Over the last four days two director pals have told me the same thing: “I have to make an action film next.” To make some money and keep their cred up with the bottom-liners, they mean. If two guys are saying this you can bet plenty of others have the same strategy. We all have to make a piece-of-shit, Eloi-friendly sequel/action/CG ComicCon popcorn confetti-fart movie. Because if the word gets around that we’re mostly into original and/or “quality” material, we may never work in this town again.
Kelly Reichardt‘s Meek’s Cutoff had an L.A. screening on 2.23, which I missed. There’s a press day with Reichardt on 4.15. Screenings are set for 4.6 and 4.12, but according to a 42West rep there are no screenings scheduled for the entire month of March. I asked, “Do you guys have a screener I can watch?” No, I was told. That’s Oscilloscope Pictures for you — big spenders.
I couldn’t go back to my 36″ Sony analog, so yesterday I sucked it in and paid $575 for a 50″ Vizio plasma. Vizio makes fairly well respected lower-priced plasmas, LCDs and LEDs, but the price seemed a little cheap. The seller, a guy from East LA named Marcus Lopez, said his units cost a bit less because they’ve been judged as discards due to some minor shipping dents. He also said plasmas are cheaper because no wants them — everyone wants LEDs and LCDs.
So I liked the price but I was nervous because I hadn’t really done the homework. Not extensively, I mean, and you can always get flim-flammed. But the hell with it. I rolled the dice and bought the beast (which Marcus delivered, by the way), and i have to say that it’s looking pretty damn wonderful so far. Much better — sharper, pizazzier, more radiant with delicate gradations — than the Panasonic 42″ plasma back at the Brooklyn place. I also bought a Sony Buray (BDP-S380/BX38) with online download capability. Everything looks great — Blurays, DVDs, cable. I have this idea that plasmas delivers a slightly more organic image than LEDs or LCDs. which have always looked more video-gamey. (Or they do in Best Buy stores, at least.)
Cameron Crowe‘s The Union, a doc about how Elton John nursed and goaded Leon Russell out of obscurity and back to recording and performing, will open the Tribeca Film Festival on 4.20. John will perform live after the free outdoor screening. Is it worth it to spend $400 or $500 bills to fly back, not to mention lodging, food and cat-sitting costs, so I can catch this and the festival (which runs from 4.20 through 5.1) en masse? I fear not.