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September 14, 2010


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Jason M.

And you're probably going to see 'Social Network' well before me, because I sure as hell am not shelling out $40 to see it at the NYFF, no matter how kickass the projection at Alice Tully Hall is. Just another tiny piece of evidence that life is horribly unfair. At least from my perspective.

But the NYFF is rolling into town, Glenn, and there will be all manner of great films there that you'll likely be seeing before Jeff Wells. Mainly because I'm sure Jeff Wells would just steer clear of most of them in general. Like Manoel de Oliveira's 'Rite of Spring' and all the Straub films playing at Views from the Avant-garde. Sweet payback, no? Maybe?

Castle Bravo

Not only did he see it before you, he jumped a fucking plane from Toronto to see it, then jumped a plane right back -- while you were already in NY. Jetsetter!

Glenn Kenny

@ Castle Bravo: Yeah, I'm impressed by that, but only moderately. Back in 2005 I did more or less the same thing from Toronto, to moderate an "SCTV" panel featuring Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy and Arthur Alexander at Makor in Manhattan. And I was on what is known to be an extremely debilitating medication at the time, which was quite a bit more of a bear to deal with than the customs hassles Wells wants us to genuflect to him for enduring. So, again, the guy can kiss my butt.

Kent Jones

For what it's worth, it is quite an amazing movie.

Michael Adams

I hope, at least, that Arthur Alexander sang "You Better Move On" for you.

Glenn Kenny

For the record, I'm not jealous of Kent. He DESERVED to see it when he did. (Cue "deserve's got nothing to do with it" comments re Wells.) But seriously, yes, I'm dying to see the thing, which will happen some time next week, if it all works out nicely, after which I will get the bonus I deserve, etc., etc.

@ Michael Adams: Yeah, that shoulda been ANDREW Alexander. Where's my coffee...?

Ryan Kelly

That is really peculiar.


Wow, so Wells said something obnoxious? Well, I'll be.


Wow. Bye GK! Nice to know ya! Your special place in my heart as a critic has been superceded. Wells is, like, your younger, geekier and greedier brother.

Jason M.

I thought Wells was older than Kenny? Not to get all ageist or anything here.


Wells is 119 years old.

Glenn Kenny

Yes, and that makes him, indeed, older than me, by 68 years. I was born on August 8, 1959. And am still accepting birthday presents.

Jason M.

And a happy belated birthday to you, too, Glenn. I'd be willing to bet that in the near future a screening of 'Social Network' may well be gifted to to you in celebration.

Dan Coyle

Inception a best picture of the year contender? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


Dan, they nominated District 9 last year. Good film but if that's gonna make the list of 10 one shouldn't have a problem with a cultural juggernaut like Inception, which, love it or not provoked a lot of discussion.

I have a very hard time believing a movie about Facebook is going to garner enough votes to win Best Picture. I guess one could have said the same thing about Who Wants to Marry A Millionaire but geriatrics at least understand game shows.

Noam Sane

Fincher is pretty dependable. Of course, I would have said that about Nolan before I suffered through 7 hours of Inception. Or was it shorter than that? I couldn't tell.


I plan to see 'The Social Network' because, however much people may scoff, what's known as "the David Fincher bad-good-bad-good rule" has never let me down.


Wells actually said he wasn't sure if 127 HOURS would fly with folks like him...and LexG. He's truly the biggest wuss on the web.

Jeff McMahon

Yeah, Inception is only a Best Picture contender if there are 10 nominees. Granted, there haven't been a lot of other contending films released so far this year (Kids Are All Right? Toy Story 3?) but this sounds like him just taking a dig at Inception in order to rile up some more traffic to his site.

Glenn Kenny

I understand that "Social Network" is not seven hours long. In fact, looking at my NYFF press screening schedule, I see it is an entirely normal 120 minutes.

Ah, Wells and Lex. They both love the tough talk, but underneath they're delicate flowers. Sensitive, poetic souls. Well, fuck that and fuck me—I recently sat through Brakhage's "The Act Of Seeing With One's Own Eyes," aka "You See That? Dude, That Was Some Dude's SKULL!!!" and it actually made me a little SLEEPY, so BRING ON "127 Hours." I've got a relative who's a real-life trauma surgeon, for real, maybe I'll get an expert opinion and shit. With diagrams.


Oh, that's nothing! After I saw SALO, I was making poop jokes by the NEXT DAY. I didn't even care.


Oh bill! You missed the perfect opportunity to reenact "2 girls, 1 cup" as a solo perfomance.

Chris O.

Yeah, the scatalogical makes me queasy. It's supposed to, I guess. I made it through SWEET MOVIE a couple of weeks ago, and it indeed has some amazing moments in it, but it's... uh... tainted, to say the least. (My wife watched the last hour peering from behind a blanket as if Makavejev had made a slasher movie... well, one moment was slasher-esque, I suppose.)

Tom Russell

I had a girlfriend who made me watch SALO as part of what was to be a romantic evening.

Yeah, that relationship didn't last long.


She sounds like she was probably a wildcat, though.

Kent Jones

"...the David Fincher bad-good-bad-good rule"

2 years later, I like BENJAMIN BUTTON even more than I did the first time. It's one of those movies people feel comfortable dismissing in public because they seem to think everyone else disliked it too, and considered it "Oscar fodder" or something. There are so many clichés flying around it - "a FORREST GUMP remake" at the top of the list. That seems like a perfect description of the script. The film? Another matter. I didn't really care much for the hummingbird and could have done without the Parisian cause-and-effect montage. Other than that, I think it's a great movie. An opinion people seem to consider somewhere between aberrant and delusional.

Anyway, THE SOCIAL NETWORK is, among many other things, one of the few movies out there which takes place in a world I recognize as the one we live in. I found it very funny and just as unsettling, and the ending is a killer.

As an aside, it was an interesting experience to see the real Larry Summers (in INSIDE JOB) and the fictionalized Larry Summers (in this movie) within days of each other. Hard to decide who was more of a pompous fool.


The David Fincher bad-good-bad-good rule applies to more than just 'Button': that's why it's a rule. :-)

Scott Nye

But that dismisses Panic Room, which certainly has its issues, but as popcorn thrillers go, there are few I love more. I guess you could say it was overdirected in the sense of the CGI-inflicted runs through the house, but it's also ferociously directed when it comes to establishing and milking every second of tension. And you get great, almost Antonionian (that's the best term I could think of on the fly) meditations on space - really, tell me some of those shots of empty rooms are so different from the end of L'Eclisse.

I also really love Benjamin Button. Had a lot of issues when after the first screening, but it grew on me as the months wore on, and when I caught up with it again on Blu-Ray, I was just blown away. And Kent, as long as you're reading, your essay in the Criterion edition (and the podcast you participated in) did a lot to clarify what it was I was responding to, so thanks for that.

(I still can't stand The Game, though, so I am with you there, Oliver)


In the end, you'll always find something to disagree with a critic, even one you really like. One annoying thing (out of many) about "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is that Pitt and Swinton's affair in Murmansk pays no attention to the fact that the city was undergoing a very desperate Nazi siege at the time. In fact not only was Murmansk seriously damaged, but its freedom was vital to the Allied war effort. If you don't want to be associated with "Forrest Gump"'s narcissism, you should pay minimal attention to what's going on outside the main actor.


Not to be all five-minutes-ago, but @Jason M., the projection at Alice Tully may be good, but the acoustics and sound system are notoriously bad - film-ruiningly bad. At least, that was the case as of 2005. Maybe they nipped it in the bud as part of their storefront facelift. Someone want to chime in with different?

(At the 2002 NYFF, not knowing to blame the venue, I actually asked Paul Thomas Anderson if we were not supposed to understand the dialogue in PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE. Sandler made some self-deprecating remark about his mumbly delivery. Only when I saw it on DVD did I realize I liked it a lot.)

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