Tuesday, October 05, 2010

TIFF 2010: The Round-Up



Best-Of-Fest:

Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, USA)

Big Favorites:

The Four Times (Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Andrei Ujica, Romania)
Promises Written in Water (Vincent Gallo, USA)

40-year-old Film That Threatens to Blow Everything Else Away:

A Married Couple (Allan King, Canada, 1969)

Must-See -- Can't Say More Upon First Viewing:

Film Socialism (Jean-Luc Godard, France)

Excellent:

The Sleeping Beauty (Catherine Breillat, France)
The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal)
Mysteries of Lisbon (Raúl Ruiz, Portugal/France)

Strong, Fascinating:

Poetry (Lee Chang-dong, South Korea)
You Are Here (Daniel Cockburn, Canada)
Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman, USA)
Guest (José Luis Guerin, Spain)
The Ditch (Wang Bing, China)

Still Pondering:

I Wish I Knew (Jia Zhang-ke, China)

I Regret Not Being Able To Schedule:

Silent Souls (Aleksei Fedorchenko, Russia)
Oki's Movie (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)
ATTENBERG (Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece)

* * *

A few weeks back, we had a lively and fascinating conversation about the institution of film festivals. Now let me turn my attention to the intersection of film festivals with the personal.

As I was attending TIFF this year, scurrying from one screening to the next, a question often occurred to me: For me -- for a cinephile -- what is the relationship between the experience of watching films at a festival a week or two out of the year, and watching them at home the other 50 weeks of the year? What are the ways in which a festival experience can productively inform -- indeed, transform -- one's 'normal' mode of watching films?

I ask because I find that attending a high-quality, intense, immersive film festival often seems to put my mind and body, without my immediately realizing it, in a special zone. I find a heightened perceptual awareness setting in -- a sharpened sensitivity to all audiovisual detail in each film I see (assuming I've had enough sleep!). I'm sure this is aided in no small measure by the great projections and the respectfully quiet audiences. The social, film-cultural context also plays a great role: I see films in the company of cinephile/critic friends and acquaintances who have traveled from near and far. Their not-negligible financial investment in the project of 'doing the festival' is more than matched by a strong intellectual and emotional investment in this experience. If we can call a cinephile a film-lover who is especially distinguished by possessing an active engagement with cinema, festivals can be a crucible experience, a distilled form of this engagement.

There are other factors contributing to the film-cultural richness of the festival experience. Filmmakers are frequently present for Q&A's, shedding light on (or sometimes confounding) our takes on their films. In recent years, I've stayed in close touch with many other critics and cinephiles, meeting up with them to discuss, intensively and often in great detail, the films we see from one day to the next. The Internet has also been an invaluable tool in this process: I check blogs, Twitter, and Facebook daily in order to tweak my schedule, dropping some films, adding ones that suddenly appear promising. (Michael Sicinski's TIFF reports at Cargo and MUBI, for instance, were a precious resource for me this year.)

Now here's something curious: Not only does the festival experience make for a special, super-active engagement with cinema, I find that it also exercises a healthy hangover, an extended influence upon viewing habits once I've returned home. I become a little more disciplined about recording my thoughts upon seeing each film, I make it a point to google up criticism on each film afterward, I make a better effort to discuss the films I see with others, and the amount of cinema-related reading I do also sees a spike. Unconsciously, I suspect, I'm trying to replicate, or at least approach, the intense level of involvement I experience at the festival. The challenge, of course, is to sustain these practices, from day to day, for the rest of the year!

So, I'm wondering: Personally, as a cinephile, what are the things big and small that you value about the film festival experience? And I'm curious if this experience in any way alters or influences the way you watch, talk or write about films in the days and weeks upon your return? Finally, are there any lessons that the crucible of the film festival experience can teach us -- lessons that we can apply to our 'normal' film-watching lives? I'm eager to hear your thoughts and accounts.

25 Comments:

Anonymous jim emerson said...

I mean this in a good way: For me, it's like what soldiers say about combat. You're right: The intensity of the experience itself (cram in as much as you can!) is overwhelming and sharpens the senses. I regret missing TIFF this year -- the logistics (from Seattle) and expense were just too much for me to handle right now...

October 05, 2010 4:28 PM  
Blogger girish said...

I missed seeing you there, Jim--and our customary lunch at the Manulife Centre!

October 05, 2010 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Trevor said...

Don't have much to say about your questions in the last paragraph--I don't have any festival experience myself--but your description of the Allan King film is yet another reminder of how much I'm looking forward to seeing the Criterion Eclipse box set.

However, it does strike me how much people speak about the festival experience in almost quasi-religious terms, as if it were a pilgrimage. This is not meant as a pejorative in any way; I think there are all sorts of things that we do (must do?) in order to prove our personal commitment to something important in our lives. It strikes me as a way of making something, like one's connection with cinema, "more real," as well as being a receptacle for all of one's feelings, dreams, and passion for film. I have enjoyed reading your account, as well as the words of many others, and I can say that I feel that at least some of the excitement rubs off on those of us who aren't able to actually be there.

October 05, 2010 4:44 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Trevor, I'm really looking forward to the Allan King box set as well. Present at the screening was Zoe Druick, who has written a small book on A MARRIED COUPLE. I flipped through it at the TIFF Lightbox store, and it looks fascinating. It's not available here in the US yet as far as I know, but here's the Amazon.CA link to the book.

October 05, 2010 4:49 PM  
Blogger Just Another Film Buff said...

I agree with Trevor's last sentence there. Never been to festivals myself, but the discussions over Twitter and other sites are all too addictive. Lovely list of favorites here,Girish.

October 05, 2010 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Simon Hue said...

After my first true TIFF experience back in 2007 I told a friend that "I wish life was one long film festival". I was young then (17) and thinking out loud. However, I think my wish points to one of the (guilty?) pleasures of the festival experience (or my experience at least): shutting out the "real" world of work, school, family obligations and other responsibilities.

Having an itinerary of films is like having a travel itinerary. I travel alone to places near and far all over the world (from say Hollywood to Korea to Chad) visiting the popular tourist sites (Godard? Errol Morris?) and also exploring places not listed in guide books, hoping to discover something great (Gallo?). I am on vacation and can forget about all the stuff, or shit, back home. I get to see what I want, when I want. I feel independent, not tied down, free to go from one place to the next, at my pace, sometimes watching the locals busy working which makes me appreciate even more this time of freedom. I also like my anonymity. I can stand and sit back and watch from a distance, not having to engage in "real" life. Thankfully I'm not always anonymous, because then I might get lonely. On my travels I bump into friends. These are friends who are also travelling and just as independent. Sometimes our itineraries overlap and we visit a place together, enriching each other's experience of what we see. But we don't tie each other down because we all have our own roads to travel. What binds us together, what makes us a community (of travellers, of cinephiles) is our sense of purpose (things to do, see) and passion (the way we do it).

Of course, this "freedom" and "independence" comes at a price. I have been fortunate to be able to afford 20-30 films per festival since 2007. Some people just don't have the time or money to escape. Or their responsibilities are just too demanding. At the beginning of my post I said my first "true" TIFF experience was in 2007. I said this because even though I went to the festival in 2006, I only saw 3 films. I think one needs to see a minimum number of films (20? which is about 2 films per day) in order to have that special film fest experience.

October 06, 2010 3:23 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Srikanth, I'm curious: Does India have any film festivals that have -- or are acquiring -- a good reputation among cinephiles? I left India over 20 years ago, soon after undergraduate college, without attending a film festival (although I've been a film-lover since my mid-teens). The closest I came was catching a comprehensive Satyajit Ray retrospective at the Birla Centre when I lived in Calcutta in the mid-80s. In the old old days before "economic liberalization," being able to catch any foreign or art movie was like a hard-fought victory...

Simon, that's a nice travel metaphor you draw for film festivals. I also have a similar experience: Because my daily "real world" cares are lifted, I find that I remember the films I see all the more vividly, undistracted by the demands of daily life. Which is another reason why I hunger to replicate (in vain) at home the unique experience with films I'm fortunate to have at a festival.

October 06, 2010 9:13 AM  
Blogger Just Another Film Buff said...

Girish: A great question, but sadly no.

International Film Fest of India: Much older than TIFF, yet revels in its own consumerism and galas.

Osian film fest: Have heard some good things and big names behind, but still seems far from decent.

International film fest of Kerala: The only fest that I know which is still revered. Their selection is always worthy of envy.

The Mumbai IFF has run into a lot of controversy owing to its denial to accept controversial films, the Bangalore IFF got canceled due to the recent floods and the only worthy contemporary film in the Chennai IFF last year was Broken Embraces (which toured the whole country I guess!).

The only thing that I 've attended which comes close to a festival was a Michael Ballhaus-Rainer Fassbinder retro organized by the German embassy. A real treat.

And also the nascent Indo-German film fest where I could catch Girish Kasaravalli's latest, Riding the Stallion of a Dream.

I'm really not acquainted with other fests like Pune IFF and Ahmedabad IFF and Kolkata IFF but I don't think they're so rich either.

Cheers!

October 06, 2010 10:11 AM  
Blogger Just Another Film Buff said...

P.S: Here, here and here are few of the terrific events organized by the German Embassy in Bangalore.


Cheers!

October 06, 2010 10:31 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks for telling me, Srikanth! I had no idea. And those are indeed great German programs in Bangalore.

Speaking of the Mumbai festival, I remember Pedro Costa telling me a story about being there a few years ago, and being roundly ignored because the focus was on mainstream cinema. He also said (and this was a surprise to me) that the only person he kept company with for that week was Quentin Tarantino, who brought PULP FICTION there (he didn't catch much attention there either). Apparently the Mumbai experience turned them into close friends (although my mind still boggles at the *distance* between their films).

October 06, 2010 9:56 PM  
Blogger Just Another Film Buff said...

Girish,

What a great anecdote. I can understand Costa's lament (I presume he was there with Casa de Lava), but what is more surprising is Tarantino's situation, given that he'd won the Palm for that film already. Was MIFF that insulated from the world? And if it was today, Costa's situation would have been the same or worse, although, I guess, Tarantino's would have been vastly different.

Thanks and Cheers!

October 07, 2010 12:20 AM  
Blogger Sachin said...

Film Festivals have indeed transformed my viewing habits and led me to structure my remaining year of film viewing into directorial/regional spotlights to mimic some of the benefits I got from seeing such spotlights at either CIFF/VIFF. I have found it enriching to focus on a region/director's work and in a way, this habit has also taken care of any film festival withdrawal that may have threatened to set in :)
I always enjoy running into fellow cinephiles at the festival and relish the interesting debate that takes place over food/drinks about some of the films. Quite often I have changed my picks at the last moment based on a friend's advice and I love how those last minute changes can also lead to some worthy discoveries.

October 07, 2010 2:46 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

i have never attended a film festival screening let alone cram in so many fascinating films in so short a time.

I have seen FILM SOCIALISME and it is indeed a must-see. I understand, Girish, your reticence in saying more. It's a film to come back to and ponder. It is very dense, full of visual, aural, textual depths. A film as full of cul-de-sacs as open roads.

As a (half) Romanian myself I am especially looking forward to seeing the Andrei Ujica film. Although the recent boom in Romanian film is based on largely pessimistic stories it is a joy to see Romanian art appreciated.

October 07, 2010 3:54 PM  
Anonymous caboose said...

Girish, your comments touch on a topic I'd like to take up directly here. No doubt it has already been discussed by you and your readers on your blog, my apologies, but it is a perennial concern and I have a couple of minor updates from the battlefront.

You allude to various ways in which the festival experience is different from our 'normal' film viewing, which for many people today means DVDs at home.

One presumes, of course, that one is watching films in their original format at a festival (and film archive). Alas, these days one can never be sure. Here in Montreal, the venerable Festival du nouveau cinéma, a 39-year-old boutique festival of auteur films, begins next week, and I've been looking forward to seeing Manoel de Oliveira's O Estranho Caso de Angélica and Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall Past Lives, among others. But I noticed that the program guide lists these films as being screened in video. Suspicious, I did a superficial search on google and found reference on Wikipedia and in Slate magazine to Boonmee being shot on Super 16 film and a review by Jim Hoberman in Artforum with picture captions (written by Hoberman? accurate?) describing the film as being shot in 35mm, as we have come to expect from Oliveira. Are these sources wrong? Are the festival's program-book descriptions mistaken as to the format? If neither is the case, we have a serious problem.

This problem is not new in Montreal. A couple of years ago a local repertory cinema got into a lot of trouble for showing DVDs of work it couldn't find on film. I was one of those suprised to pay $10 to see a new release (Tristán Bauer's Iluminados por el fuego, if memory serves) only to settle in and find myself watching a DVD. People threatened boycotts and pickets and the cinema now indicates the screening format of everything it shows.

Probably running out of space . . . to be continued.

October 10, 2010 9:33 AM  
Anonymous caboose said...

During this debate, I got into hot water for pointing out a simple fact, that the local film archive, the Cinémathèque québécoise, a FIAF member, has been known to do precisely the same thing. Imagine my surprise a few years back attending a sold-out screening of the (posthumously-edited) Orson Welles Don Quijote, never before shown in Montreal, with the Spanish consul in attendance and the obligatory speeches before the screening, and discovering that the projectionist had only to pop a video cassette in the cassette player. Beyond the pale, to be sure, but I was pilloried for pointing this out. (The Cinémathèque now also lists the screening format in its program, which it never used to, or had to before the recent ubiquity of publicly-screened video).

Other examples abound. A couple of years ago I attended a program of short films by the Italian director Luciano Emmer at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA). The screening was held in the very nice auditorium of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the films were billed as being on loan from the film collection of the Louvre in Paris. A high-ranking representative of the Louvre was there to talk about the films, and after the screening, on video of course, I asked her why these beautiful 1940s b+w films were shown in video, and did the Louvre hang photocopies of the Old Masters on its walls? The middle-aged museum crowd, no cinephiles these, all craned there necks to get a view of the weirdo who would ask such a question; no one else seemingly noticed or cared. The Louvre honcho was embarrassed, and said only that the choice of medium was not hers. Clearly it had been decided by the festival organisers to show the films on video to cut transportation costs. Film festival indeed (this same festival, dedicated to films about art and artists, declined to show Straub and Huillet's Cézanne or Une Visite au Louvre. You get the idea.)

Around the same time, in the same auditorium, a series of classic features by Walt Disney were shown as part of a blockbuster exhibition at the Museum on W. Disney and his artistc influences, featuring original works of European and American art and rare materials from the Disney archive which rarely if ever see the light of day. A multi-million-dollar extravaganza for which the close cooperation of Disney Corp. was sought and obtained. The classic films, of course, were shown on DVD. Neither Disney nor the Museum thought it worthwhile to bring up 35mm prints from the Disney archive (which presumably can also be found in major American film archives).

October 10, 2010 9:49 AM  
Anonymous caboose said...

Darn, sorry for the duplicate posting, Girish can you remove one?

The final instalment:

While looking into the FNC films mentioned in my first instalment, I thought I'd go to the TIFF 2010 program, where they screened, and check their screening format there. Surprise! TIFF doesn't reveal the screening format of its films. Nor does the program for the films currently screening at its brand-new, year-round Lightbox. This is most bizarre. Even if we can assume that TIFF would never show a film in anything other than its original format, at least without mentioning the fact, I think people deserve to know what that format is. If Oliveira shot his latest film on video, I'd like to know before the credits roll. Personally, I believe that resistance to this practice, on the part of any festival or archive which does not reveal its screening practices, is a way of softening up its audience for the day when we aren't supposed to notice or care about such things and they can show whatever they damn well please. Or at the very least softening us up for the day, coming perhaps much sooner than we think, that festivals and archives will show more video than film. Not revealing a film's format is a way of saying: stop thinking that way. It's not important.

Other views on this topic? Does anyone know for sure about Boonmee and Angelica before I raise the alarm here in Montreal? Many thanks to all for reading this lengthy digression.

October 10, 2010 9:57 AM  
Blogger girish said...

A great and timely topic to bring up, Caboose! This has been a sore point with me as well.

Fortunately, TIFF didn't show any of the films on projected video (unless the films were shot in HD). I attended an event that was a 2-hour conversation between Apichatpong and Dennis Lim, in which the filmmaker announced BOONMEE as the "last film shot in 35 mm" (meaning it not literally but as a way to elegiacally point to the way all films, including his own, were headed).

Perhaps some of my cinephile friends from New York, Chicago and San Francisco can chime in here but I hear stories that bear out your claims with increasing frequency. And not just at small venues but large ones, like MoMA. Not only are films being shown more and more in video projections, but no warnings or notices are posted about them in advance, while regular admission prices are charged without compunction.

Another phenomenon that is troubling but is hardly ever questioned: the extensive use of films and film segments as part of art installations (e.g. the David Cronenberg-curated show of Andy Warhol a couple of years back) that are shown not on film but on video, on monitors scattered throughout the exhibit--with no place provided to sit and watch. We are expected to casually float by, taking in a few minutes of these films on video, and keep walking. (I realize that the unorthodox Warhol might not have disapproved of this particular practice, but nevertheless...)

I do know that the Cinematheque in Toronto has always been scrupulous about this issue, and the handful of times they've shown projected videos of "films," they've issued loud advance warnings, e.g. for a few of the entries in the Rossellini series. And I applaud them for it.

I know that each year TIFF used to specify the screening format in their program book (I'm not at home as I type this comment, or I would check this year's program book) but like you, I'm surprised that they've not done that on the website this year!

Alas, Caboose, your fears and forecasts on this matter sound accurate and unexaggerated to me.

October 10, 2010 5:51 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Caboose and others--Blogger seems to warn us if a comment is long but it doesn't (in my experience) reject or truncate comments, no matter how long! So feel free to ignore the warnings and post long comments, but I would advise that you also save your full comment as a backup (e.g. in a word-processed document) on the off-chance that it gets lost or goes unposted.

October 10, 2010 5:54 PM  
Anonymous caboose said...

Girish, thanks for the tip. I once write a long message and then got told it was too long, and I always fear it will vanish without a trace - which just happened a moment ago with this comment, which I'm doing over.

I've received the following reply from the Festival du nouveau cinéma in Montreal as to why they're showing Manoel de Oliveira's film in video instead of 35mm:

The international sales agent (Pyramide International) has allowed us to present the film but no 35mm was available for us at the time of the festival. During the event in Montreal, more that 20 other festivals happen in the world, all chasing the same good films. There is so far only one English subtitled 35mm print of the film available at the international sales agent. Their solution is to release HD tapes and video tapes (there are many high res formats now) which now provide a great image quality and cost less than 35mm. We are unfortunately at the mercy of other companies' logistic demands. We resisted in the first few years when this happened because most of us are attached to 35mm, but slowly realised that 1: the quality of video projection is now good, and even excellent most of the time - 2: this has become the only way to present these films in Montreal, where no local distributor would buy a Manoel de Oliveira film anymore.

The festival is here to present films that, to our opinion, deserve to be discovered by both the cinephiles and professionals and then get a chance to get a commercial release. By the force of things, and due to the current and catastrophic commercial situation of independent theatres in Montreal, we have become some films’ last chance to be presented in Montreal, but that has never been the sole purpose of the festival. Hopefully a local distributor will want to buy The Strange Case of Angelica and release it properly in 35mm. As far as we are concerned, we had no choice but to present it in video because no one, absolutely no one, would make a 35mm print available for Montreal.

It’s a struggle for every film.

October 11, 2010 11:25 AM  
Anonymous caboose said...

There's so much to comment on here! The obvious, first of all, that if an international sales agent in Paris or New York deems your city a backwater, you're outta luck. Many people in Montreal will chafe at this, because the city and its film festivals were once seen as important, and the FNC in particular has a long and distinguished history working with precisely this sort of film (Wim Wenders, Werner Schroeter+ and Atom Egoyan are some of the festival's many fervent filmmaker fans).

More precisely, if a producer/sales agent doesn't see the market the festival serves as a place where a local distributor may possibly buy the film, they see no interest in it playing there. Put another way, if the film hasn't already been picked up for local distribution - because these things are decided after Cannes, not after a local festical screening - the international agent realises that there is no hope for local release and shuns the local festival. If distribution is already in place, they grant limited screening rights to the festival (I suspect they dictate the number of screenings and the size of the hall - Film socialisme is playing on two weekday mornings here in a tiny theatre) and get all kinds of free publicity for the film from the festival.

All in all, it's nice work if you can get it, it seems to me.

October 11, 2010 11:33 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Caboose, thanks for sharing the email and your thoughts. Fascinating!

October 11, 2010 1:31 PM  
Blogger Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said...

Caboose,

One solution to the "only one subtitled 35mm print" problem (which is becoming more and more common) that I'm surprised more festivals don't use -- possibly because it requires a little bit of preparation and coordination -- is soft-subtitling.

I've seen "cinematheque-style" establishments use it with success before -- there was a good, short retrospective of Japanese genre films here in Chicago at the Film Center a little while back that projected soft subtitles so that they could use excellent archival prints form Japan (which were of course unsubtitled).

***

Related to some of Caboose's thoughts and to an earlier discussion here: Gabe Klinger and Rob Christopher dissect the Chicago IFF over at Chicagoist.

October 12, 2010 8:57 PM  
Blogger girish said...

A terrific interview with Gabe: Thanks for posting it here, Ignatiy!

October 12, 2010 10:25 PM  
Anonymous caboose said...

Well, yes, but that too supposes the availability of a 35mm print - this time with no titles at all. I suspect the problem has a lot to do with what class of festival the producer/international agent sizes you up to be, and once you're labelled 3rd class they're probably unlikely to want to go to any great length to accommodate you. That's just my take.

As an aside, for those interested, the FNC representative is certainly right about the commercial exhibition situation here: there are virtually no independent first-run screens left. Just one, a 150-seat or so hall which is largely devoted to local work: the Cinéma Parallèle, born in the tiny, cold, brick-walled back room of a café some 40 years ago where you could watch marathon screenings of Stan Brakhage or Jacques Rivette. The Parallèle is now in a three-cinema complex known as Ex-Centris. Except that this complex now has only one cinema, the Parallèle. The other two larger cinemas have recently been converted to live entertainment, for which there are dozens of venues in town. They were beautiful cinemas - good projection, good room proportions, good seating and sight lines. The building's owner, after tearing down a beautiful, legendary duplex cinema, the Élysée, a great first-run art house cinema, in order to build Ex-Centris, recently got bored with running cinemas and converted them to live music and such. I guess we should be thankful he didn't kick the Parallèle out too, after they gave up the café and moved in to Ex Centris. From one of the world's capitals of cinephilia - I remember a there being 20 independent first-run, repertory and archival screens here - we have gone to being a complete backwater where distributors can't even buy the films they'd like to because there's nowhere to show them. We're left with the Parallèle, the Cinémathèque (which has seen much better days) and a tiny three-screen rep house that shows mostly teen-oriented first run, there being no more films-on-film to show in rep houses. The death of cinema, anyone?

October 12, 2010 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Simon Hue said...

Meanwhile, not too far away, here in Toronto - surely one of the best cities to live in if you're a cinephile - cinema seems to be alive and well. We have at least 5 rep cinemas (one of which just opened this year), the new 5-screen Lightbox (which houses our cinematheque) and over 80 (or is it 90?) film festivals (including of course TIFF and Hot Docs).

However, I do not want to confuse the quantity of films shown with the quality of films shown. It just so happens, I believe, that we get both.

But does the richness of Toronto's film culture come at the cost of the poverty of other cities (not to mention small towns)? In other words, for us to gain do others have to lose? Maybe this is what Chris Fujiwara was talking about at the end of his essay on film festivals: "As we start the second decade of the 21st century, the art form of the 20th century is a minority, and festivals are its ghetto." If this "urbanization" and "ghettoization" of art/festival/independent cinema continues and increases, how far will cinephiles have to travel to see, for example, the latest Kiarostami (let alone Pedro Costa) film in the future? Maybe the situation will get so bad that cinephiles will be forced to move to and reside in these future "cine-cities". But then again, maybe future cinephiles will be used to watching all their films on Blu-ray, online or some handheld device.

If this is the case, then this urbanization/ghettoization makes sense (that is, is cost-efficient) for film distributors and exhibitors because if future cinephiles don't really want or need to see art films in a theatre on a big screen, then more and more places won't screen those films. Those of us, the minority, who long to see art films in a theatre will be called nostalgic and anachronistic, desperately clinging onto a past experience/memory which is quickly disappearing. Right now though, I think that there are still a sufficient number of us theatre-goers to justify the existence of cinematheques and rep cinemas in many cities. The problem is that this ghettoization has already begun, perhaps too early. It is as if they are preparing/training us for the future of film culture as conceived by and favourable to them. The distributors/exhibitors aren't supplying what we're demanding it seems. Rather, they may be demanding we take what they're supplying (by limiting our options). All this reminds me of Jonathan Rosenbaum's book "Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to Limit What Films We Can See". All this also reminds me of how lucky I am to be in Toronto!

October 14, 2010 4:14 PM  

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