Sunday, April 7, 2024

Nightcap 4/7/24 - Problems


I’ve been running into trouble with my coverage of films after festivals - or in particular with something on the other side of festival coverage.. This comes from situation where festivals are tell me that I can only run capsule reviews. This is all well and good except that when the films are released I’m being asked by the distributor why I only have a capsule review of a film...They had wanted a full review that I could hopefully rerun with the release. Why was piece so short?

This was not the occasional request to do a capsule at the fest with a longer piece down the road, rather this is festivals, apparently on their own, asking for restricted coverage. There have been a  couple that I've run across in the last few years that did just that and now I'm running into problem of the films that played at those fests being released and I'm being asked to write longer pieces - which I can't do because I can't remember the films enough to do them justice.

Because this is problem, from this point on I’m not going to cover any festival that only wants capsule reviews – or if I do it I am holding all reviews until the films are released and only giving them a curtain raiser.  I cannot in good conscious do it otherwise. I can't give myself over to hours and hours of viewing where I I know I can only scribble a couple of lines. And this isn’t to say that I’m not going to turn out capsule reviews by my own choice, rather, I’m just not going in to a festival where I can't say what I want.

Frankly curtain raisers maybe too much coverage considering restricting discussion of the films they are showing essentially means they want no coverage.


I'm getting side eye comments about what I'm covering lately. I'm getting people asking why am I covering the new film from Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson and any other film with a problem person attached to it. 

Fair enough question

The honest answer is that something about the project made me want to cover it.  While I could just watch the film, or whatever, and never tell you, in many  of the cases, say POLAR RESCUE with Donnie Yen, I only got access to the film because I said I would cover it. If I want to see the film I have to say something. I am picking and choosing what I see.

We are at this point where I have to pick my battles and what is going to make the most difference.  Is my not covering something going to hurt the star or bad person? Probably not. In many cases they were brought in to star and there is the work of everyone else connect to the film to consider. There are some exceptions.

The problem right now is that there are so many assholes out there that I can't shut them all out. 

Though it’s interesting that while I thought my coverage of the new Woody Allen would have gotten a couple of comments about my enabling a predator, the truth of the matter is I was attacked for not liking the film because I was a "lib".

Politics had nothing to do with it I just didn’t find it funny…or good.


I have been credentialed for Tribeca in June so expect the typical avalanche of coverage.


I was quoted in a trailer  for PRATFALL (see here)

And I’m being quoted in the material for  FAREWELL MR HAFFMAN.  Normally I wouldn’t mention it, but I’m curious if anyone near where I live will notice it because the local art house that is playing it is pushing the ad where I’m quoted.

I know it’s no big thing but it wasn’t until I had been writing for well over a decade before someone I work with came up to me to ask if the person quoted on the poster was me.


The plan for the rest of the month is to continue coverage of New Directors New Films, give you a lot of reviews of new releases, and then deal with Hot Docs at the end of the month.

I have a few films set for May but it looks like it maybe a catch all month.

As I said June will be Tribeca and that will take us into the summer festival season- straight on to the fall festival .

And for the three of you who are curious I have Unseen tentatively programmed into 2025,  allowing for place holders for the annual Thanksgiving Turkeys and Year End Posts.

ADDENDUM: I know what the Turkeys are- the over-hyped films from 1981 and 82 (and one from 83 that ties to an 82 film) that died at the box office. I'm doing those because they will give me something meaty to work on (the two I've written so far are actually rather lengthy.

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