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The Reeler Blog

The News: All-Positive Friday!

That's not Funny: Naomi Watts meets critics at the door in Funny Games (Photo: Nicole Rivelli / Warner Independent Pictures)

By S.T. VanAirsdale

As per custom, some of today's more upbeat movie news of note from around New York:

--Why is A.O. Scott's wholesale pan of Funny Games leading on All-Positive Friday? Because it's easily among the best, most complex reviews he's ever written: "[Michael Haneke's] ideas are often facile encapsulations of chic conventional wisdom about the terrible consequences of sexual repression, economic privilege or racial hypocrisy, but his formal dexterity gives these films a creepy power nonetheless. You may try to dismiss what they are saying (which is basically that you, bourgeois cultural prestige-monger that you are, should congratulate yourself for having purchased a dose of Mr. Haneke’s contempt), but their unsettling effects are not so easy to shake." Oh, and it's a "fraud." Let it out, Tony, let it out. Reader comments are an added bonus: "Auteur -- isn't that French for asshole?"

--Benh Zeitlin's long-awaited short film Glory at Sea! (co-financed by Rooftop Films) won the inaugural Wholphin Prize following its recent South by Southwest premiere. That's the good news. The bad news is that Zeitlin was seriously injured in a car accident in New Orleans prior to the fest. Rooftop boss Mark Elijah Rosenberg has ways you can help at the RF Blog.

--Speaking of SXSW, Salon's Andrew O'Hehir has a list of discoveries from his time in Austin, including work by Mary Bronstein, Josh Koury, Greta Gerwig (with Joe Swanberg, natch) and other accomplished New Yorkers.

--The disappointment is palpable at the newly non-profit Reeler Foundation, where we were narrowly outbid in our attempt to win that totally non-cynical date with Scarlett Johansson. Our collection plate full of spare change, a Starbucks gift card and half a bagel wasn't enough in the end to compete with the anonymous English bidder who offered up $40,100. The money goes to Oxfam, so there's your happy ending. Better yet, I get my bagel back. {H/T: The House Next Door]

Posted at March 14, 2008 8:00 AM

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