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The Reeler Blog

Screening Gotham: Ichaso Reveals His Inner Hack

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

--The Times' Mirta Ojito visited Sunday with Leon Ichaso, the 58-year-old director handpicked by Jennifer Lopez to helm her new star/producer vehicle El Cantante. I've said once already that I kinda liked the movie despite its filmmakers' capitulation to every music-video cliché in the book, but, to my discredit, I had no idea Ichaso has the background he does: Cuban transplant to New York; unrepentant starving artist; and chronicler of the salsa movement since way back. So why the hell does El Cantante jump-cut Marc Anthony's terrific performance to within a frame of its life? Was there a producer in the editing room? I guess maybe we'll find out in the next profile.

--"Movie critics magnifying the cultural significance of the movies they review -- that, too, is a species of nostalgia." So writes James Wolcott in a fine dismissal of David Denby's recent New Yorker essay on romantic comedies. We've all gotta put Wayward Davey back on the short bus from time to time, and Wolcott gives directions like no other. (H/T: The House Next Door)

--Daily News fanboy Ethan Sacks catalogs the subgenre of films in which New York City gets its ass handed to it; will I Am Legend and A K A 1.18.08 bring us to a new front in the War on Manhattan?

--Another scintillating exchange is taking place over at The AV Club Blog, where Noel Murray's toast to the middlebrow has readers scrambling to A) define "middlebrow" and B) distance themselves from it. Let's put it this way: If you have to ask what "middlebrow" is before engaging in a conversation about it, chances are you're middlebrow. Which doesn't diminish you in my eyes, dear reader; I, too, await The Brave One.

Posted at July 30, 2007 9:44 AM

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