world he is not known at all. I’ve written about my fascination with financing of art films in a blogpost titled the “cinematic Losfeld” in which I compared these film producers with Éric Losfeld.
My comparison to Éric Losfeld is perhaps not optimal, since Losfeld worked in the shadows of legality and Barenholtz worked in the margins but not in illegality.
When Barenholtz was younger, he was a movie theater manager and film programmer. As such, he was famous for creating the concept of the midnight movie, the programming of cult films at midnight (because of there unsuitability for children) during the 1970s and 1980s, before VCR and video rental came and changed film consumption forever.