What an insane couple of days. It is Sunday night and I have seen 6 movies in two days. I woke up at 6:00 in the morning on the first day of the festival, thinking I would have an upper hand as far as the line at the ticket box office goes. I was very wrong. I walked through the early-morning snow for about 20 minutes and arrived at the box office. When I got there I was behind 60 people waiting to buy tickets just for that day. I learned from a man who was thirteenth in line that he had arrived at five AM and the man in front of him had arrived at three AM. I was startled to hear that the man who was first in line arrived at eight PM the night before. There is certainly no dearth of movie fanatics here, not to mention ones who are willing to sacrifice sleep to see a couple of flicks. Charming stuff, really.
The lines to buy tickets in the morning at the box office are full of insane cinephiles
If we are cutting open this film what is required of us, ethically, as these critic-surgeons? Mustn't we have, as David Hume suggests in his aesthetic treatises, delicate taste? Must we not approach each and every work of art without prejudices either? I admittedly forewent seeing the Jennifer Anniston film because, well, I find no value in her as an actress. But isn't this kind of thinking a grave mistake on my part? But before I get to that, let me tell you about my experience on Saturday.
Filmmaker John Waters outside the Eccles theatre kindly taking time to pose for a fan. He directed "Pink Flamingos" and "A Dirty Shame"
Next I saw Nick Nolte. But I didn't care. He was this big grizzled idiot. But his performance in Off the Black was the only good thing about the film in my mind. The film I saw after that was a stunning film called Jewboy. I loved this film. It was completely experiential and amazing. This is an example of a film whose form matches the content quite effectively. The movie is about a Hassid who is losing his faith and the editing is quick, almost like moments of stuttering... like indecision.
Screening of "Off the Black" with Nick Nolte at the Eccles theatre
Okay, so where are we going now? I have so much more to say. I want to, in the coming days, talk about the obsession with celebrity, the impossibility of criticism and the meaning of the festival. But I am tired now. Let me tell you though, I want to talk about this idea of having a prejudice against a movie and how one can get past it (obviously, as you can tell, I am still working on this a lot in my mind). I am going to post a proper review tomorrow. It will be on a film I saw today, Into Great Silence, which is a three hour documentary about monastic life. Stay tuned, it is going to get complicated and painful and fun.