Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tonight, Mark McElhatten has a program at Light Industry, the space in Sunset Park run by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter. Had planned to go, but then got a screening notice about the Argentine film "XXY" which was an award-winner at last year's Cannes Film Festival and was shown at New Directors/New Films (but i missed that screening). So i'll be seeing "XXY" tonight.

Last night, Larry and i went to the screening of "Then She Found Me": after the first few minutes, the technical ineptitude became fixating (microphones, in all shapes and sizes, keep jutting into the frame, and there are times when the microphone becomes a third character in certain two-shots), and Helen Hunt's performance and appearance are strained. It's one thing for an actress not to have any vanity, it's totally another when the actress (who's also directing) allows herself to be shown in the most unflattering way possible: it's a form of masochism. But Bette Midler's in it, and once she appears, even rather subdued, she brings her distinctive bounce to the movie.

A lot of political happenings. Will Barack Obama's speech over the weekend (the statement about "bitterness" being a motivating factor for political views) finally prove to be the factor in derailing his campaign? The situation in Iraq is even more horrendous, but is there a real exit strategy out there? In terms of bitterness: why isn't there any outrage over George W. Bush? The man has destroyed the country, he has devastated the country, he has allowed disasters to happen without federal help (cf. Hurricane Katrina, the effects of which remain), he has decimated the economy, he has weakened the country beyond repair. Why is there no anger towards him? There's disapproval, but no anger....

On "Real Time", Bill Maher ended his program with a series of ever-more outrageously funny "new rules": when he compared the current cult situation with the Roman Catholic Church... some of the lines were just so outrageous, as when he contrasts polygamist cults and the Catholic Church by saying that if you get dozens of adolescent girls pregnant, you're a cult, but you're a religion because thousands of altar boys can't get pregnant.... Larry and i were amazed.


Blogger GEORGE ROBINSON said...

I saw the Hunt film a month or two ago at a long-lead screening, and I didn't see any microphones on-camera, so it is very possible that the projectionist had the wrong masking. (Was this at Magno? If so, I'd bet money on it, and anyone who's been there can tell you which projectionist was in the booth.)

That aside, I was pleasantly surprised by the film. First, Hunt isn't one of those TV-types who feels obliged to cut-cut-cut dialogue sequences to shreds. The first scene between her and Matthew Broderick is one very long take (I think I clocked it at something like seven minutes) and it builds rather nicely. Second, as you said, it's a film without vanity which, given that she stars, wrote and directed, is refreshing (but she did look downright wan for much of the film). Finally, the film isn't the usual fairy-tale bullshit chick-lit-chick-flick. For the subgenre it's actually rather edgy, especially in the handling of the Midler character and her relationship with her daughter.

Oh well, that's what makes a horse race (although benzedrine in the oats never hurts).

12:47 PM


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