Tomorrow: we try to digest the overwhelming flood of festival coverage coming at us from all directions. For now:
There’s a new issue of Firecracker up â€” we can’t keep up with those kids. Do take a look, this issue steps away from the more typically discussed figures of Asian cinema (we’re looking at you, Park Chan-wook) to cover filmmakers and films that are harder to come across, including some from Malaysia and the Philippines.
So why the heebie jeebies? Because along with the old-fashioned geek joy, the film festival means subjecting myself to a powerfully counterintuitive process: spending weeks in the company of people like myself.
For two-and-a-half weeks, movie critics sit together pre-screening the festival’s movies. Then, during the festival itself, even more critics (from around the world) sit together to watch even more movies. It is therefore possible for a movie critic to see practically no other form of humanoid other than movie critics for nearly five weeks.
This cannot be healthy. Apart from depressed teenagers, sociopaths and herding dogs, there may be no more oblivious or single-minded creature in Christendom than the movie critic.
According to David Blair at the Telegraph, the state-controlled press in Zimbabwe claims that Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn were part of a CIA plot to oust President Robert Mugabe. The two starred together in "The Interpreter," a film that concerned an assassination attempt on a fictional African dictator bearing many resemblances to Mugabe. We’re not clear as to how the film would lead to Mugabe’s downfall, but neither we, nor, it seems, anyone working at Mugabe’s paper, actually saw it.