April 17, 2006

Notes from the Trenches

Day late: feels like I’ve lost at least three in the last week or so. Lots of sleepless nights with the new baby which is, of course, a combination of joy and exhaustion – all’s well and thanks for all the well-wishes.

Did make it out last week to do a discussion/screening of Spider for the Lone Tree Library – the second-such discussion of this film in the last two weeks and as fruitful as ever. It’s a wonderful film, full of, I’m beginning to find, a real optimism about the human condition. I wonder if Cronenberg’s appeal to me isn’t tied up in some way to that eternal romantic roosting in the heart of his darker deconstructions. A colleague called him an alien, insectile perhaps, anthropologist and there’s certainly truth in that – I’ve thought of him more as in icy intellectual, for certain – but the more I see his films, the more I come to believe that they remain stickier in my mind than Kubrick’s (though, curiously, The Killing is something I think about a lot) mainly because for all their remove, they’re laced through with trace elements (and sometimes a good deal more than that) of genuine human warmth and curiosity.

Meanwhile – should have a working twofer of L’Enfant and The Devil and Daniel Johnston ready for Bill in time for Wednesday. Whether or not it’s a rewrite special given my headspace is another question altogether. Fear I’ve been churning out a lot of sow’s ears lately that Bill’s been spinning into silk purses, but I do hope to get the gears turning again after too long a layoff.

Being interviewed, too, for Matt Seitz’s blog by the intrepid Jeremiah Kipp in a series on film critics that includes Godfrey Cheshire and, later, Andrew Sarris and others – grand company and I’m embarrassed and gratified to be considered (by Mr. Kipp if no one else) in the same breath.

Will spend some afternoons this week at the dollar theaters and matinees catching up with all that I’ve missed and though the ship has sailed on reviews for their theatrical runs, will share some outline thoughts here in the blog prior to their full-length DVD treatments a couple of months down the road. First quarter of 2006’s been a rough one, critic-wise, and I’ll be glad to put the post-mortem on it. Can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to Superman Returns and the rest of the summer blockbusters.

I’m a sucker for the boffo – s’why I’m so tough on the failures, I suppose, 'cause it breaks my heart.

Did Ebert really actually love Akeelah and the Bee or am I having another one of those horrible acid flashbacks?

With the events of the last week behind me along with a lot of the pre-natal anxieties – the nagging question I want to pose is most alarming conceptions and/or births in screen history. Mine include the grown-man-vaginal-deliveries of Xtro and Gozu while the maggot-birth of The Fly remake (with Crony himself the surprised OB-Gyn (what, they don’t do ultrasounds?)) running a close second.

Here’s the capture:

Hot off the Presses (4.18)

It's good to be the King as Bill does the Mel Brooks collection's DVD premiere of High Anxiety. I chime in with a revview of Andrea Bianchi's sleazy and fascinating giallo Strip Nude for your Killer and Bill dresses down one young turk director with extreme prejudice in his DVD addendum to my somewhat divisive Wolf Creek/Hostel review.

24 hours down: here's another capture from the same film:

Hot off the Presses (4.19)

As promised: a twofer for Belgium's infants terrible, the Dardenne brothers' L'Enfant (The Child) plus a new documentary on musician Daniel Johnston, The Devil and Daniel Johnston.

Also - tell me I'm wrong - Steven Seagal's Da Vinci Code:


tcebula said...

Alien, a made-for-TV offering called "Manitou" still gives me nightmares (must have been impressionable that night), The Omen, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, and I don't know if it qualifies as a birth/conception but that damn baby from Eraserhead is just balls-to-the-wall creepy.

Jared said...

I wish I had gotten the easy one last week. Hmmmm....."Bullitt"? I'm soooo wrong.

Jefferson said...

Is that Nightbreed?

The end of Humanoids from the Deep sent me screaming into the attic when I was about eight. Seen today, of course, I know it's poorly puppeteered crap, but the idea of somebody's stomach popping open with a fish-headed baby was sheer scare-candy to a kid who had not yet seen Alien. Maybe it was the fact that it was a female victim that disturbed my young self most.

Jack_Sommersby said...

Xtro is a hard one to top. Of course, Alien is right up there, too. Interesting: back in the early '80s when cable tv was a big thing (watching a full-length movie on your TV free of edits and commercials; whoa!), my parents made me cover my eyes during the Lacey Underall/Danny Noonan nude scene in Caddyshack yet had no qualms whatsoever about me seeing the creature birth in Alien. (Then again, this was a household of Republican parents, so no big surprise there!)

Anonymous said...

I'd call the zombie birth in Dawn of the Dead a pretty gross and creepy one. While I find it pretty pointless (since after it happens, it doesn't really go anywhere...just like the rest of the sequences in the movie, it seems to be an idea only supportive of that small section of the film rather than the whole film), it does get to me. Still, when compared to the similar sequence in The Fly...well, there's just no comparison. Ronnie was alive and still sane, meaning she (and we) feel the complete horror of that moment. The Dawn of the Dead birth doesn't get to me as much because the zombie woman is no longer human and her lover has gone completely insane. Don't get me wrong, it's still really screwed up. Just doesn't get me on an emotional level the same way that the birth from The Fly does. (Huh, I now get what Walter was saying about Cronenberg's warmth and curiosity. I find it amazing that even though Cronenberg is definitely an icy director, he still gets me on an emotional level much more than Kubrick ever has (yep, I cried during The Fly...not ashamed to admit it, I think the movie's beautiful, tragic, and almost impossible to take in one sitting).)

The birth from Xtro is the only sequence that sickened me to the point of having to rush to the bathroom. It's just so disgusting, and you know, I'm actually a little disappointed that nothing after that moment in the movie really lived up to it (well, maybe Tony infecting Analise via her stomach...that was pretty disturbing).

Speaking of twisted birth, anyone here seen Inseminoid?

dave said...

The birth sequence at the end of Trier's Riget I (aka Kingdom Hospital) is pretty mean. Udo Kier was never more disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Aha! I knew that there would be a way to bring Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers back into the conversation, two weeks after the screencap!

Just saw it for the first time from the ol' Netflix this past weekend, and, hoo boy, that one's definitely worth the praise that it gets around here. Could write pages upon pages of material based on the subtext. How about Kevin McCarthy's spectacular cameo, making this version a pseudo-sequel to the '56 version? Must have watched that scene independently from the film about five times or so, just because it's simultaneously meta and out-and-out chilling, and most importantly, it just feels right with the rest of the film.

Anyway, if the various pod births don't qualify as creepy and alarming, I don't know what does. (Shocker mini-spoiler?) The subtle, rapid-aging effect from fetuses that Kaufman gives his pod-people is downright horrifying, particularly coupled with the shots of the victims, slowly flaking out of existence... Some ideas of parental anxiety definitely at play there.

I must discuss this film further. Particularly about that ending; at first it seems obvious, but the more I watch that final scene the precise details just become hazier.

Bill C said...

Glad it lived up to the hype for you, Ian. On a side note, if anyone from Canada is looking for the DVD, Zeller's just lowered the price on it to $4.87. Non-anamorphic, but great remix and Philip Kaufman commentary. There was supposed to be a new SE released last summer but it got pulled because of Sony's MGM buyout.

Chris A said...

Screen cap: The Man Who Fell to Earth?

Probably not...

eddie said...

screen cap guess: "along came a spider"

Walter_Chaw said...

Close on a couple of those guesses, but no cigar. Great refs on queasy birth-sequences - pray tell: Inseminoid?

Walter_Chaw said...

Ian: Did you catch that shot early on (SPOILER) in the health department building as DS and BA are walking & talking and there's this dude with his face pressed up against his door, looking at them? Seems the pod-process doesn't take all that well with everyone.

Been impressed by the new Battlestar Gallactica series, by the way (having only seen parts of the first season) - especially the conceit (SPOILER) that some of the "pods" as it were, don't know that they're pods. I like that. Blade Runner though it may be.

Alex Jackson said...

Since people already mentioned the borderline escoteric The Kingdom and the Dawn of the Dead remake; the only other creepy birth I can recommend is Dr. Giggles.

Bill C said...

Creepy births? How about the one where Katie Holmes silently squeezes out Tom Cruise's Thetan hellchild?

Bill C said...

Eek, I forgot the spoiler tags.

James Allen said...

I'm surprised no one mentioned It's Alive (or maybe someone did and I missed it) as far as births go.

For telefilm fans, there was the alien "twin" birth in V: The Final Battle

[I remember liking those V films (not the series, that stunk), but I don't think I've seen them since they aired.]

To switch gears for a second, anyone have any general feelings towards the upcoming United 93? Looks pretty raw to me (in a positive, yet jarring sort of way), but it was a movie that was going to be made eventually, so while I symphathize with people who might be upset over such "exploitation," I feel we had to get here sooner or later. And it's not like this subject hasn't been dealt with, on a much smaller scale, in a couple telefilms.

A couple choices Greengrass made that I like are the real-time storytelling (immediacy) and the casting of no-name actors (empathy, any one of us could've been there.)

I'm trying to go to the premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, but it might be a tough ticket. I have a friend that can hopefully come through for me. It's defintely a film I want to see, but don't want to see, if you know what I mean.

Besides, aren't we a mere 50 years away from 9/11: Terror in the Sky done by the Bay and/or Bruckheimer of 2056 and starring the (gag) Ben Affleck of the day?

Rich said...

Hrm, screencap: The Getaway?

Jack_Sommersby said...

pray tell: Inseminoid?

Hands down, the worst of the Alien ripoffs. Even worse than William Malone's Creature, if that can be believed.

Also pretty nasty on the gross-birth list is the full-grown Sil sliding out of that cocoon upside down inside the train compartment in the underrated Species.

Jared A. Sorensen said...

A Peter Jackson trifecta of creepy birth scenes:

Bad Taste (the end)
Brain Dead (ditto)
Lord of the Rings (the Uruk-Hai)

Oh hell, didn't Meet the Feebles have some twisted birth scene as well?

Sheila Lynne said...

I am scarred by the memory of watching the birth scene at the end of "Meet The Applegates". It's something I won't be able to remove from my brain without hypnosis...

Bill C said...

Not to derail the conversation but since there are a lot of Malick geeks here, I wanted to give the heads-up on the DVD release of The New World, which just showed up without warning at FFC HQ. Haven't given it a thorough examination, but on quick perusal, here's what I discovered:

1. The disc contains only the 135-minute 'wide release' cut.
2. A DTS option was sacrificed to make room for a 59-minute making-of that
3. Goes out of its way to keep Terrence Malick offscreen.
4. Despite the rivers of ink spilled over the film last winter, the cover blurb belongs to most-unworthy Richard Roeper. Surprisingly it is not, however, "Tell me again about the rabbits, George."
5. The transfer itself is a mixed bag: handsome palette and rich contrast, but also some banding and DNR (digital noise reduction).

Full review on Monday.

Anonymous said...

Is the screen cap from Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451?

- David H.

Walter_Chaw said...

David - congrats! It is, indeed, Truffaut's underestimated - subversive even - telling of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

And Sheila, Meet the Applegates: isn't that the Michael Lehmann follow-up to Heathers? Weird. Don't remember it well enough to recall the birth, but I'm gonna' dig through my VHS dubs to see if I still have it somewhere.

Fond of the births in Meaning of Life, as well ("Get that, would you Audrey?").

Sad to hear that the extended cut isn't on the New World release. Any chance of a "Special Edition" I wonder?

Anonymous said...


Been a few weeks since I've seen it, but I'm pretty sure that for all of the disgusting crap that was featured in Meet the Feebles -- animal puppet sex and explosive bodily fluids aside -- a birth wasn't among them. It does, however, feature a hideous chicken-elephant baby hybrid; probably better that we don't see it being born.


Damn! No Body Snatchers Special Edition? Here's hoping it'll be back on track soon. At least we have the Kaufman audio commentary at our disposal now. Incredibly earnest at points ("every horror film needs a priest," he says offhandedly on Robert Duvall's tone-setting cameo) and true or not, you gotta love the Kevin McCarthy/homeless man anecdote.

Looking at the Roeper quote via Amazon, Bill, I think you're being a bit too kind. "The best historical epic romance since Titanic." Jesus. Not too far off from Lennie, is it?


Never actually saw It's Alive, but the Part I and Part II combo teaser (as seen on Video Detective) makes me chuckle every time I watch it. A brief, '70s/'80s equivalent of a Snakes on a Plane parody trailer: "Holy shit, killer baby!" But hey, that's Larry Cohen for you.

The jury's still out on United 93. One of those "I'll have to wait for the movie itself" things. Though as a local chain of theaters has decided to replace its pre-feature slideshow advertisements with full-on commercials (this being before the lights go dim, mind you, where a whole new slew of commercials await), I've seen a rather pedantic say-nothing advertumentary a few more times than I'd hoped.

tmhoover said...

They've started to do that ad-umentary stuff in Toronto theatres- pretty much all of them, now that Cineplex Odeon has swallowed Famous Players. I can't tell you how much I resent this: you're trying to converse with the friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/parent/adult guardian/peace officer you arrived with, and the screen yammers idiocy that distracts you. It's a total disregard for the social function of going to the movies: you're literally reduced to a mindless consumption machine regardless of how this impacts your ability to interact with others.

If trends continue,I predict an Orwellian future where you can't buy a house without a wall panel that deadens you with montage while informing you that Jon Heder likes teen comedies. Or where it's illegal not to inform your fellow citizens whenever Jennifer Aniston gets a haircut.

Sheila Lynne said...

Yes, Walter, it is, though it has little resemblance to Heathers on the surface. The social commentary of suburban life as experienced by giant insects is funny, but at the time I saw it, I was too young (and too grossed out) to appreciate it. Very odd movie. Very interesting use of a trampoline.

Anonymous said...

Anyone seen this wacky heap of stupid? Most Insane Movie Reviewers The moron running the site considers Ebert to be the best writer in the business whilst simultaneously complaining about him, also doing his own useless plot summary "reviews". He singles out Walter and the CAPAlert jackass as the most insane critics ever, with descriptions that barely qualifies as English.

Bill C said...

Yeah, I think we circulated that article intra-office a while back; it's not very interesting--his criticisms are mostly anti-intellectual (i.e. "bring a theasaurus!") or of the standard complaint that sociopolitical discussion does not belong in a movie review. Of his website's repellent name, "Black Champagne," that assclown writes: "It is a couple of words that I thought sounded evocative, catchy, and pleasing with a dot com on the end."

Apropos of misdirected hate: the fifth instalment of Alexandre Paquin's "The State and Future of Film Criticism" (Or: O Walter, Wherefore Art Thou?) is finally up. That'll teach me to self-Google - http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1774

Rich said...

Here's the Blackchampagne.com guy trying to argue that Walter's reviews contain too many spoilers:

[Walter's reviews containing 'massive spoilers'] is something you'll find out for yourself if you foolishly click on a link to one of his reviews (For example, he immediately gave away the fact that that Jesus guy dies in the end of The Passion.) for a movie you're curious to see and suddenly find the entire plot and twist surprise ending laid bare without even a "SPOILER WARNING!" notice

Yeah, didn't see that ending coming. I really hope he's joking.

James Allen said...

I can't tell you how much I resent this: you're trying to converse with the friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/parent/adult guardian/peace officer you arrived with, and the screen yammers idiocy that distracts you. It's a total disregard for the social function of going to the movies: you're literally reduced to a mindless consumption machine regardless of how this impacts your ability to interact with others.

I couldn't agree with you more, Travis. Going to the movies is really an annoying experience. What's it's come to for me is that in some cases (unless I really need to get a good seat) I actually wait out in the area outside the theater (they usually have benches) and enter the theater at the last possible moment. I already bought the ticket, can't they leave me alone already?

Anonymous said...

RE: Paquin (not the good one)

“Although I hold no personal or professional grudge against Chaw”.

Good. Good...

He made me “hate film criticism?”

There's a boiled bunny somewhere in this story.

Lots to pick at there, that dude does need an editor (Bill?). My favourite, for potential inclusion in my upcoming nine-part series: “Shit, No Fucking”...

“It is difficult to deny, however, that perspectives are affected by language, culture, and geography"

So THAT'S why my Ginger Lynn Festival tanked in Dubai...

Walter_Chaw said...

Yeah - Paquin lobbied hard for inclusion at the OFCS and it's telling, I think, that he somehow was rejected repeatedly. Failed film critic isn't a tag that wears easily.

He asked me to champion him there and I declined, if memory serves, to do so. He then wrote the first of his series on me (that one lambasting me for mentioning William Blake in my review for Red Dragon which is, of course, based on a Thomas Harris novel which references Blake quite a lot - as does the film - but as he hadn't seen the film nor read the book nor read Blake. . . ) after which he wrote to me to apologize for the piece and to ask my advice on something or another.

I didn't respond - life is short, non?

Then he wrote some more, I guess, and continues to beat that horse-of-me but it seems to me that folks that tend to agree with him don't read us in the first place and folks who don't and don't know about us, get turned on to us through him. I do know that his work on that site - and this series in particular - has caused at least one festival that I know of to deny all of their writers accredation. All of which means that whatever the hell he's talking about (truth is, we're the past of film criticism, aren't we?) he's sending permanent readers our way and revealing himself to be something of a jackass with a mysterious ax to grind. Less mysterious now.

I wonder if we still have a copy of his apology-email? Bill?

Eh, whatever. God, this job has its miserable moments, though, don't it?

James Allen said...

Dave mentioned a bolied rabbit being somewhere in this story, I wonder if there was an Incrediboy moment...

"I'm Black Champagne... your nemesis!!!!"

Bill C said...

I think I lost all our correspondence with him in the Crash of '05.

If only Anna Paquin paid that much attention to us.

Alex Jackson said...

I'm still jealous that Walter has people on the Internet writing lengthy essays about him. The best I have is this.

I jumped into the fray a couple days ago and we're still going at it. The first page is possibly of interest to most of you, but I don't expect ya to go that far past that.

O'JohnLandis said...

Damn, I just read the whole Paquin piece. For something so self-defeating, it's really long.
This isn't the funniest part, but it's the most important:
"As I really don't feel any inclination to study the works of Armond White any more than I have done so far -- though I find him to be a pretentious name-dropper -- or of Charles Taylor, Pauline Kael, and others, I have little choice but to discuss Chaw at length."
Sure, he dumps mountains of single-spaced shit on you, but it's some kind of compliment that he talks about you more than White, Ebert, Taylor, Sarris, and Kael combined.

But for those of you who don't have enough time to read the whole thing, here's a synopsis:
"Walter is a good writer and he's usually right, but sometimes he goes too far. And this makes me REALLY ANGRY! HULK SMASH ALL FILM CRITICISM! GRRRRRRR!"

So it turns out that erudition killed film criticism. All of you who guessed "meteors," I'm very sorry. Now if only he knew how to unkill it.

Don't worry, folks. Walter is not solely responsible for the entire state of film criticism, past and present. He didn't show Kael her first De Palma movie and he didn't convince Maltin to grow a beard. His erudition isn't a major threat, not even as an example. Not everything is a microcosm.

-The other John Landis

Kurt Halfyard said...

On the creepy birth sequences, don't know if it was mentioned above, but the double bill of Fruit Chan's Extended DUMPLINGS and Takashi Miike's recent Masters of Horror Episode IMPRINT both have two of the most unsettling deliveries I've seen. Not for anyone to watch if they are a) Expecting or b) Recently had a kid!

Scott Weinberg said...

"I do know that his work on that site - and this series in particular - has caused at least one festival that I know of to deny all of their writers accredation."

Who did what now to whom?

Oz said...

Come come, Walter. One would think that Paquin says enough in his opus of scattergun film critic bashing to have found more to beat him with than a load of recounted memories that, really, aren't so true in fact.

As the Executive Editor of eFilmCritic.com, I can guarantee you that the only festival we've ever been rejected from was Toronto three years ago, and that's now a regular stop. Every fest we want to go to, and have applied to, we go to. We send 5 to Sundance, 6 to SXSW, multiple writers to Toronto, Tribeca, Seattle, Chicago, blah blah blah. You can see on our festival coverage page that there's no festival that suddenly disappears over the years, so that's one error out of the way. Maybe you confused us with Aint-It-Cool-News or the Insane Film Critics guy - hey, it happens - so be it.

Similarly, Paquin has never (not one time) applied to the OFCS, though he's talked about doing so a time or two. He doesn't meet the qualifications, thus he's never made the effort. I know this, because I'm in the thing, as are half a dozen others from the site, and two of our guys used to be on the GC. We're kind of decently positioned to be able to say "Alex: OFCS is for film critics, silly rabbit."

But that's all devil and details - the reality is, on a personal level, I'm not particularly a fan of Paquin's series either, and have said as much in the forum associated with it. I see much bluster, but not much behind the outrage, and while I think the state of film criticism stinks to high heaven, the problems are fewer than the demons Paquin seems to see all around him.

So why does it exist if the boss doesn't dig it? Because eFilmCritic.com doesn't tell its writers what they can and cannot write, nor how they should do so, nor when, nor what they should write about. It's an open forum for any critic able to meet the qualifications to join, to write whatever the hell they want, and if they can stand behind it and defend it, great. If they can't, that's between them and their maker and a ridiculing audience (and the subject, in this instance).

So, in closing, criticize the guy's work 'til you're blue in the face - turnabouts being fair play, after all, that's to be expected, but try to keep the fire to the guy with the target on his back, and try to keep it real. There's enough misidrected bluster in the history of you two guys already without adding to it by throwing around misinformation about my site, or casting Paquin as some sort of lost lamb clutching at the hem of your skirt for reason to live.

He's just this guy, you know?

Walter_Chaw said...

There's enough misidrected bluster in the history of you two guys already

Is there? Truth is, I don't really recall spending much time talking about just this guy nor writing a few thousand words about him. The first offensive salvo is this one, really, in the implication that there's a history between me and just this guy.

For the record, the media director of the DIFF told me that they decided against putting you, personally, in particular in their panels and juries and programs because of this series of just this guy's. Since I'm on the outs with the DIFF anyway for giving away the state secret that they're not a top-line fest after thirty years, I guess I might as well name-names in the interests of full disclosure here. Agreed that it's not a top-line fest. Guess that's why I'm naming this name. Could be that they were just currying favor with me by saying so but I don't think so, it also could be true. Who knows, right?

As to his application to the OFCS, real or not, I only have his word on that to go on along with his request that I champion him for inclusion. As that correspondence has been lost on my side, I retract it from the evidence. Helluva thing. Guess I would have kept it if I gave a shit. If just this guy would like to share his email archives, including that heartfelt request for absolution, that would be a grand gesture on his part.

There. That's now officially the most that I've thought and written about this topic in years and that only because you're stalking around here calling me a liar. Truth is, when the DIFF media director told me about her opinion of your site, it took some jogging to get me to remember what your site was sorry to say. My truest conduit to your site are the occasional emails I get from Scott. Didn't I bump into you in the courtyard at Starz a couple of years ago? Sorry I didn't know you. I'm not taking stabs, Oz my man, I'm just telling you that your democratic policies towards your content are not really interesting to me as fact nor compelling to me as ideology - I wouldn't write for an editor that didn't care about content because, after all, what value is any publication that doesn't care about content? That's not a philosophy, that's a platform, and as you know, in this biz, your reputation's all you have. Tie too many strings to lead balloons and find yourself grounded. Probably, that's why I don't write for you.

Kudos to your coverage of TIFF and all the others, though, great fun.

Oz said...

That's all very baffling, Walter, because I don't actually attend a DIFF to my knowledge. Nobody on our site attends any DIFF. We've never (as best as I can tell) asked to go to one, never put ourselves forth for juries on one, never considered such an event a worthwhile stop on the HBS love train. In fact, I'm not even sure what DIFF you're talking about - Dubai? Denver? Dubuque? It's kind of like hearing you've been banned from the National Association of Master Architects - it'd probably mean something if I'd ever asked to be let in.

The 'history' between you and Paquin, as I recall it, was you appearing at our forums after he first started Red Dragoning you. He say things, you say things, people step in and say things to you guys, you disappear, he disappear, life goes on until, sadly, it rears its ugly head again. Now, I'm not saying you're the one gunning for a fight - if anything Paquin's the one that likes calling you out of the saloon, not the other way around - but let's not pretend that you woke up yesterday morning to some mysterious guy you haven't heard of before. Your own recounting of back and forth emails kind of belies that myth.

Yup, I believe we were introduced briefly at Starz back in 2002 or so (wait, is that the DIFF you're referring to? The one I attended in '02 and haven't been back to?), you were interviewing some Latino actor who nearly got his lights punched out a few hours later in a drunken stupor in the VIP lounge if memory serves. And I think I've seen you floating about Park City with a camera or seven (but hey, I could be wrong - helluva thing this memory gig). You always look very busy, which is something I can respect when 9 out of 10 critics at Sundance struggle to post a single review per day.

In terms of your thoughts as to the value of a site where writers are allowed freedom of choice over what they write and how they write it, I'll take that with a grain. To assume that such a policy indicates a lack of care about content would be to assume far more than one should. It's not indifference, Walter, it's trust, and with the lineup of writers evident on our front page at present, I have no trouble at all maintaining that trust in my roster, just as I have since 1997.

Scott Weinberg, Erik Childress, Eric D. Snider, Dave Cornelius, Pete Sobczynski, Dan Lybarger, Uri Lessing, Dawn Taylor, Brian Orndorf, Mel Valentin - it's a bit of a dream team, truth be told, and there's about 40 more besides. Plenty to love, and even if you find someone you loathe, the odds are great that you won't have to linger long before finding someone worthy within the space of one click. Stop by some time - refresh your memory of what we do, and hey, maybe you'll win a trip to Stephen Tobolowsky's next birthday party while you're there.

In closing, and in the grandest spirit of non-stalkery, I don't think you need to embellish to stand tall in the wake of Paquin's withering attacks. That's pretty much all I came here to say, truth be told. And frankly, when you're saying stuff about my site that isn't true (whether it be a case of lies, misconceptions, or some bad info fed your way), I think it's understandable that I make an appearance and correct the public record.

Don't you?


Scott Weinberg said...

And Jack Sommersby, too! ;)