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The Reeler Blog

The (Late) News: No, We Are Not at Sundance

By S.T. VanAirsdale

Some of today's movies news of note from around New York -- sort of:

--As usual, Sundance functions as the excuse du jour for sporadic postings around the film blogosphere, but seeing as a few TBA commitments are keeping your loyal editor busy in New York, I guess I must acknowledge if not outright assert my general delinquency. Fear not: Trusted Reeler colleagues like Karina Longworth, Gregg Goldstein and the Father of The Reeler himself, David Carr, are on the scene, and I've got lots of interviews coming up with NYC filmmakers screening work in Park City. I wouldn't deny you procrastination material at the office, would I?

--Apparently in response to yesterday's Reeler news item (and not at all because the film's distributor got all over him for ripping on it sight unseen) Anthony Kaufman follows up his Oscar-season sanctimony with a viewing of foreign-language short-lister The Year My Parents Went on Vacation. "[S]urprise, surprise, the film confirmed every foreign-language Oscar cliche in the book: cute little boy + old grandfather figure + Jewish + soccer + left-wing political backdrop," he wrote, brilliantly deducing what made such middle-brow trash like All About My Mother, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Rashomon and Cries and Whispers such awards-season triumphs over the years. Here, I've got a better equation: "63 foreign submissions - 1 Sony Classics monolith - 1 IFC Films monolith รท 1 City Lights Pictures underdog = 1 million elitist sniffles."

--Speaking of elitist sniffles, God bless Jonathan Rosenbaum and everything, but... dude. "I read the ugly, xenophobic, tossed-off review of Opera Jawa by Jeannette Catsoulis in today's [NY Times]," Rosenbaum wrote Thursday on the Chicago Reader film blog, "and I realize that in some ways we might as well be back in the 60s, when a barbarian like Bosley Crowther was smugly ruling the roost." It gets really good in the comments section. [H/T: GreenCine Daily]

--In other NYC distributor news, Zeitgeist Films made Sundance's first pick-up: Up the Yangtze, a documentary about the social and environmental devastation caused by China's construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Congratulations to Team Z! You can come home now. And this just in: HBO Films acquired the Timothy Greenfield-Sanders/Elvis Mitchell collaboration The Black List.

Posted at January 17, 2008 2:58 PM

Comments (2)

Stu, why insinuate something you don't know anything about? The distrib of "The Year My Parents Went on Vacation" did not contact me after I dissed their film, so why write this? Is this your journalistic m.o. -- to represent your own gossipy fabrications as truth? How can I ever trust what you post again? And re: the foreign category, let's not use exceptions to prove the rule, shall we?

All right: I'm sorry I said the distributor "got all over" you when apparently they neither sent you a screener nor, according to my record of available press screenings, scheduled anything for viewing in the 24 hours between you dissing Parents and then seeing it.

Forgive any further insinuations, but in the continued spirit of pure fabrication, I'm wondering which of these scenarios necessarily took place:

1. You had a screener lying around the house that you viewed after you wrote negatively about the film;

2. You tracked down a colleague's screener the night everyone and their mothers were either in or en route to Park City -- which you viewed after you wrote negatively about the film.

In your words, "Is this your journalistic M.O.? How can I ever trust what you post again?" Or is this another kind of exception I shouldn't allow to prove any rules?

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