Certain scenes in certain films melt some of us down. Not all of us — some are built differently in terms of emotional thresholds and whatnot. I have a shortlist of scenes that choke me up (the finale of Carousel, the last 20 minutes of The Best Years of Our Lives), and no one is obliged to say “me too.” At the same time it’s fair, I think, to occasionally remark “that movie made you cry?” I respect CODA for what it is (i.e., a family sitcom with a would-be lump in its throat) but…
What the pandemic managed to do was all but kill the communal watching of quality-grade movies — i.e., theatrical — outside the rarified environs of film festivals and elite special-venue houses. Multiplexes have been devolving for years into gladiator arenas, showing o
nly mostly lowest-common-denominator gruel for the grunts. Covid finalized that process. Cinema has obviously “survived”, but (festivals aside) largely through streaming. And don’t get me started about the shuttering of Hollywood’s ArcLight plex plus the Dome.
11.1, 9:05 am update: Kenneth Branagh‘s Belfast is a Telluride lock. The Toronto honchos lied.l about their world premiere, etc.
Earlier; So the Toronto Film Festival is lying about a so-called world premiere of Kenneth Branagh‘s Belfast (Focus Features, 11.12.21). The TIFF screening is slated for Sunday, 11.12.21, but it will have its actual world premiere, I’m hearing, at the Telluride Film Festival.
I can’t say “take it to the bank” because I’m not holding a 2021 Telluride Film Festival brochure in my hand as I write this, but it appears that the TIFF guys have been fabricating on this particular matter.
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song, which will debut at the Venice Film Festival on 9.2, will also screen in Telluride.
And Rebecca Hall‘s Passing, by the way, is not playing Telluride.
I’m now fully persuaded that No Time To Die (UA Releasing, 10.8.21) will be an above-average Bond flick. At the same time I understand that it can’t break the mold — that it has to do the usual Bondy-Bondy things.
Keep in mind that principal photography for No Time To Die began during April 2019 — nearly a full year before the pandemic kicked in. Principal photography finished in October 2019, or just under two years ago.
If you’re one of those old-fashioned classicists who believes that the evening hours should be accepted and submitted to, the general atmosphere at the Rodeway Inn & Suites in Needles is…what’s the best description?…horrific. It makes you feel nauseous. A voice inside is muttering “it shouldn’t be this way…this is a perversion of God’s plan.”
It’s like staying in a low-security penitentiary for white-collar criminals. There are lights, lights, LIGHTS everywhere. The idea seems to be “Rodeway will protect you from the predatory darkness…we will illuminate everything…we will make the darkness day!”
The main lobby is over illuminated,. Acoustic Johnny Cash is playing too loudly when you check in. The bathroom fixtures are dogshit-level. There’s a nice air-conditioned McDonald’s next door (good wifi). We are living in a total Jetson’s world…except in a few rare pockets, real-deal Americana has been completely extinguished. Comfortable but ghastly. It’s 10:05 am and the temperature is 95 degrees. The sky is bright blue.