Attended screenings of Inside Man and Thank You For Smoking this week, experiences at both of which I mentioned earlier. Curious to me is how often the last two years the Holocaust is resurfacing in popular entertainment. Audiences are still nightmares, but I will say that incidents of cell-phone usage during the pictures seem to be slightly down so far in the first quarter of ’06. That could be, of course, due to the fact that there are even fewer people going to the movies this year than last.
Watched several films on DVD in a thirteenth-hour attempt to catch up on my queue – hopes that it translates into a burst of writing productivity probably in vain, but you never know. Targeting transcription of the Wenders interview for this coming weekend’s Sunday Feature. For fun, I caught a look at Soderbergh’s Bubble, the film released simultaneously on DVD and theaters a few weeks (months?) ago under Mark Cuban’s 2929 banner. The problem, as Bill articulated to me, of this tactic isn’t the theater-owners’ (and M. Night Shyamalan’s) odd worries, but that there’s no secondary market for the film now as it’s doubtful most folks will look at the title in a video store and have anything like a tickle of a memory of the title to spur on a rental.
In any case, it’s pretty interesting.
“Huff”, Showtime’s original series, is awful, by the way.
I also caught the first two Anchor Bay-released “Masters of Horror” episodes in their exhaustive, slip-covered and special edition-treated presentations – and wished beyond wish that they’d just packaged the whole thing on two or three flippers. I admire the idea behind the series, but started worrying when I heard that Takashi Miike’s episode had been pulled from broadcast. Nothing worse than dangling a “no MPAA” carrot and then self-censoring anyway because of what’s rumored to be something unsavory about fetuses – the two episodes, though, the John Carpenter and the Stuart Gordon, are fairly lawless, but still feel like one-hour anthology short films. Will spend some time in the review, perhaps, wondering why that is.
Will be doing a “one-shot” film and discussion in Gilpin County of David Cronenberg’s Spider while preparing for an upcoming talk about last year’s Kontroll at the DPL. Someone brought up the fact that the Denver library will be the first in the nation to offer films for download and I confess that I have no real opinion about the future of this practice in regards to viewers, studios, libraries, video stores, etc. . . I do know that they had a tremendous problem with theft at the central branch of the library, with just not enough budget under the local city administration to hire the proper amount of people to police/check-in the DVDs, resulting in a lot of folks taking the stuff into corners and the bathroom, removing the sensor stickers, and walking out of the library. I’m guessing here, but my first thought when I heard about this was that it was a response to that kind of theft: a way to keep a hand in that media without suffering the un-stemmed shrinkage and, on the other side, without straining their already anemic personnel budget.
Question in my head is who should be among the thirteen directors asked to do a second series of “Masters of Horror” (and should there be another series)? I got an obvious eye on Crony and Romero. Not so obvious, perhaps, but a shoo-in in my book: Larry Fessenden.
Here's this week's capture:
Hot off the Presses (3.27)
Bill provides the specs on two films I didn't care for: Bee Season and Chicken Little - and I forgot to mention that the 3rd Annual Vail Film Festival has asked me to be on a critics' panel with, among others, Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman. Good time to ask about his rave of The Dukes of Hazzard?