Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Anticipation of the #TIFF12 Lineup

The film slate for the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival will be released, in part, beginning on Tuesday.   That is - the list of big ticket movies (the galas and special presentations) is coming out.

Not long ago,  Indiewire listed several films they hope will play the fall festival circuit.  Since I'm not going to Venice or Telluride (damned job, always getting in the way!) I'll get selfish and hope many of these premiere at TIFF.  Not that they can't play both, of course.

Indiewire posted 50 - but I'm going to post the five I'm dying for.   Who knows if they'll be at TIFF or not - but I'll be ecstatic if so, and if not... well, I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer.  

Inside Llewelyn Davis
The Coen Brothers! Filmed in NYC? Absolutely.

Let's see if I can finally figure out what all the fuss is about.

Seven Psychopaths
Martin McDonagh's follow-up to The Guard, which I enjoyed a great deal.

I've never anything short of loved a movie directed by Ben Affleck.  Now there's a sentence I would have never believed ~six  years ago I'd be typing now. I'd say this one is a near certainty at TIFF, no?

The Master

Other than those few noted exceptions, what I'm most looking forward to is whatever the Midnight Madness and International programming have in store.  Past TIFF finds have been as varied as Kill List, The Secret In Her Eyes, I Killed My Mother, Shinboru, Fish Tank.  I have confidence in the programming team and I'm excited about 2012 at TIFF.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dor's Summer of Catch-Up

It's a widely known fact for which I am constantly derided: I have seen very few films that were released before the late 90's.  The late '90's is when I realized my spare time (other than the weeks I devoted to following a certain late '90's singer song/writer) was best spent in my local multiplex, seeing films. Or better yet, at my local Blockbuster, renting recent indies. 

Prior to that, my life consisted of dodging high-school homework by chatting up cute boys in AOL chat rooms.   Finally I chatted up the right person in an AOL chat room who said "you know what, Dor, let's meet in real life. And once we get along? Let's watch a shit ton of movies."

The late '90s is when I figured out that just anyone, and I mean anyone, could buy a $200 flight to Sundance and find themselves in the middle of a smorgasboard of indie goodness.  Which I did - remind me to post one day about my first Sundance back in the dark ages of January, 2000. (OVER TWELVE YEARS AGO 'CAUSE I AM REAL OLD NOW.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is -  No, I haven't seen Back to the Future.

I haven't seen that, and I haven't seen Jaws, and I haven't seen [fill in the blank with some horrendous blindspot].  Yes, everyone has them.  I'd like to think my number of blindspots is disproportionally high considering the fact that I've seen over 200 movies in a theater in the last six months.

My point, then, and thanks for allowing the meander, is that this is the Summer of Catch Up.  Can I save enough face? No, probably not, I'll always be gasping for air in this great dog paddle of cinephilia.  (Which may not be a word.)

And don't give me any more credit than I deserve. Really all I'm doing is trying to keep seeing movies in a time where the multiplex is largely dominated by things I don't want to see and the arthouse is taken over by movies I've seen once (or four times) already, thanks to Sundance, SXSW, SIFF, what have you.

If you're bored enough to peruse my stupid list of every movie I've seen in 2012 you'll see I've proudly taken in my first viewing of such classics as Old Boy, Nashville, Annie Hall and even Psycho. Which actually I didn't add to that list for some reason but I loved fervently.

And it's only mid-July!   I have even more catching up to do.

After perusing the schedules of MoMI, Film Forum, IFC, etc, if any one of my NYC pals wants to join, do holler.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cinemania - a doc about NYC hardcore film buffs

I had never heard of this 2002 documentary, surprising as that may sound, until a week ago when my friend Mike told me that I absolutely had to see it. I ordered it straightaway from Amazon and watched it at my earliest opportunity.

I've seen countless documentaries about fandom, subcultures, and people on the fringes.  I dare say it's my favorite documentary sub-genre.  From sports fans to bird-watchers, I cannot get enough.  I wouldn't put Cinemania in the upper ranks in terms of quality within its contemporaries, but because of the familiar subject matter, I enjoyed it a great deal.

I desperately wanted to live-tweet my impressions as I was watching.  But I try not to be terribly irrelevant so I resisted the urge.

Allow me, though, to type here what I would have said.

I think the reasons I didn't think it was a better film was because of its unstructured nature.  Way too much time was spent following the subjects as they just wandered through pedestrian crowds and subway platforms going from movie to movie.

I also wouldn't not have minded a bit more diversity in the subjects.  Like - all these folks were hoarder types without jobs.  Maybe one can't find shades of grey within intense movie fandom - it's clear these guys are on a different level than I - but, it would have been interesting to see a slight variation.  Not only folks on the fringes.

I found it very interesting to see what movie theaters looked like 10-15 years ago. It looks like the Film Forum has not changed much. 

I wish the IFC center had been open while they were filming this.  I wonder if any of these guys are members. I will look out for them. I know at least one of them has died, though. (?)

I am particularly susceptible to this but… the movie makes me want to get off my couch and see movies. It's definitely stressful, like I am missing stuff. The subjects described this feeling of not knowing how to decide what to see, having so many conflicting showtimes, etc. That resonated for me.

I wasn't sure if most of these guys never see any first-run films, or of the movie just decided to focus more on their love for the old stuff, but it seemed odd that someone would love movies so much and not be as excited by what's coming as they are for what's past.

They don't seem to watch too much in their own homes but there was one scene where a couple of them did. It was sure painful to watch them pop in a DVD and watch it on the shittiest little TV. WTF guys.

I wish there were more interviews with programmers/theater staff.

Loved the MoMI stuff, 'cause I never went there before it was renovated

I would love to have one of these fierce motherfuckers behind me nowadays when there's someone on their smart-phone, or talking, or something.

I'm so glad I am not too particular about technical details. That's taking it too damned far.  I don't even usually notice.  I guess though once you notice, you can't turn it off, you can't unsee.

I really loved the concept of one's love life failing because it couldn't compare to cinematic images.  I'll be thinking of that comment for a while. As if I hadn't been thinking about it for some time already.

Overall I am quite thankful for the recommendation and glad I saw it. I'd like someone else to make a follow up with maybe a slightly different structure - a little broader, not necessarily focused on individuals but rather a community. I'd Kickstart that real quick.