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January 22, 2010


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That's an interesting/amusing story about Nolan, and, as it happens, I just recently saw FOLLOWING for the first time. I liked it okay, but wish I liked it more. It really feels like a film made by someone who just wanted to see if they could make a film. And they did, and that's great, and I really love Nolan's work since he exploded (particularly THE PRESTIGE, which I think is horribly underrated, and which is one of my personal favorite films; what a dark, strange, twisted summer tentpole movie that thing is), but FOLLWING's formal daring is transparently calculated, not organic or necessary, but intended solely to be noticed as a thing itself. Which, again, is fine, but it distanced me from what I cared about. I'd watch BLAIR WITCH over FOLLOWING any day of the week.

Michael Adams

Note that the hero of FOLLOWING has a Batman sticker on his door.


Killer anecdote and piece, Glenn. Not to drag Biskind into this, but one thing I did take away from D&DP was that Sundance has always favored the "arty" over the artistic to one degree or another, for a variety of reasons, not least of which (was) Redford's dubious taste. Don't get me wrong - a few fantastic films and filmmakers have been "launched" at/by Sundance, but by and large it's an unambiguous market for "speciality films" (ie, middlebrow awards bait).

Meanwhile, genuine cinematic artists with legitimately challenging, non-obviously-commercial films (the kind that require a thriving, integrated, multi-subsidized culture) are working their asses off and producing tremendous work...if I can steer a little attention to Apichatpong's latest - for FREE at the Auteurs! - A Letter to Uncle Boonmee, I will have done my good deed for the day.

I'd like to see Sundance roll out the red carpet for something like Syndromes and a Century.

Jason M.

Zach - thanks a bunch for the link to Apichatpong's latest! Saw it at this past years NYFF, and ran around recommending it to a bunch of other people, without a way for them to see it, of course (so many of my viewing recommendations these days seem to either begin or end with "If it plays anywhere near you" or "If you ever have a chance to see it...").

So: 'Daily Good Deed' Achievement Unlocked.

And of course Sundance should roll out the red carpet for filmmakers like Apitchatpong, Lisandro Alonso, Pedro Costa and any number of others. But let's face it, it's not going to happen. Theres' far too many easily consumable indies out there for people to waste their time on genuinely great, challenging filmmaking.

Paul Johnson

Great "And that little boy grew up to be..." story.


Glenn - puzzled by the Peranson dig. Was it a dig? What's the context?

Stephen Whitty

Understand your ire, Glenn, and principled defense of the right word, although I think for most scribblers these days "arty" only signifies something they see as ambitious and stylish -- as opposed to "artsy," which means overwrought and pretentious. But I may be being too kind.

Both words are certainly imprecise, though, and they're probably best avoided. Along with all those "writers" who can't write (and don't think words, or clarity, or grammar or even simple logic matter anymore just so long as they have "a voice," or as someone said straightfacedly about a recent West Coast hire, "a brand").

As for Sundance, I'm curious -- miss it much? Been a few years since I've gone and can't say I do. For every discovery you might make, it always seemed like there were six useless "premieres" of middle-brow cable documentaries -- and those endless rides on "Eccles Loop" buses (or godawful Yarrow press screenings) got old awfully fast.

It'd be nice to see it wean itself of the Ashton Kutcher flicks and Paris Hilton sightings and endless, useless swag and get back to basics a bit...

James Keepnews

Personally, I'm amazed to discover this Atrocity Exhibition adaptation, which I'd never heard about before. Boy, that and Mr. Cronenberg's Crash would make quite the drive-in double-feature date night, provided you've got airbags everywhere (and LSD and gold-tipped cigarettes and...). It's evidently only available on non-NTSC DVD, further proof I desperately need a multi-region Blu-Ray player, already, and not just to keep up with Glenn's column. What more can you tell us that was championable (sp?) about this film?

Blair Witch is fascinating as "cinematic" socio-history, meh-worthy as "cinema". That said, I'm sincerely a huge Heather Donahue fan, and always found something to champion about her performances, e.g. the Taken miniseries. Sorry to hear she retired, hope it won't last.


Not on topic, Commander Kenny, but you might be interested, if you don't know of this news already. http://www.homemediamagazine.com/universal/universal-bows-vault-series-demand-dvds-18149


@THE FUTURIST! - Good gravy, that's an eclectic mix. PURE LUCK and RUGGLES OF RED GAP? THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN and BLUE COLLAR? I'm very excited about some of these, but what did they do, write a bunch of titles on ping pong balls and dump them all into a lottery wheel?


@bill - it appears that way. But, RUGGLES and THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER were luckily in all that pinging and ponging. At least there was some kick in those balls.

Chuck Stephens

Seconding the puzzlement over the wholly inapt Peranson dig (which I also commented on over at The Auteurs): what gives, big daddy?

Glenn Kenny

Whoa, hold on there; I didn't intend a slam at Peranson, (which may be one reason why it seemed so inapt). As I said in the comments at the Auteurs': "I did not intend a slam at Peranson or Cinema Scope, as I hold both in high esteem. I was expecting my jibe would be recognized as a rhetorical flourish mocking [Brooks] Barnes’ philistinism, and not as a criticism of Peranson. That’s why I began the sentence with 'Well, depending on how you look at it…' I’m sorry to not have been clearer, or to have been misinterpreted, depending on how you look at it."

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