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The Reeler Blog

This Jost In From the NYT

Not a half-bad Sunday for the NYT Movies section, despite my best efforts to sabotage the party with some bunk about location premieres, Jude Law, Robert Altman, etc. The photo-finish for superiority comes down to Dennis Lim's dynamite profile of David Lynch at the fork in the roads to film or video (and choosing the latter for Inland Empire, to no small measure of viewer disapproval) versus the laugh-or-you-will-cry contribution of John Clark, whose survey of veteran independent filmmakers gone to Euro-obscurity and small-screen marginalia (or some penurious combination of both) offers Christine Vachon calling her job "soul-deadening" and fellow producer Ted Hope not quite living up to his last name:

Mr. Hope added that singles hitters like Hal Hartley (The Unbelievable Truth) and Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Doll House) have also had a hard time because their audiences have dropped away, though both have films coming up (Hartley's is Fay Grim, Solondz's is untitled). They might be stars in the indie world, Mr. Hope said, but audiences just won't flock to a Jim Jarmusch film for an anomie fix or to a Solondz movie for a dose of discomfort (or disorientation).
"If I were starting out now, I would be a producer for the Internet," Mr. Hope said.

Oh, all right. You have convinced me. But try telling it to Jon Jost--as genuine an indie legend as you will find (just check MoMA's permanent collection) and yet who is essentially homeless. The only address he has is a Web site that is not quite doing the professional trick:

"I can't say I'm happy not making a living after 40 years in the business," Mr. Jost said. "I'm not independently wealthy. I'm independently poor."

Look on the bright side, Jon: You could be a blogger.

Posted at October 2, 2006 10:08 AM

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