We’ve got such Sundance fatigue (haven’t you?), but Eugene Hernandez‘s indieWIRE poll of what 50 critics and journalists who covered the festival liked best is a great way to get a sense of what will actually be worth watching for at future festivals and in theaters. Ryan Fleck‘s "Half Nelson" comes out on top for "Best Narrative Feature" (incidentally, the short Fleck expanded to make this film, "Gowanus, Brooklyn," is playing as part of part of one of this month’s short film collections here on IFC).
We’ve got a touch of Oscar fatigue too (fragile, we are), but we certainly have no complaints about the selection of "The Corpse Bride," "Howl’s Moving Castle," and "Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and nothing else for Best Animated Feature. Sheigh Crabtree at the Hollywood Reporter discusses this lack of CGI.
Tragic, dignity-free downfall du jour: Lee Tamahori, who, before he went off to Hollywood to make flashy, mediocre action flicks, was the director responsible for 1994’s great "Once Were Warriors," was arrested, in drag, still in Hollywood, for offering to perform a sex act for money on what turned out to be an undercover cop. Via BBC.
12. Donâ€™t shoot a western if you hate horses. (But itâ€™s okay to not be fond of cows.)
At Slate, Bryan Curtis makes an oddly poignant point at the end of a piece on the things that plague him at art house theaters:
As much as I love them, I’ve often felt lonely in art houses. It needn’t be a Charley Chase retrospective at which four people showed up, either. Even in a sold-out show, the art house seems to be filled with 150 people who came alone. You might chalk that up to the sad state of moviegoing, which forces anyone who goes to subtitled French dramas to fly solo. Or you might say, as with the multiplex, that there’s something about the nature of the place. Moviegoing, we’re told, is dying as a communal activity, thanks to DVDs and video-on-demand. And yet every time I hit the multiplex and sit among the teenage hordes, I feel like moviegoing has gotten new lifeâ€”loud and often obnoxious life, but new life all the same. Try this thought experiment: You’d go to an art house by yourself. When would you ever do that at a multiplex?
For 40 years, South Korea has had a screen quota system to protect its film industry: local cinemas are required to show domestic movies for at least 146 days a year, and which is, inarguably, the reason that the country has such a thriving film industry. Kim Sung-jin reports in the Korea Times that last week the government decided to halve this quota as part of negotiations towards finalizing a free trade agreement with the US. Kim Tae-jong looks in on the filmmakers preparing to fight back.
[Czech director Jan Svankmajer] also provides an extra thread of horror: the film keeps cutting to revolting but all too memorable shots of slabs of meat slithering through the world with a life of their own. "There goes the chÃ¢teaubriand I planned for dinner," I heard one audience member say.
+ PARK CITY ’06: "Half Nelson" Dominates Survey of Sundance 06 Critics and Journalists (indieWIRE)
+ Oscar shuns CGI toons (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Bond director ‘tried to sell sex’ (BBC)
+ My Golden Rules (Moviemaker)
+ Cinema Purgatorio (Slate)
+ Korea to Halve Screen Quota (Korea Times)
+ Film People Begin Protest Against Screen Quota Cut (Korea Times)
+ Lessons from the Marquis de Sade (London Times)