AIR had its premiere at SXSW, where I recently reported on the beefed-up selection of films. The new Ben Affleck directed film, in which he stars with his Boston buddy Matt Damon, was a three pointer from center court in Austin.
It's Sundance film festival time, and this year’s edition, which closes this weekend by announcing winners in both feature and documentary competitions in the US and internationally, showed better than 100 feature length films from 23 countries, of which nearly 95% are world premieres. 32 films are by first time directors, and 17 were developed by Sundance in its own workshop labs.
The 37th SXSW Music, Film, Interactive Media festival and trade show Conferences wrapped up this past week in Austin, Tx. That’s after plowing through 110 feature films, including some 75 world premieres, a dozen or more new TV pilots and series episodes, XR—extended reality—experiences, and real film makers come to Texas.
We're in the final hours of Oscar chatter which began about a year ago and ends with the 95th Academy Awards this Sunday night. Oscar handicapping usually starts just after the last one ends, but last year, we were consumed for weeks afterwards by The Slap.
July 22, 2023 --
In a year that promised to be chock full of eagerly anticipated film titles held over from 2020 – In the Heights, West Side Story, The French Dispatch -- the air went out of 2021, the way it seemed to leave the country. There was very little fresh air to go round anywhere, even off to the side in the film sector, try as it might to breathe some life into the culture.
In Defense of Tár
By Harlan Jacobson
Unmoored from a robust theatrical release schedule, the professional voyeurs we call film critics spent this third year emerging from Covid looking at character driven films more from the festival circuit, both real time and virtual, and virtually writing off studio “product.” Our film critic, HJ, spent 2022 either going to Sundance, SXSW, Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, or the New York film festival in body or in virtual spiri
The strongest among the films I caught up with were mostly those about the great disconnect, as if there’s just some information missing in what’s going down between characters onscreen. There’s no great theme at work here, or maybe not consciously, since what’s on display is as much a function of what got made during the last two years of social shutdown as what got chosen by festival programmers.
By Harlan Jacobson
Cannes---May 18, 2022
Festivals are organized fantasy markets, every so often featuring great fantasies and great actors who “play” and sometimes move or even inspire us.