Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The Henry Hewes Design Awards nominees for New York theater have been announced. A good excuse to run another photo from Lincoln Center's glorious South Pacific revival.

Who goes to the New York Film Festival? Not a lot of young folks, though I dispute the author's contention that it's only the rep house mainstays (about which an indie filmmaker recently said, "When I started going to revival screenings, I was 20, and the rest of the audience was 60. When I go now, 20 years later, the rest of the audience is 80"). For one thing, the recently graduated writer has only been going for two years, to a lot of press screenings; it's a different, more age-diverse constituency at the actual audience screenings (I know: I started going at 29, when I was new to New York, and have attended ever since). For another, the rep house bluehairs stick to that much different turf; when this year's entrants turn up at Film Forum in 2028, rouse them. It's nice that he carries the torch but his generation grew up on home video; moviegoing just isn't as ingrained as a habit or a necessity, and certainly not at NYFF prices. The NYFF has always been small and exclusive, its weakness (not every favored auteur should be showcased year in, year out, an issue the committee seems to recognize) and its strength. Unlike Tribeca or other more shapeless gatherings It has its own wavelength and you have to get on it.

The trouble with movie titles. Gigli is a bad title; The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, bloody good.

Red and blue: "Red-band" trailers take off at R-rated movies. My virgin ears were burning at the red-band Step Brothers preview before Wanted, my eyes more dismayed at the sea of toddlers whose parents had taken them there.

Negative buzz on Howard Shore's opera of The Fly, directed by David Cronenberg and with a libretto by M. Butterfly's David Henry Hwang, but my antennae are still up about it.

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