Sunday, January 18, 2009

Park City washouts

And speaking of the Sundance Film Festival...a list that proves that as hard as it is to make a first film, it's infinitely more difficult to make a second, even if the debut doesn't disappear in an avalanche of hype and misspent acquisition money and actually makes a dent in the commercial marketplace. (See the No. 1 pick, pictured. Was it really ten years ago?) I've seen a lot of these pictures, some of them quite good (Down to the Bone, May) and not all of them bad--well, I must say that one, The Castle, is bad, and never should have been allowed to leave Australia (the director's sophomore effort, The Dish, is an improvement, but that was in 2000). I would add that The Spitfire Grill (No. 3 on the non-hit parade) has had a half-life as a musical, and that these films still haunt cable, mystifying in-the-know viewers who wonder what all the fuss was about and tantalizing their creators with what might have been.

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