Saturday, May 10, 2008

Well, the Tribeca Film Festival was over on Sunday, May 4; whatever else, the festival provided a focus, and there was always something to see. I was glad that i was able to see some movies with an audience, because it gave me a sense of how the festival is doing in terms of an audience, etc. But i have to admit that the last few days have proven to be a bit hazy... it's almost as if i'm detox-ing from the festival, not just from the films, but from the constant rush of people. As with other years, most of the press screenings took place in one or two locations, and there was always the chance of running into people. And sometimes, there were real surprises. For example: Larry and i went to a party given by Sandy Mandelbaum, which was supposed to announce the latest edition of the International Film Guide (the annuals that used to be edited by Peter Cowie in the 1960s, and which were invaluable as a source of information on international cinema). Well, imagine our surprise when we run into Bruce Walsh, whom we haven't seen in at least five or six years. He was in town with Margaret Atwood, because they are involved with a company called Long Pen (, but it was just so astounding to run into him.

Anyway, this week i went to screenings. On Tuesday, i saw the German film "Yella", directed by Christian Petzold; Wednesday... for some reason, there were subway delays, and i missed a screening of Marcel L'Herbier's "Le Bonheur" but wound up going to see a bargain matinee (in my neighborhood) of "Iron Man"; Thursday, saw Fatih Akin's "The Edge of Heaven" (which was an impressive movie... admittedly, there was a stretch where the movie seemed to plod, it happened after the half hour point, but the last hour grew progressively more intense and taut, and it became quite a powerful film); Friday, finally got to see L'Herbier's "Le Bonheur" and it was worth it, a marvellous movie from 1935.

So a slow return to normal.

Have to admit that i am not really interested in seeing anything at MoMA; for the first time in years, i've been dumped from the press/comp rolls, so i have to figure since i am not wanted, i should avoid the place. MoMA is also a real problem: whenever i've donated anything (like the complete run of the Japanese film journal Image Forum, or prints of Robert Smithson's film "Spiral Jetty"), i never get any acknowledgement. You know: you're supposed to get some sort of letter or form so that you can use that for your taxes.

American Idol continues apace, and i haven't been watching this season; i keep up with Idol by reading Michael Giltz's blog. (

I have to put in a plug for George Robinson's critique of Amos Poe's "Empire II" (which was at the Tribeca Film Festival): his reaction (in which George discusses how Poe's tricked-up film is a misunderstanding/oversimplification of the Warhol aesthetic) really was similar to mine. (

In Anne Thompson's blog in Variety, she has noted that there are problems in the blogosphere: just as a few months ago, a (large) number of print critics have lost their positions, so a number of prominent film bloggers have decided to pack it in. This is all very curious. And her blog is filled with continually fascinating items about the changing industry. (

But is "Speed Racer" really as bad as some people say? Maybe i'll have to check it out.

But aside from that: the political situation is intense. The Democratic nomination is still contentious. Entertainment Weekly had an article about Oliver Stone's movie-in-production on George W. Bush. And the stories about Vito Fossella, Jr. who just happens to be the congressman from this district... hilarious! Getting pulled over for drunk driving, but then blurting out his reason (he was rushing to visit his sick daughter), only the daughter happened to be the result of an extramarital affair. Boy, the Republicans are just amazing. It's like the party is toxic!


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