I was sitting in the Giver press hospitality room on the 12th floor of the Four Seasons hotel earlier today, and I struck up a conversation with a guy I won’t describe except to say he’s a junket regular. I was talking about significant problems I’d had with a recently-viewed film. I said that these problems, in my mind, made it seem like “it’s one of the most bizarre and nonsensical films I’ve seen this year.” He looked at me quizzically and said, “Really? In what way doesn’t it make sense?” I had just explained my issues but I laid them out again.
“Have you seen any films this year that really add up?,” he replied. “I mean, have you seen any film this year that doesn’t make you say ‘what the fuck?’ about something?” Yeah, I’ve seen several films this year that haven’t made me say that, I said, and then I thought about naming a few. Then I figured “fuck this junket guy.” If he hadn’t seemed so uninterested in my answer I would have said Boyhood, A Most Wanted Man, Leviathan, Foxcatcher, Edge of Tomorrow, Locke, Omar, Whiplash, Laggies, Ida, Wild Tales, The Skeleton Twins, etc. The guy had probably only seen Edge of Tomorrow and Boyhood and maybe one other, I reasoned. Smug attitude, doesn’t do festivals, etc.
Then he reiterated his view that all movies deliver problematic speedbumps. He didn’t exactly say it wasn’t right for me to single out the film I had mentioned earlier, but that’s what he meant. He also seemed to be saying that they’re all a bunch of escapist horseshit so whaddaya whaddaya?
Which seemed to me like a rationalization that some junket journalists tell each other, i.e., “We all see horseshit films or films that are at least a little bit horseshitty, and then we write horseshit copy about them or do horseshit TV interviews and then eat the free horseshit junket food and attend the junket horseshit parties,” etc. A lot of junket journalists think this way. Entitled, glib, world-weary. Not all of them but definitely some. It’s a racket and we’re just riding along in grand style, etc.
I said to the guy, “Well, if you want to be that cynical there’s no point in talking” and got up from the table.