Jeff Sneider, the AICN/Variety guy, took a group of friends to see Control at “the decrepit” Regency Fairfax on Beverly Blvd. last Sunday night, and was treated to a projection nightmare of classic proportions. Here’s his story:

“We get through the commercials and trailers but then I don’t see The Weinstein Company logo (newly changed to TWC at Monday night’s Great Debaters screening) or the funky Northsee logo. The movie starts snd the credits roll, and it’s suddenly apparent that the black-and-white Control has been upgraded to color and that Paul Schrader is the new director. In short, the projectionist had begun to show The Walker.
“So I ran out, convinced it was my mistake for walking into the wrong theater and desperate not to miss the opening minutes of Control. I check the other two theaters at that venue and by the time I storm back up the ramp to yell at management, the entire theater full of angry Joy Division fans in the original theatre had filed out. Management comes out to apologize. It’s not the end of the world, they say, but then they can’t just put the movie back on immediately.
“So we have to sit through another 20 minutes of commercials and trailers including that dreadful ad for the National Guard featuring a 3 Doors Down song that’s so bad, the only thing I can do to keep my ears from bleeding is to keep reminding myself that soon enough, we’ll be listening to Bowie, the Sex Pistols and Joy Division for two hours.
“So we sit through the same trailers more or less (is TWC really banking on their acquisition of Under the Same Moon?) before the film starts. All my friends are miserable at this point. We get out of the 9:40 pm screening around 12:15 am. And here’s the kicker. All four of them (all white, aged 22-25, in the industry and of the high thread-count variety) hated the movie. They thought Sam Riley gave a very good performance in a terrible, drab, and worst of all, boring film. I was in absolute disbelief and I’m still shocked that they failed to see the inherit brilliance of Anton Corbjin‘s directorial debut.
“What can I say? There’s no accounting for taste.”
Wells to Sneider: Start shopping around for a more evolved class of friends. You say these guys are high thread-counters (i.e., a euphemism that alludes to refined taste) and in the industry, but they’ve obviously got a ways to go in their ability to recognize high-end filmmaking so…I don’t know, something doesn’t calculate. Control is one of the year’s absolute finest — there’s no debating that whatsoever unless you’re Robert Koehler. You certainly can’t say it sucks outright — that’s out. It sounds harsh to put it this way, but they’re probably just not perceptive enough.
You can still call these guys and meet up for drinks now and then, but the writing on the wall is saying that you need to think about hooking up with a better class of social allies who might wonder in their heart of hearts if you’re hip enough for them to hang out with. Always “relationship” in an upward or lateral direction — never downward.