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

Reeler Pinch Hitter: Jeffrey Blitz, Filmmaker

Rocket Science writer-director Jeffrey Blitz arrives for his film's premiere Tuesday in New York (Photo: WireImage)

[Note: Reeler editor S.T. VanAirsdale is taking some time off, but The Reeler is in the good hands of trusted friends and colleagues. Jeffrey Blitz is the writer and director of Rocket Science, which opens Friday in New York.]

Well, that was interesting. The premiere of Rocket Science was Tuesday night at a multiplex in Union Square with a party that followed at Fig and Olive. The whole night was a mixture of great fun and perplexing family moments. Consider: My uncle patting my knee and telling me how much he loved the unpredictable ending; or my aunt taking pictures of me in front of an oversized poster for the animated Bee Movie because someone had already stolen the Rocket Science poster; or that I sat next to my mom who, after any joke landed -- even the ones about masturbation -- turned to me to squint with pride in the dark; or that an old family friend butted into an interview I was doing after the screening to say, “Hasn’t he gotten so tall?”

In the run-up to the screening, all I could think about was the pain of having to sit through the movie again. From the first public screening at Sundance, I had been looking forward to never having to see Rocket Science again. This has nothing to do with my sense of whether it’s a good film or not, of whether it’ll work for a broader audience or not. I happen to like big pieces of the film and I’m very hopeful it will find its audience. But still. No movie should be seen more than two dozen times by anyone, for any reason. I’m approaching Barry Bonds’ numbers on Rocket Science and all I could weigh in advance of the screening was whether I could endure it one more time.

As it turns out, the swell parts of the night far outshone the sweaty ache of the film itself. Really, the screening managed to feel swallowed up by terrific party that followed. The last time I felt this way was at my Bar Mitzvah when all the work of memorizing my Hebrew spiel was instantly forgotten in the hubbub of family and friends and well- wishers. My Bar Mitzvah, the Rocket Science premiere: what good rites of passage they were, though I don’t think I need another one for a good, long stretch.

Someone at the end of the party asked me whether I was right that I’d feel relieved at never having to see Rocket Science again or if I felt a kind of post-partum depression. It made me think back a few months ago when I flipped to IFC and caught the middle of Spellbound. Because I was unprepared for it, because I hadn’t seen it in so many years, I had a few minutes of watching it unfold as if it weren’t my film. I had forgotten the order of shots and scenes. I couldn’t remember exactly what each character was going to say, the cadence of the voice, the pace of the edit. It was pretty much just a movie and I was just a viewer. I only watched for a few minutes before it all started to come back to me, those old memories retrieved, and the feeling of work returned.

Maybe I’ll stumble onto Rocket Science several years from now and have a similar experience. Until then, no post-partum for me: I’m looking forward to seeing
any movie other than my own. The Bourne Ultimatum, anyone?

Posted at August 9, 2007 1:49 AM

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Search The Reeler
Join the Mailing List

RSS Feed


Send a Tip