This time last year, we’d seen a decent chunk of the films we felt we should see. This year? Nowhere near. There are just too many, as Rachel Abramowitz reports in the LA Times, and it’s hurting the Serious Cinema biz.
"I never thought this would happen. There’s such a glut of films that the audience can’t go to them all," says Picturehouse President Bob Berney, pointing to a ream of recently released art films that haven’t gotten any traction in the marketplace. "At any other times these films would be lasting longer and doing better. It is very scary. I just keep hoping it’s temporary. I have these nightmares that this is the way it’s going to be forever."
Gregg Kilday at the Hollywood Reporter notes that everything out there right now is being hawked as a thriller: "Is it any wonder that, faced with such a bewildering onslaught of promised thrills, the two movies that have stood out from the crowd in recent weeks have been Disney’s family-oriented comedy ‘The Game Plan’ and Tyler Perry’s romantic dramedy ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ — the season’s two anti-thrillers?"
Elsewhere, Owen Wilson‘s first post-suicide attempt interview, with Wes Anderson, will go up on MySpace tonight at midnight. According to a spokesperson for the company, "Anderson and Wilson set the agenda themselves, and Anderson directed, edited and produced the whole piece." It’s a pretty convenient convergence of News Corp properties, which leads Sheila Marikar at ABC News to speculate harshly on this as a big PR stunt. (Though would any classify it as journalism, really?) And at the Guardian Film Blog, David Thomson follows up on the "Watch this space. What does that mean? That he might be something one day." entry he gave Anderson in the 2002 edition of the Biographical Dictionary of Film. He no longer recommends we watch that space.
Grady Hendrix at Slate finds the "Saw" movies give new meaning to the term "torture porn":
For many, the most unbearable movie moment of 2005 was a woman’s eye being plucked out in Eli Roth’s Hostel. For me it was watching one of the New Kids on the Block and the star of Decoys 2: Alien Seduction debate the meaning of life in Saw II. The idea that, in an act of brand loyalty, millions of people are going to line up this weekend and pay money to get a lecture on personal commitment and productivity from a puppet is so horrible, so degrading to the human spirit, that I have to close my eyes and look away. It’s absolute torture.
And the London Times unveils a viewer voted-on list of the "50 Scariest Movie Moments," complete with YouTube links. Ah, "The Ring." Between your two incarnations, you launched a terrible trend of too many soggy ghost girls, and yet nothing can make us bury our face in the couch cushions with our hands over our ears like that television scene.
+ Indie films could use a little ‘Sunshine’ (LA Times)
+ Audiences pummeled with cheapened thrills (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Owen Wilson’s Tell-All or PR Ploy? (ABC)
+ Biographical Dictionary of Film No 25: Wes Anderson (Guardian Film Blog)
+ Demon rabbits, sacrifice, and the end of the world (Boston Globe)
+ The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Torturers (Slate)
+ Top 50 Scariest Movie Moments (London Times)