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The Reeler Blog

The News: Chill in the Air for Box Office, Coppola

Tim Roth and Francis Ford Coppola on the set of Youth Without Youth (Photo: American Zoetrope)

By S.T. VanAirsdale

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

--Another slumperrific weekend at the New York box office has some observers wondering who an Oscar winner's gotta blow to get an audience around here: Gone Baby Gone, Things We Lost In the Fire and Rendition all stepped on their own loosely knotted shoelaces right out of the gate. For the Post's Lou Lumenick, the glass is both half-full and half-empty: The NYC legal thriller Michael Clayton appears to have staunched early diagnoses of internal bleeding to step around those aforementioned piles, and the fabulous Wristcutters: A Love Story scored a direct hit in limited release with a per-screen average cracking $12,000. Happy Monday -- take your reassurances where you can get them.

--Listen for the wincing from Madison Avenue, where the Sony Classics gang saw Francis Ford Coppola's first film in 10 years, Youth Without Youth, meet an ambivalent (at best) response following its premiere at the Rome Film Festival. "Attempting to harness multiple genres, pic is brought down by ponderous dialogue (much of it dubbed) and an inability to connect with its characters," wrote Variety critic Jay Weissberg. "Youth Without Youth will translate to cinemas without audiences." In his defense, Coppola noted that Youth requires at least two viewings to really appreciate it. There's the wincing again.

--"While slipping from one genre to another he has remained very much a New York filmmaker, not just in his preferred locations but also in his politics, his temperament and his work ethic." Is it me, or does Dennis Lim's Sunday Times profile of Sidney Lumet seem done before?

--Notwithstanding his estimation of the insulated, gimmicky Tropfest @ Tribeca as "some of the best shorts the independent community had to offer," Steve Snyder offers a robust preview of this week's NYC Short Film Festival in The New York Sun. The founders seem a little over-obsessed with establishing Oscar creds, but I can vouch for Tze Chun's Windowbreaker, and nobody can say a Jewish history as told through Barbie dolls won't be a shattering triumph of... something.

Posted at October 22, 2007 7:34 AM

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