June 01, 2009

State of the Union

Time to rip the band-aid off: while The Film Freak Central 2009 SuperAnnual is progressing nicely, I'm now thinking we won't have it out until August at the earliest. I do apologize for the delay, which I feel will be worth it. So far the manuscript is sitting at 500 pages (the 2007 Annual was barely 300) and growing into a more definitive portrait of the last two years in film with each passing day.

Obviously, if you still want to become a patron of the book, there's time.

But hey, we can finally announce who's writing the foreword: none other than Stephan Elliott, fresh off Easy Virtue and the acclaimed director of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Famous last words be damned, lots of good stuff in store for the mothersite and this blog in the meantime, so stay tuned.

Also, out of curiosity: anyone know which movie this month's blog header is from? First correct guess gets, um, bragging rights. I should probably turn this into a contest at some point.


Jefferson said...

The blog banner ... Danger: Diabolik?

Bill C said...

You da man.

Paul Clarke said...

Hmmmm...I gotta see that movie! It's one of the few Bavas I haven't gotten around to yet. Is there a decent DVD version out there?

Bill C said...

There sure is, Paul: Paramount released it on a pretty stacked disc in 2005, and the anamorphic transfer is excellent.

jacksommersby said...

So excellent with Stephan Elliott doing the foreword being that Walter is one of the few (including myself) who's recognized the criminally-underrated "Eye of the Beholder" as the excellent film it is.

Jefferson said...

Jack's back!

I must see Eye of the Beholder sometime. Anything that splits critics so deeply down the middle must be worth a watch.

Speaking of Walter, I wonder if he'd want to weigh in on this Denver-based kerfuffle.

Walter_Chaw said...

You know - I've been on the outs with the DFS for some time now. I can relate to you that I was there when Bo Smith was first introduced as the new director. It was at the historic Mayan theater and there was a premiere that night with Carl Deal's TROUBLE THE WATER documentary. I happened to be in attendance because I was tabbed to interview Deal during the film. Never bothered to transcribe the interview - Deal was dismissive of me before we were introduced which I find to be a pretty major turn-off. I've found that the only people that actually do that are people who aren't anybody to begin with.

Anyhow - Bo was introduced by one of the DFS board members who essentially made it clear that we yokels were lucky to get him because he was from Boston. Lots of fawning and when it came time for me to meet Bo, Bo didn't meet eyes with me and didn't shake hands until I was introduced as a member of the press. Then he shook my hand.

I chatted with Britta Erickson that night - mended some bridges that were sorely in need of mending.

I wasn't impressed with the intro, with Bo's speech promising to integrate "education" with DFS' programming. Funny to me is that Howie Movshovitz resigned as the director of education long about the same time Smith took charge. So there's that, right? I think of a lot of people on that resigned list as friends and have heard from a few in the last couple of days. Still, this kind of mass exodus comes as a surprise to me.

It takes years to cultivate good contract and permanent staff. I had my arguments with their programming, but I did understand that they were handcuffed by their relationship with Landmark. Ultimately, I knew they had to make a living and you're not doing that in the Denver film community if you're programming dangerous, progressive stuff. Brit Withey, once upon a time, programmed the single most impressive Asian Fest line-up I'd ever seen - and was never allowed to do it again. The most gifted programmer at the DFS, Keith Garcia, was marginalized, I felt, patronized almost. When he brought Pan's Labyrinth, it was I think like pulling teeth and when he got his way, the powers that be at that point (pre-Bo), deigned that it be a Midnight Screening reserved for outre genre selections. It should have been opening or closing night, of course.

It's shocking to me though mainly because it's never been easy to find a job in this industry and, now, with these layoffs already decimating creative staff around the country, to decide to walk off the end of the plank rather than face the devil you know is a strong, strong statement. I should keep confidences confidential, but, yeah, it's bad and I'd be a little surprised again if DFS can survive at least in the short run. This is not the kind of publicity that place needs. Then again, it's really the only publicity it's gotten in years...