Yesterday, though, spent the morning at Vail for a critics’ panel discussing film criticism (among other things) and how it’s been changed in the digital age. For all that, I was the only Internet critic on a panel that included Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman and the Independent Weekly’s Godfrey Cheshire. Felt good to be there. Felt a little like a validation – particularly when I was referred to as possibly the best "non-analog" critic in the country.
I think I’ve made a friend of
Believe me when I say that this guy’s not a rebel: he’s just an ill-considered, low-brow boob that doesn’t have an argument beyond “I just think. . .” Hard to keep it level.
Gift bag from Vail included some very nice, expensive male toiletries, a lovely glass, an energy bar, and a magazine with Dennis Quaid on the cover.
Last week also saw me at the Denver Public Library discussing Nimrod Antal’s Kontroll – a film that I was enthralled by upon initial viewing over a year ago, but had cooled on to the extent that it didn’t even crack my top 30 to end last year. Revisiting the film with an audience, however, especially the impassioned comments of one woman I knew from the Argus Film Festival, has renewed my interest in this film as a fairly sophisticated Susan Faludi-influenced look at the destructive component of masculine competition. Coincidentally, as I waited for Raimi to get stitched back together again tonight, read an old Sports Illustrated article about a small town in
Also last week, presided over the second installment of the DPL’s Cinema Club where we talk about a group of movies that folks have had a month to view. This session included a talk and shot-by-major-shot dissection of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the Incredible Shrinking Man, and Village of the Damned. The Cold War was the starting point, but the discussion soon went into a fruitful chat about our current situation in Iraq, about the intense sexual disorder and fear of noir and ‘50s sci-fi, and ultimately the cogent humanity of the WMD solution of Village of the Damned. Most surprising revelation to me was provided by a late arrival who, out of nowhere, suggested that it seemed to him that all the films were about secrets. Simple/complicated.
Anyone catch in Siegel’s Body Snatchers, by the way, the three prints decorating the pool room of the writer-friend? Pretty interesting stuff.
The spider mouth/vagina dentata imagery of The Incredible Shrinking Man, by the way, is a fascinating illustration of that film’s gender-displacement anxiety – among other things, of course. Especially when our tiny hero pinions said vagina with his mighty (pin) prick.
Audience this month twice that of last month. If that trend continues, in about a year, I should have a million people packed into that little conference room. I just hope that we get enough participation that the DPL doesn’t pull the plug for their summer session as they were threatening to do this week (pre-show) when it looked like no one would show.
Last thing: saw Slither late, but in time for a possible Wednesday pub-date on the review. It did awfully in its first week so you might not have much time, but go see it. It kicks ass.
Raises the question of favorite genre actor now that Nathan Fillion is climbing the list for me: gaining ground on the great Jeffrey Combs.
(Hot off the presses - April 5) -
Bill completes (?) his trail-blazing work on "Dawson's Creek" with a review of its final season and finds time, too, to administer the DVD post-mortem on the moribund Fun with Dick & Jane remake. Travis, meanwhile, tackles a little giallo action with his humane treatment of How to Kill a Judge - and proves himself a workhorse with reviews of Chariots of Fire and Adam & Steve. I, on the other hand, only managed to squeeze out a review of Slither - a film I'm going to try to see again before it vanishes ignominiously from the theaters.