So here it is, there's a film I'm really excited for (which I will keep anonymous for now). Missed it in theaters due to the maelstrom that was WRONG TURN 2's release (#1 DTV release 5 weeks in a row baby!...sorry had to say it) but since it was helmed by one of my favorite new filmmakers (who shall remain nameless as well) who's first film was fucking mesmerizing. The kind of debut you pray for as a filmmaker, and his next film was a much more ambitious effort, with a larger scope, larger cast, the whole shebang. So after hearing so much about it, the chance to see the film finally came in a screening set up by the DGA with a Q&A to follow with said director. I was psyched, as was my mate Luke, who out-dorked me by bringing a copy of said first film by said director on DVD for signing. Dammit why didn't I think of that.
So we meet up, the film unfolds...and hot damn what a stinker. I mean, Im all for big ambitious sweeping epics by a new filmmaker wanting to make a statement, show their stuff (you know, said "shebang") but this languid, un-affecting mess was just too much for me to handle. I could see some people enjoying it, as I checked out with the smattering of praise it's gotten online, but to me, even if I was a casual moviegoer, I would have turned on DANCING WITH THE STARS 20 minutes in if I was watching at home...and if I watched DANCING WITH THE STARS (sorry, I'm KITCHEN NIGHTMARES man myself). But as a director, I thought it was sloppy, unfocused and really in over it's own head, and while there were scenes of brilliance and they captured some fine performances from some of the ensemble cast, I really didn't like it at all. I turned to Luke, who sometimes disagrees with my gut reactions, and his seat squirming seemed to be all that needed to be said.
During the Q&A however was when things got ugly. Now, not every director in a Q&A needs to be, to quote Sugarcult, "Bouncing off the walls" (like some people I know) and clearly he seemed tired of talking about the film since it's already come and gone to a pretty piss poor Box Office (not entirely his fault however; the studio seemed to dump it in theaters), but this dude, a guy both Luke and I admired, just seemed to come off as a royal fuckstick. I'm sorry but it's times like these that people do formulate an impression of you, and what I got from this guy is that he just didn't really care, nor did he have the cinematic smarts we thought he had, at least from this project. I was really disappointed especially when, during the film, the narrator described one of the main characters as having a certain facial tick, yet when the narrator describes the trait, the shot of the character TOTALLY betrays the claim...he's not doing it, nor does it do it at ALL through the film! That's like talking about Fenster in USUAL SUSPECTS having a limp and never seeing Kevin Spacey actually drag his gimp leg. It was an utterly useless detail, and if I was behind the camera or the AVID, I would have just dropped the V.O. since the actor's performance doesn't illustrate the detail from the narration. So...from shooting to editing to endless promotion...no-one noticed this? No-one said "Um, that doesn't make sense". Surely the smarty director who I (once) admired would have a justification for it, however vague, just so I know a douchetard isn't at the helm of this sinking ship, right? Well, I had to ask.
So the director, who already looks bored to tears whilst the inappropriately bouncy moderator is fielding questions with a painted on smile, seems to be playing deaf with questions (seriously, a dude 2 rows from him asked a question that all of us could hear clearly and he STILL asked what the question was as if he was deaf, doing a bad job at acting like Mr. Magoo) when i very politely raise my hand:
"So, in that first scene, you have the narrator say (description here) and yet it's contrasting what the performer does visually in the film. It seemed to be a conscious choice since it was so blatantly there, could you talk about that a bit as to why you made that choice?"
"Um, well...I didn't want to see him do that throughout the whole film. Would you?"
And that was it.
...Then there was this HORRIBLY awkward pause, as if he was not in any mood to debate and shrugged his shoulders, and with that they went right into another question, passing any further explanation off to the ether. Honestly, it was the stupidest answer I ever heard a director give during a Q&A, almost like he wanted to avoid the subject, and right there and then, a little fan-boy light flickered out in me. I was kinda shocked with that inane answer, how he carried himself as this holier than thou artiste while can't answer a simple yet important question that was a glaring gaff (the hip-hop guy next to me after I got the cold shoulder saying "Yeah man, I totally saw that too!") , and when Luke went up to him, singing his praise (for the efforts he gave on his previous film), the guy just stood there like a blank slate, taking in the nice words and giving nothing back. He even signed the DVD the way you'd expect Brittany Spears would while driving 15 miles per hour down the street...."Thanks for watching!" Ugh, what a dick. Well, hope he enjoyed losing two faithful fans in one fell swoop.
What's the point? Other than..."Dont be a dick"?
Well, I dunno actually.
Someone told me to update my blog and well, here it is.
Blog blog blog.
I guess the point is that when you are out there talking about your art, be prepared and please, be even a LITTLE excited and gracious to the people who came out for you and your movie...it means a lot, for better or worse. You're a lucky fuck to be working in this crazed industry, show some fucking appreciation...and then take out that horrible narration, idiot.
Happy Gobble Gobble. Save a Turkey, see THE MIST.