So on top of that whole Joel Siegel storming out ignominy, we have Scott Foundas of the LA Weekly getting tossed from a "Clerks II" screening last week (he was allowed to see the film the next day and when going to to recount the incident in his review, responds with relative grace and, actually, quite likes the film) and David Poland announcing the fact that he was banned from advance screenings as well.
It’s not entirely surprising that Poland was banned by the thin-skinned Smith â€” the phrase that did it, from a review of the 2000 "Vulgar":
(P.S. I never noticed that Kevin Smith, who produced the film and cameos, has calves the size of a small Shetland Sheep Dog. I felt like I was watching an Incredible Hulk episode with David Banner’s calves caught mid-change.)
Okay, petty. But bouncing Foundas, one of the few truly smart and responsible critics out there today, because he didn’t like "Jersey Girl"? We can understand why studios have stopped screening certain titles for critics â€” advance reviews of "Snakes on a Plane" would do nothing for the film â€” but withholding a screening on the basis of past bad reviews is contrary to the whole idea of film criticism. And is just plain assholish (assholesque?). We still like Smith, but really â€” this is the time for you to suck it up and let people talks about your movie.
Of course, Smith posts his own response:
I canâ€™t fault Mr. Siegel for feeling "revolted" (his producerâ€™s description of Joelâ€™s reaction) by our flick; in truth, there is a donkey show in it, and I recognize that brand of whimsy might not be for everybody. Film appreciation is very subjective, and maybe Joel just isnâ€™t into ass-to-mouth conversations.
However, I CAN fault him for the manner in which he left the screening.
Apparently, rather than quietly exit, both Joel and his Cum-Catcher (my slang for the fancy kind of mustache he sports) made a big stink about walking out, calling as much attention to himself as possible, and being generally pretty disruptive.
Check this shit out: roughly forty minutes into the flick, when Randal orders up the third act donkey show, Siegel bellowed to his fellow critics "Time to go!" and "This is the first movie Iâ€™ve walked out of in 30 fucking years!"
Now, I donâ€™t need Joel Siegel to suck my dick the way he apparently sucks M. Night’s, gushing over his flick before heâ€™s even seen it; but shit, man – how about a little common fucking courtesy?
And Smith and Siegel talked it out (but failed to hug it out) on the radio the next day.
At the Guardian‘s blog, Xan Brooks writes:
This is an entertaining, likably ludicrous match-up: the irascible
critic versus the affronted film-maker. But who is in the right? On the
one hand you could argue that Siegel is guilty of boorish, showboating
behaviour, if not outright dereliction of duty. On the other you might
make a case that he is merely responding as a genuine film-going
enthusiast who isn’t afraid of voting with his feet. When critics hoot
and holler and storm out of those press screenings at Cannes, it is
generally regarded as a sign of how passionate, vibrant and healthy the
festival is. Why should Siegel’s reaction be any different? (Personally
I’m not convinced by this argument, but I raise it in the interest of
I have known Joel a long time and have always found him to be a courteous man who loves movies, but I think he crossed a line here. Not only don’t I think critics should raise a fuss at a screening, I think they have to watch the whole thing. Films often get better as they go along. One should never make a judgment until you see it all. At that point, critics can choose not to review the film (Siegel doesn’t review everything) or pan the film as harshly as they want. Watching bad movies is very taxing, but that’s the film critic’s job. If they don’t like it, they should take up something less stressful, like working 24/7 as a hospital surgeon.
Having attended press screenings of all sizes, we have to say that while we think Siegel’s exit was remarkably rude, we’d be thrilled to see such signs of life in what are typically brisk and dour affairs. Imagine â€” someone angrily walking out! You’re far more likely to see this one: An attendee checks in, grabs press notes, and then leans in, maybe going for the we’re-all-in-this-crazy-biz-together arm touch: "And…how long is this one? Only 87 minutes? Oh, bless you."
Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Roger Ebert, who so effortlessly smacked down Vincent Gallo when the actor/filmmaker got all uppity following "The Brown Bunny"‘s premiere, is on the mend, despite a line-up of guest critics pinch-hitting for him on "Ebert & Roeper": "Ebert added, ‘Donâ€™t get too used to these guest co-hosts because Iâ€™ll be back in the balcony before you know it.’"
+ Dear Kevin (LA Weekly)
+ Kevin Smith Will Be 36 Years Old In Twelve Days (The Hot Blog)
+ A Dick in a Mustache is Still Just a Dick (Updated with Sound Clip!!!) (Silent Bob Speaks)
+ Critic, shut your mouth (Guardian)
+ The cricket ticket: Joel Siegel evokes a Kael tale; ALSO: Foundas’ Clerks II ejection (wiith love to come) (Movie City Indie)
+ Ebert on the mend (RogerEbert.com)