Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tonight there's the New Fest launch party: will i be feeling fit enough to go? Read Michael Giltz blog from Cannes, very amusing. Missed the first day of press screening for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Hope i'll get to some of the other screenings. Always find it fascinating, but depending on the year, it can be very depressing.

One of the comments made at the panel on blogging as an alternative to the traditional (print) venues for criticism is that everyone who blogs can become a critic. This leads to a perceived anarchy. But one problem is that so many people who post comments are so ignorant. This is proven by IMDB. Someone commented on the Astaire-Hayworth musical "You Were Never Lovelier" that the movie was ridiculous because it was set in Argentina, and there was not a single Latino in any of the starring roles... forgetting that Miss Rita Hayworth was born Marguerita Cansino, and her father was Mexican, and she was probably the biggest Latina star ever in Hollywood. (I think it was Ian Cameron who once made the delightful mistake of describing Ava Gardner as a "Latin beauty" because she played one in "The Barefoot Contessa" and "Tha Naked Maja", but just because she played one doesn't make her one.)

David Noh asked me a question about "Brokeback Mountain"; it's for some article he's writing. It's the usual question: do you think "Brokeback Mountain" is really a breakthrough? And so on. It's a problem, because often the movies that seem to be breakthroughs are often not that good. It's the situationof the "problem" film from the 1940s and 1950s: movies like "Gentlemen's Agreement" or "The Defiant Ones" don't seem all that important now, but in their time, they were able to be both "meaningful" and popular, and that's also a part of what makes popular culture so interesting. (Last week, TCM played all four of the "problem" films from 1949: "Home of the Brave", "Pinky", "Intruder in the Dust" and "Lost Boundaries".)


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