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David Poland

By David Poland

Sundance 8

The issue involved is pretty basic to a lot of film… what does thing film tell you about its intent and how much should that matter to the audience?
At Sundance this year, this was also an issue with Nanking (westerners as heroes in a Chinese/Japanese conflict), Hounddog (how successful artistically does the on-screen rape and objectification of an 11-year-old have to be to be art instead of exploitation?), Teeth (is a man’s vagina dental fantasy comedy feminist or misogynist?), Zoo (does the film exploit a sexual deviance, condone it, mock it?), etc, etc, etc.

The Rest…

10 Responses to “Sundance 8”

  1. Direwolf says:

    I am not sure what you mean by “thing film” but the concept of whether the filmmaker’s intent should matter to the audience interests me. I’ve never taken a film class and don’t understand a lot of what you and others talk about on this blog. But one thing I’ve picked up from reading your reviews is that you care about the filmaker’s intent and whether its is correctly executed.
    As you note in this column, “how much should that matter to the audience?” I think that question goes to the core of why you, as a film critic might not love a film but others do.
    For example, you are don’t seem too hot on Children of Men but many others love it. You seem to think it is muddled in terms of message. Others, including more casual viewers, love the film. We think it is well done, intense, and meaningful. We leave the theatre and it lingers for days or weeks.
    So which definition of a good film is correct. Maybe both but I am not sure. I suspect though this debate might explain why you and other experts see films differently than casual but heavy filmgoers. And I think this explains some of the intensity of debate over which films deserve to be nominated for Oscars.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    Authorial intent should not be something that you get from talking to the director afterwards; a director who’s really on top of what he’s doing should make it clear enough in the movie (or book, or painting) so that everyone can figure it out without needing to reference outside information.

  3. I still want to hear if you know any details about the sale of Clubland and whether Noise got purchased too.

  4. James Leer says:

    Clubland sold for $4 mil to WIP.

  5. Yeah, I read that but was wondering if Dave had heard anything else. There was an article in the newspapers down here, but not much other than a plot description and how much it sold for and a reference to Robert Redford’s opening night speech.

  6. James Leer says:

    I saw it…what else do you want to know?

  7. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Did anyone actually see Clubland? How is it?

  8. Any good? I’ve heard Brenda Blethyn is really good.

  9. James Leer says:

    It’s pretty good. It skirts the line of cloying a little too often (before totally giving into it at the end) and I couldn’t tell whether Brenda Blethyn’s comedy act was intentionally mediocre or what, but it’s watchable and all the actors are appealing. I especially loved the actress playing Khan Chittenden’s girlfriend…it could have been a generic part but she brought a bracing forcefulness to it.

  10. Thanks heaps! Nobody down here has had the chance to see it so that’s the first semblence of an opinion I’ve heard.

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