Friday, September 29, 2006
NY Fillm Festival Launches Tonight
AO Scott in the NY Times has a nice essay defending and explaining the rather unique position of the festival. I used to think it was great, until I started going to Cannes and paid attention to Sundance and Toronto and so on. Now I'm almost completely indifferent to the New York Film Festival -- nothing it does really matters. It doesn't matter what films they choose or don't choose (one of this year's notable omissions is the extremely New York-centri "Shortbus"). Scott argues they are about cineman while other festivals are crass and hungry for sensation, for markets, for discoveries. OK, but for anyone who cares, the NYFF policy of choosing a select (obvious) few means it is irrelevant. Besides, if its choices truly were the best-of-the-best from all the other festivals and its stamp of approval meant something, this might be interesting. Instead, like all festivals, the NYFF eventually becomes locked into showcasing old favorites again and again and again. My friend directorboy says I'm thinking about it all wrong: this isn't a festival for film nuts who will stand in line and go to four movies a day for two weeks. (ie students and journalists). This is a film festival for New Yorkers, for film buffs with jobs. They show their movies in the evening and people who would otherwise never be able to get within a hundred miles of these movies get a chance to see them here. It's a nice way of thinking about it, but don't some of those people go to TriBeCa screenings at night? And are they angry about all the other screenings during the day? I don't think so.