If 2005 was, as the Hollywood Reporter frames it, all days of gore and penguins, then it’s only appropriate that RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson dwells on what it takes, exactly, to make a critic walk out of a film. The occasion for Emerson is "Wolf Creek," which Roger Ebert managed to unhappily sit through:
There is a line and this movie crosses it. I don’t know where the line is, but it’s way north of "Wolf Creek." There is a role for violence in film, but what the hell is the purpose of this sadistic celebration of pain and cruelty? The theaters are crowded right now with wonderful, thrilling, funny, warm-hearted, dramatic, artistic, inspiring, entertaining movies. If anyone you know says this is the one they want to see, my advice is: Don’t know that person no more.
In fact, needless, extreme and nihilist violence in films has become one of Ebert’s pet peeves (the big softie) â€” it was only a few months ago that he gave the filmmakers of "Chaos" far more publicity than their rather inept film deserved by attempting to engage them in a rational dialogue after panning their film. Emerson was apparently once driven out of "Porky’s 3: Revenge" by its overwhelming misogyny, and had to turn off Haneke’s "Funny Games," though he later finished it. We’ve never walked out of any film ourselves (though we’ve been sorely tempted, most recently by "Daltry Calhoun" (it was the Southern fried voiceover that was killing us)), but we do find the fact that they’re using the amount of people who walked out of or suffered medical problems during screenings of Eli Roth‘s "Hostel" as a sell point ridiculous.
Speaking of Mr. Roth, Geoff Edgers attempts to sound the depths of the young director’s extremely undark soul in the Boston Globe:
”I was so fat at my bar mitzvah that the guy at the suit store in Newton said, ‘Mrs. Roth, your son’s not exactly a large, he’s what we call a husky.’ So I honestly will always think I’m fat no matter what my weight is. I was really skinny as a kid and then I got this weird virus in my hip when I was 12. I had to lay in bed for like a month and I just sat around eating fudge. It was great. But that’s when I porked out. I used to be body by Haagen Daaz.
And at the London Times, Kevin Maher interviews director GÃ©la Babluani, whose much talked-about debut film "13 (Tzameti)" is about "13 men trapped in a basement who systematically blow each otherâ€™s heads off in a communal game of Russian roulette."