The Reeler

Recent Comments


A Girl and a Gun
Ain't It Cool News
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Anne Thompson
Art Fag City
Better Than Fudge
Big Picture Big Sound
Bitter Cinema
Blank Screen
Brian Flemming
Bright Lights
Celluloid Eyes
Chutry Experiment, The
Cinema Confidential
Cinema Eye
Coming Soon
Cool Cinema Trash
Cyndi Greening
Dark Horizons
Drew's Blog-O-Rama
Esoteric Rabbit
Film Detail
Film Experience, The
Film Journal, The
Film Journey
Film Stew
Film Rotation
GreenCine Daily
Hacking Netflix
Hammer to Nail
High Sign, The
Hollywood Elsewhere
House Next Door, The
IFC Blog, The
In the Company of Glenn
IndieScene Movie Marketing Blog
indieWIRE Blogs
Jay's Movie Blog
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Kaiju Shakedown
Like Anna Karina's Sweater
Last Night with Riviera
Light Sleeper
Long Pauses
Masters of Cinema
Matt Zoller Seitz
Midnight Eye
Milk Plus
Mind Jack
Movie Blog, The
Movie City Indie
Movie Hole, The
Movie Poop Shoot
New York Cool
NY Post Movie Blog
News of the Dead
No More Marriages!
Notes From Underdog
Out of Focus
Persistence of Vision
Queer Film Review
Reel Roundtable
Screen Rush
Screener (Film Journal Int.)
Screening the Past
Self-Styled Siren
Short Sheet, The
Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine Blog
Still in Motion
Stranger Song, The
They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
Tisch Film Review
Vince Keenan
World Film (at
You Know, For Film

The Reeler Blog

BAM Finds Fountain of Youth For Sundance Opener

By S.T. VanAirsdale

It occurred to me about 30 minutes into Thursday's opening-night party for the third-annual Sundance at BAM why a high-school prom theme was especially brilliant for the evening. The obvious tie-in to the Nanette Burstein's reality-skein-in-documentary-clothing opener American Teen was a convenient enough peg, but seriously: An informal poll revealed that nobody in New York film appears to have attended their own proms as teenagers. As such, the punch seemed spiked with equal parts catharsis and vodka; it was the most fun I think I'd seen 90 percent of the film community have, like, ever. So, memo to MoMA, Lincoln Center, the film institute in a neighborhood below Canal Street that shall not be named, and other local programmers: Tavern on the Green out, gym in. Trust me.

Granted, a lot of it was held over from the raucous screening hours before, packed to the rococo rafters with a hometown crowd (many of whom worked on the film) thrilling to Teen's New York premiere. Not that it was any good; with its MTV-ready drama, conveniently compartmentalized jock/princess/art-girl/geek subplots and voice-over animation interludes that couldn't have been more grating if the director had attempted asides via interpretive dance, Burstein's self-indulgence totally overwhelms her subjects. The tone-deafness is surprising considering the stylistic compatibility of those techniques with the more monolithic Robert Evans in her previous film (with Brett Morgen), The Kid Stays in the Picture, but one could argue I'm not the audience for it (and there is an intended audience, however heretical the notion), so... As one of her principals might sigh: "Whatever -- we'll always have prom."

That aside, there's lots of great stuff coming up in the series this weekend, including Saturday's screening of Anvil! The Story of Anvil (with free concert to follow) and the always-satisfying Shorts Sunday. I'll have a word here tomorrow with one of the featured short filmmakers, John Magary, whose excellent, unsettling post-Katrina drama The Second Line screens Sunday at 9:30 p.m. Cheapskates please take note that the Apple Store SoHo will also host a free screening of four shorts -- including Reeler Hall of Famer Man -- Saturday at 3:30. Check Sundance at BAM's site for additional program information for the week ahead.

Posted at May 30, 2008 10:31 AM

Post a comment


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Search The Reeler
Join the Mailing List

RSS Feed


Send a Tip