a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Our Man in Cannes

* Every year, Mike D’Angelo is kind enough to post his grades from Cannes on his site. We in return make fun of his perpetually unimpressed or hostile reactions, especially if they're for titles we’ve been breathlessly awaiting. Of course, it’s foolish for us to rely entirely on these reports -- write-off or not, I’m still going to see the Egoyan as soon as I can -- and besides MD’A’s at his best on his nerve.com blog, tossing off witty observations and self-depricatingly creepy updates on his obsession with the lovely Sylvie Testud. (She’s pulling jury duty on one of the sidebar fests.) Consult the Enchanted Mitten for the numbers if you can’t wait for the prose, and check out, if you dare, the comments box for what looks like a genuine nervous breakdown from OMC. Never reveal your weakness(es), bud.

* Back in college, a friend and I used to breathlessly await Sunday’s weekend box office tally, discussing little else but the numbers. As in, “Hey, The Mummy grossed a lot” or “What, you thought Cameron Diaz would push Very Bad Things into the Top Five? Since when did she have box office consistency?” I’m largely over it, even while I recognize, pseudo-enlightenment since aside, it actually does matter; safe to say the $45 mil cume for Hitchhiker’s means The Restaurant at the End of the Universe won’t be rushing into pre-production. Edward Jay Epstein’s article on the weekend cash tally, therefore, proved fascinating, even when it confirmed most of what I suspected: Sunday’s number is largely meaningless, merely a way to spread peer pressure around to the winners. (You’d think it’d be a bit of a risk, but it’s not: stinkers were invariably going to be stinkers anyway; not every movie is Cutthroat Island.) As the fogeys said in State and Main, you have to look at the per-screen average.

* Filmbrain has alerted those of us with regionless DVD access to a British three-pack of Godard, including my personal favorite, Pierrot le fou along with Made in the USA and Prenom: Carmen. A nice, if pretty random, survey, that, though the big kicker is Filmbrain’s compare-and-contrast between the new PFL transfer and Fox Lorber’s notorious Region 1 disc. I can vouch for the latter -- damned burnt-on subtitles -- though you really oughtta see this thing projected if you can. The one floating around is one of the most sparkling classic film prints I’ve ever seen; the color-coded party scene, washed-out on the Fox-Lorber, is crystal clear. (Useless side note: it was during that very scene that I, beforehand pale on Godard, became an instant convertee. Ah, sophomore year...)

* Yes, I’ve seen Da Sith. No, really, I will discuss this. (The politics -- including the blown opportunities thereof -- are fascinating. Maybe I should make it clear, however, that I do, for the most part, approve. Maybe not as much as this guy, though.)

* Just this for the Weekly this week. A slow period, this -- on the cusp of the summer season -- the lineup eaten up by the rest of the Philadelphia Palestine Film Festival (PPFF). The big drawl, for me: a screening of Sirk’s A Time to Live, a Time to Die, projected all the way out in bumfuck Phoenixville. Currently accepting ride offers.

* Would it, like, kill lottery addicts to not pick up their tickets during fucking rush hour? Don’t pretend you don’t notice our impatient sneers.


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