This week on IFC News:
The classic line used to justify prequels is "we know where the characters will end up, but not how they will get there."
But, of course, if how they got there was all that interesting, that was the story the filmmakers would have told in the first place. Thus another fundamental flaw of prequels: they tell no stories, only backstories. By their definition, prequels fill in the holes in the history of characters, or explain how characters transmogrified into the icons we know them to be. But those icons became popular because of who they were in those films, not because of who they were before those films which is totally irrelevant. Many prequels include the phrase "The Beginning" to attempt to bestow some sort of narrative significance, but they’re not fooling anyone.
Have you noticed that reactions to "The Lives of Others" vary from country to country?
Yes â€” not a great deal, but there are a few things. In Japan they’re very interested in the musical aspect of the film, and American audiences do see parallels to the Patriot Act, and in Russia they find it most extraordinary that any of the Stasi people were brought to some kind of justice. In Spain they only go on about the fact that I beat AlmodÃ³var at the European film awards.
And Aaron Hillis talks with Maria Maggenti of "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love" about her new film, "Puccini for Beginners":
I’d like to think of myself as a progressive-minded critic, but I often feel that most LGBT cinema isn’t strong enough to reach beyond its niche audiences. Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions, but what’s your assessment?
Yeah, I have to be honest, I feel the same way. I think I’m in an interesting position because "Two Girls" was, at the kind of… I won’t say the zenith, but it was part of this notion of a niche audience, and I know that because of how the film was marketed. At the same time, many believe that the film had "crossover potential."
In the podcast, we take a look ahead to Februrary and March.
And Christopher Bonet has what’s new in theaters this week.