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The Reeler Blog

Screening Gotham: Rocky Balboa is Liz Smith's Fault

Some of today's movie news of note from around New York:

--In a crusade of misbegotten godmotherliness for the ages, Liz Smith not too long ago intervened to salvage the relationship between Sylvester Stallone and original Rocky producer Irwin Winkler. Or so she says, hence Rocky Balboa -- and the steady, spleen-tweaking grotesquerie surrounding it. I hope she's happy.

--Film Comment uncorked its year-end critics' poll results Wednesday, with a few revealing selections among the yawning, fawning, post-September-release-date boilerplate we're seeing pretty much everywhere else. Big ups to the gang for singling out Half Nelson (#7) and Tristram Shandy (#14), though I'll never understand how films with US distribution can so dominate the same group's list of best unreleased films. Are they worried that the best unreleased film of '06 (Syndromes and a Century, incidentally) won't crack the top 20 of released films in '07? The organizers have to know that So Yong Kim's brilliant In Between Days would have benefited a hell of a lot more from a #7 ranking among unsold films than this #15 bullshit among other stuff that will get to theaters as early as February. Of course, it's just another list for lists' sake -- it was never supposed to make any sense.

--Oh, and speaking of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, did you see its plans for reviving Sony Classics' Viva Pedro series Dec. 27? At $20 for a series pass? So you get eight Almodóvar films screening with new prints at the Walter Reade for $2.50 apiece. Wow. The only thing missing is the gift wrap.

--The Directors Guild of America can't make up its mind whether or not to allow screeners to be sent to its members for awards consideration. It was on-and-off yesterday and appears to remain off today. I can tell this is as earth-shattering a story to you as it is to many others. Do you want to hear more? You don't? Oh, OK.

--I'm in godforesaken California until next week, so I'm relying on the Open All Night team to slake my NYC red-carpet withdrawals. And what do I get for my desperation? Notes From a Scandal's teenage-boy-in-a-thong love scene stories or news from Night at the Museum's trailblazing Natural History Museum sleepover premiere. Jesus -- it really is dead this time of year, isn't it?

Posted at December 21, 2006 11:42 AM

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