Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nightcap 11/24/13- explanations

Thanksgiving is Thursday, what are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for festival season being largely over (only the South Asian Film Festival remains). Quite honestly the festivals damn near killed me. Don’t get me wrong I had a blast but the toll of it all was simply too much. I’m going to have to rethink what I’m doing next year. I can’t run at the level I do and remain standing and its not age, younger guys think I'm insane, its just too much.

I do have to say DOC NYC was a great deal of fun. I got to see a lot of great films, talk to lots of people and I connected with several people I knew on line. I can’t wait for next year. It was a killer year where even the bad films were good, but only seemed bad when compared to the real highs.

I’ve been asked about why I reviewed some shorts and not others at DOC NYC here’s the explanation. I had originally asked Brian who handled the PR work for the festival on the ground about getting a chance to see Lost Vegas. He said he could arrange it, and by the way he could get me to see some of the others as well. Thrilled, I gave him a list of films, and he gave me review copies to screen. The films I reviewed were all the titles that I had asked for and was given.  Then I was  contacted by Christian Svanes Kolding asked about a review for his film THE EMERGECY KIT and I said I would take a look, Friday night and I posted a review.
I feel I need to say something about the Donnie Yen interview that ran earlier in the week.

Originally when Hubert and myself sat down to talk to Donnie Yen we went in with a list of questions that numbered around 30. Most of the questions were not your standard what’s your favorite sort of thing. I know they slipped in, but that wasn’t my intention. What happened was early on Yen began to give answers that partly answered my question, but which did so with a weariness of I know where this is going and what they want. He seemed to be in a head space from another interview. He gave answers which on the face of them answered something we didn’t ask. He threw in answers about Special ID with the implication that we knew what he was talking about. We didn’t. We had to play a kind of catch up. I also had to throw out a good number of my questions because of the way he answered things early on. I’m guessing that some of his sleepiness at the start may have been a boredom, he had done this before. I think the waking up was the result of our not going down the same road again and again. In listening to the interview yet again I realize that in answering the nonstandard questions (Favorites) he sounded more excited than when I tried to stretch or fill the allotted time to get to the good questions (role choices). Thankfully Hubert was there to save things.
Between December 20 and early January the IFC Center in Manhattan is doing a look back at the first 5 years of films from GKIDS, the theatrical arm if the New York International Children’s Film Festival. This means there will be Ghibli films, Oscar nominees and some real treats. While the titles haven’t been announced I’m hoping this mean Ernest and Celestine will be screening. I will post info when I get it.
Tuesday at the Tribeca Cinema’s the Korean Cultural Service is running the Grand Heist for free. This is a period Korean heist film that I saw back in July at Fantasia and loved. It’s a must see film. Go see it. Here’s my review from July.
Coming this week at Unseen we have a few things going on-

First thing on tap is six days of our annual Thanksgiving Turkeys. Six days of really bad movies for your enjoyment and puzzlement.

This week also features the return of two of our writers who don’t really review quite nearly enough. Tomorrow the man known as Frank Grimes will be taking another look at A Serbian Film. Then on Tuesday the much too long absent Ken returns with a look at a new release of Richard Jeni material.

Later in the week I’ll be chiming in with a look at the 3D theatrical presentation of The Day of the Doctor, the 50th anniversary special celebrating Dr Who.

At the end of the week I’m hoping to have a review up of The Punk Singer, which I saw at DOC NYC and wrote up in a capsule review. This new review will be by Eden who has a better grasp on Kathleen Hanna and what she means to music and the women’s movement.

And Hubert will be dropping in more DOC NYC reviews.

I also want to point out that starting next Sunday our month long look at films released from the Criterion Collection. Every film reviewed was put out on either DVD or Laser Disc by Criterion. Since any film put out by the company is automatically worth at least trying, many of the pieces will be less critical examinations and more anecdotes connected to the films. For example during Christmas week when we turn to look at five of the recent releases of Chaplin films, some of what I had to say is in context of seeing the film and his place in history or at least my history.

Lastly another round up of links from various sources- which means Randi has been feeding me material

Second Life Machinima as part of a real life exhibition 

Gravity Spin off

The Bowery Ballroom in NYC

The Google Uk DR Who Doodle which became the US doodle

Ghost Ships

Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart Talk

Alison Moyet in NYC

The Brooklyn Paramount today

Saturn from another POV

Movies in Color

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