Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Indie Spirits announced

As I dragged on about my own existential worries at recent press screenings, I forgot to mention the Indie Spirit Award nominations announced today. You can read all about it here. This is a great boost for Jeff Daniels chances at an Oscar nod - although I said the same thing about Jeff Bridges last year and he had to settle for recieving a Best Actor Award from The First Annual Cinematheque Awards instead (which I'm sure is just as equally prestigious). I'll talk more about the noms tomorrow. Damn I'm tired...

My first press screening(s) + an extra film to boot...

Today, in the rainy morning gloom of center city Philadelphia, I attended my very first official press screening (which probably isn't breaking news since I've done nothing but talk up the anticipation of it the last few days). First up was Brokeback Mountain - and here are some words I wrote about my experience BEFORE seeing the film:

With trepidation fluttering through my insides, I slink into the Ritz Five, afraid that any moment now, a finger will tap me upon the shoulder and tell me that I am not supposed to be here. Afraid I would be held at bay behind the velvet ropes. Which of course, is ridiculous since I was invited to the damned screening. I sit there, surrounded by a sea of faces - all of whom I know are renowned film critics and editors. One name I hear is Carrie, and I come to the not-so-difficult conclusion that this must be Carrie Rickey of the Phila. Inquirer (and participant in the Top 10 Project). Am I like her? Am I like any of them? Am I good enough to be here? or more importantly, am I respectable enough to be here? Web Critics aren't exactly top of the food chain - although with syndicated conglomerates buying up all the newspapers (including most recently, the Village Voice - perhaps Bohemia is really dead?), we will be the new forerunners of film criticism. Yet still I sit here unsure. A damn dirty web critic amongst all the clean paper critics - oh the humanity. Am I the shady unknown interloper? Perhaps the natives are restless. Perhaps I'll get stuck at the loser table while the popular cliques dance around the golden cafeteria. Will I become part of them? Will I fit in? Is this high school again? What will they say Monday at school?

Ridiculous I know, but still kind of real. But at least my fears were alleviated once Li Wang (of the Patriot-News right here in Harrisburg) arrived. But enough of all that - what about the damned films!!!

First off, let me talk about The Chronicles of Narnia. You see - out of professional courtesy - I am not allowed to run my review of the film until the day it opens (or at the least, the day before). But I will say a few things. It was both much less and much more than I ever expected, which of course means I had two different expectations at two different times. That is all you are getting for now (how's that for a teaser), but you will be able to read my review come December 9th. As for Brokeback Mountain - since it has already played in both Venice and Toronto, and there is talk about it everywhere, including published reviews - you will be able to view my review come tomorrow (since I am way too tired right now to write anything). Actually I will be writing two seperate reviews for Brokeback. One for my site and one for Central Alternative - the Gay&Lesbian Alt. bi-monthly I write dvd reviews for. The one for my site will focus more on the Auteurish aspects of the film (which are heavily apparent) and the one for the alt. will focus more on the Gay perspective (which again is heavily apparent). The alt. review will be out sometime during the first week of January - for those of you in the Harrisburg area.

Oh yeah, and then there was Bee Season. A film I really expected to dislike but thought I should see and review since the Midtown Cinema will be getting it on Friday. You know what - it was surprisingly and strangely beguling. My review for that will also be posted tomorrow night - along with my long delayed review of Rent. As for now, I'm going to sleep. I've been going non-stop since 5:30am. Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Good night...

Monday, November 28, 2005

T.S.O. -- Heavy Metal Beethoven and/or Classical Zeppelin...plus some gay cowboys hit Hollywood

Went to see The Trans-Siberian Orchestra yesterday and they were not what I expected at all. I, of course have heard their X-mas songs on the radio (and considering that I am obsessed with Christmas from October first thru New Years Day...), but they were still a surprise. Imagine head-banging, guitar heavy, electric strings, metal-rousing classical music, repleat with smoke and laser show and three seemingly seven foot tall leggy blondes acting as if in a background sexually provocative mosh pit. This is what you get with T.S.O. - heavy metal Beethoven. Strange, but unusual. And speaking of T.S.O. - one of their songs does make my "Greatest Christmas Songs List" - which will be announced very very soon, right here in the midst of the blog. Keep looking.

Also, tomorrow, I'll be taking the train to the brotherly-loving city of Philadelphia for my very first press screening. I've attended both the New York and Philly Film Festivals (as well as sitting upon the jury of back-to-back Harrisburg Film Festivals), but this will be my first press outing. I'll be seeing Brokeback Mountain and The Chronicles of Narnia. Reviews will be forthcoming - most likely they will appear sometime on wednesday upon my site - thecinematheque.com. I'm sure there will be a link from here amongst the bloggy words of...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Welcome to the first entry in my all-new blog, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog

I can't believe I am now an "official" Blogger. Christ I am such a lame-ass. I am actually considered by some (okay, maybe only three people and/or cats) to be a semi-respectable Film Critic. I attend film festivals and am even going to start going to press screenings, so what the Hell am I doing with a blog!? I don't need it, I already have my site as a forum, but here I am nonetheless. So I suppose that now, alongside Film Critic, Theoretician and Historian (as well as Poet, Publisher and Spoken Word Artist) I can add the title of Blogger.

This blog will take the place of my Notes from a Cinephile column that had a short and tumultuous lifespan upon my site. It will be dedicated to...well, pretty much anything. There, of course, will be talk on cinema (since that is my main passion) but, contrary to popular belief, I can talk about other things, and I will - but you know cinema will be the major connective tissue that binds it all together. You will be able to link to all my new reviews from here as well, although you should have my entire site bookmarked on your favourites list. You know you should dammit!!

To start it all off, let me talk about the newest thing to happen to yours truly - and yes it has to do with cinema (in a way). Today's edition of The Patriot-News, Harrisburg's one and only daily newspaper, has an article about...well, it's about me!! Li Wang, Film Critic for The Patriot (and possible future co-host of "At the Movies with Kevyn Knox and Li Wang") wrote the piece and, other than aging me by seven months (I'm only 38 dammit, not 39!!) - something I am not going to drop, just for fun's sake - the article came out pretty well. It makes me sound like a pompous, pretentious film snob, and guess what - I am. It's my third time in The Patriot (the first two for past poetry-related events, including the poetry magazine my wife and I once published), in case that kind of statistical information is important to you (as it might just be to any future as-of-yet-unknown archivist of mine).

Well, that's about it for my first ever blog entry, but coming soon (on my site and/or here) will be reviews of Brokeback Mountain (I'm attending a press screening on Tuesday) and Pride & Prejudice, as well as my reactions to The Trans-Siberian Orchestra (who I saw in Hershey Pa earlier today) and probably some Oscar talk (my updated Oscar predictions can be found on my site). I will also be announcing my predictions of this year's National Board of Review awards sometime soon. So remember to put The Cinematheque on your favourites list - now!!