This week at IFC News:
On the podcast, we look at some of the talent behind the better Superbowl ads. (At $2.7 million for a 30-second spot, you’re probably going to spring for a decent director.)
Michael Atkinson does "Rocket Science" and "Right At Your Door":
Blitz’s film (which features absolutely no slumming guest stars) always sidesteps and dodges the clichÃ©s; rarely, if ever, do the characters â€” from Hal’s problematic mom to a voyeur neighborhood kid to a deposed debate king â€” behave in a predictable fashion or speak as if they only have one thing on their minds. (Hal’s cultured-simian big brother, played by Vincent Piazza, seems perpetually on the verge of exploding from unexplained teenage fury.) This approach sometimes forces things to fizzle â€” many scenes that seem to be leading up to an easy joke end with none at all â€” but most often, the movie feels spontaneous, thoughtful and hard to pin down. There is also, not very incidentally, the best use ever of the Violent Femmes’ "Blister in the Sun." But having spent so much time already observing the lives of smart kids, Blitz brings no preformulated thematic ideas to the table about teenagers and high school. It’s just life, lived by people too young to understand it.
Aaron Hillis talks to Paul Andrew Williams about his British Independent Film Award-winning "London to Brighton" and the state of British cinema:
I would say I attempted to do something that felt real, but that’s going to be up to an audience to agree with. You know, they call itâ€¦ is it "middle America" where they’re very conservative? What can I do about that, man? It’s a big country. But the fact is, 99-point-whatever percent of Americans are not going to see this film. I think it’s the sort of film you would have to want to go see rather than, you know, go with your girlfriend on a date and say, "Actually, let’s go see this tiny little British film about pedophilia and gangsters and killing." I don’t know if it’s going to be that sort of movie, so I imagine that most people going into the film will be prepared for what might be in it.
Matt Singer reviews "The Band’s Visit" here ("intentionally light, maybe even a little slight, but also unquestionably warm and charming") and "Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show" here ("it is something of a minor triumph (a very minor triumph) that [the film] pulls off the dual feat of giving you an honest this-is-what-it-takes portrait of the tough life of a stand-up alongside the actual material").
And Chris Bonet has what’s new in theaters.