In Which I Apply For A Position As A Freelance Film Reviewer For Premiere.com
From my e-mail file:
To: Gene "Gene, The Dancing Machine" Newman
From: Glenn Kenny
Dear Gene (if I may call you Gene),
I was having a bite with my buddy Andrew "Filmbrain" Grant the other day, and he said to me, apropos of nothing, "Have you looked at the reviews section of Premiere.com lately?"
"No," I replied. "Why would I wanna do that?"
"Well," he said, "It's just such an atrocity. They have this unbelievably lame new format for the reviews, where they break it up into little thematic modules, like 'The Pitch,' and 'The Not-So-Good,'' 'A Personal Fact About Us,' and stuff like that. It's really horrific."
A little later I checked it out, and sure enough, it was just as Andrew said. Only, seeing as for the past few months I've been trying to break out of my so-called "print mentality," I didn't find it lame at all. No. It was brisk, it was punchy, it was to the point, it was funsy—in short, it was very "new media" (Tah-rah!), and, thus, something that I feel I really need to be a part of.
So. Despite the fact that when I parted ways with Premiere.com I vowed that I would have nothing further to do with that enterprise, I'm thinking that I might want in again. I'm writing to you because I infer that you, a recent hire from over at Maxim, were responsible for this new, innovative editorial tack, so I want to go to the source. To be perfectly honest, I also see here an opportunity to update some of my other ossified attitudes, which I understand is necessary in order to survive in the brave new digital media world. To that end, I've drafted an audition piece, if you will, using as my subject that old French chestnut Au Hasard, Balthazar.
Au Hasard, Balthazar
Starring: Anna Wiazamsky, Walter Green, Pierre Klossowski
Directed by: Robert Bresson
The Pitch: A donkey in provincial France gets passed from owner to owner until it, like, dies.
What It Really Is: Apparently, a "meditation" on life, suffering, and grace, and that kind of stuff.
The Hook: Director Bresson uses real settings and non-professional actors to achieve a distinctive feel.
The Not-So-Good: The distinctive feel is too often that you're about to doze off. Beyond Balthazar, few of the characters are given much to do. Pierre Klossowski (a real-life book-writer, we understand) has a relationship with Balthazar and the two have no chemistry whatsoever. Also, what's with all the close-ups of hands? And double also, the character played by Anna Wiazemsky gets gang-raped and does nothing about it. How about a little acknowledgement of grrrl power, Monsieur Bresson?
Personal Fact About Us: When we were a kid, our parents took us to Hershey Park, and at the petting zoo, our little brother was petting a donkey—or was it a mule? Kind of hard to remember, it was, like, 40 years ago—and the animal gave him a hard kick in the chest with BOTH its back legs. Really freaked our brother out.
Can We Be Serious For A Moment?: Seriously? What this movie really needed was for Andy Samberg as Mark Wahlberg to show up and have a nice little chat with Balthazar.
So, what do you think? I gotta say, I feel like a duck taking to water and I need a bigger pond. What are you guys paying these days, anyway?
Gimme a call at [number redacted] and let me know your thoughts. I'd really appreciate it.