Needless to say, I didn't know he had cancer at the time. Neither did he. His knee was bothering him. So was his arm. Various doctors took what's best described as evasive action until it was too late. When you're 66, they tell you to suck it up, the aches and pains. I was holding his hand as he slipped away. For my birthday I went to see Hostel, and its Grand Guignol set-pieces just washed over me. I might as well have been playing tiddledywinks: no act of staged violence could ever compete with the image of the light going out in my father's eyes.
Pa, as I called him, was truly a special man. At his funeral, I found myself exchanging sympathies as opposed to receiving them, since he brought so much joy to people, and his departure leaves such a deep gorge. I intend to pay him proper tribute before time ravages my memory; suffice it to say that when I write about "Leave It to Beaver", I'm really writing about Harry Chambers--the original Ward Cleaver.
My thanks to everyone who expressed their condolences last week. The outpouring of solidarity was overwhelming in the nicest way, reminding me that FILM FREAK CENTRAL is truly a home away from home. It may take a while before the site is running like a well-oiled machine again (that is, if it ever was), but I'm so excited about some upcoming projects that it's making this transitional phase a little more bearable.
You already know we're cobbling together a companion piece to our just-published Top 10 of 2005, i.e. a 'worst-of' list that may or may not yield a few surprises. Another installment of "iViews" will follow shortly thereafter, one that's shaping up to be a keeper. While I wish we were able to update "iViews" more often, I take pride in the fact that its very infrequency has enabled us to maintain a high level of quality for what is by necessity the least ephemeral material we publish.
Last but certainly not least, this is the first year that FFC has been invited to cover the Sundance Film Festival, which means for once we won't have to rely on the sloppy seconds of TIFF, DIFF, et al. Utah correspondent/enfant terrible/fresh meat Alex Jackson will report from the frontlines, so if you have any buzz worth sharing, he's your man.
Unfortunately, even with all these pots on the stove, we may be forced to scale back on our coverage of current theatrical and DVD releases. The amount of money we earn from the site versus the amount of money it takes to run it and, well, survive is becoming increasingly disproportionate. (Perhaps only to cultivate a pointless sense of integrity, I refuse to clutter up the site with sponsored hotlinks or Google ads, not that they'd make a big difference in the long run anyway.) At the risk of guilt-tripping you, if you read us regularly, please consider purchasing the odd item through one of the site's many Amazon or PriceCompare links, tipping us via PayPal (donation links can be found at the top of most review pages), or buying our book, The Film Freak Central 2005 Annual (available @ Lulu, Borders, Amazon.com, and other fine retailers), which I'm told is a genuinely addictive read by people who were already familiar with its content.
I leave you with a direct portal to Walter's long-awaited review of Walter Salles' wonderful Dark Water--probably my 21st 'honourable mention,' for what it's worth.
Hot Off the Presses (1/13)
It's Bruckheimer Vs. Latifah. Whoever wins, we lose: Glory Road/Last Holiday. Jerry Lewis Fridays will resume next week. And Walter [insert tennis metaphor]s Woody Allen's latest, Match Point.