by Indy Datta
Even as we speak, Mostly Film’s roving reviewers Matthew Turner and Uncle Frank (not, as far as I know, Matthew’s actual Uncle Frank) are subjecting themselves to a punishing screening, partying, and Nando’s eating schedule that will ensure that our forthcoming coverage of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011 will be second to none available on the world wide web.
They’ll no doubt have plenty to say about this year’s festival’s tortured gestation, so I’m going to restrict myself to saying that the programme looks pretty good from where I’m sitting, and particularly strong on documentaries, some of which, such as Project Nim and Bombay Beach, have also just played to some acclaim at Sheffield Doc/Fest – a festival which seems to have established itself as a key fixture on the festival circuit in an impressively short space of time.
Bombay Beach, Alma Har’el’s impressionistic portrait of an economically marginal community on the shores of California’s Salton Sea, got great reviews, but the festival’s top prize went to The Interrupters, from Steve “Hoop Dreams” James, a film about a year in Chicago’s ganglands.
Let’s talk new releases. The cynical, phony Cameron Diaz vehicle Bad Teacher is another example of the trailer being cut by someone with a couple of orders of magnitude more instinct for comedy than anyone involved with the film itself: avoid. Swinging with the Finkels seems to have been kept away from critics for its own safety (unlike last weekend’s Got to Run, which most mainstream critics seem to have decided to politely ignore). There’s a new Ozon out, if you like that kind of thing, which I hear some people do (and unlike previous recipients of the Orange curse, the extra awareness could well do it some good). Putty Hill looks interesting, and maybe will find a wider audience than it would have done in less documentary kerrazy times. And it would be remiss in a blog post full of YouTube videos not to mention Life in a Day, which is a whole film’s worth of them.
In America, Ryan Reynolds’ turn as The Green Lantern opens to toxic reviews, and Mr Popper’s Penguins opens to people asking themselves, hey, what happened to Jim Carrey? But, expect the Penguins to slay at the box office, because, you know, Americans fucking love penguins.
See how far you can get into this before you cringe your nose off.
The Coen Brothers and Noah Baumbach talk about beginnings:
Next week: we talk about making films rather than watching them, about playing video games, about going to the theatre, and about popular beat music. Until then…