By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn March 12, 2009 at 3:24AM
Joe Swanberg hasn't been hurting for publicity of late, so I guess I have become something of a ruthless populist with this hefty feature in New York Press about Swanberg's latest work, Alexander the Great, which premieres at SXSW next week. So be it. The guy provokes a lot of interesting conversations, whether or not each and every one of his movies totally rock. As Richard Brody points out in The New Yorker, Swanberg's prolific approach has allowed him to embark on rapid creative growth. It's worth checking out a few of these observations provided to me by Greta Gerwig, whose dissection of the Swanberg style has a lot more clarity to it than most readings -- and with good reason, too.
This is the first time since The Princess of Nebraska premiered on YouTube that so many critics -- not journalists, although I wish that distinction weren't such a fine one -- have noted a distribution strategy in their reviews of a movie. Alexander becomes available on IFC's on demand networks on March 15. As Owen Gleiberman puts it, the movie is "fresher, deeper, and more mysterious...it's also more available, thanks to a video-on-demand release." With more original approaches to distribution sprouting up nearly every week, the changes in the landscape can't go ignored, even by non-technologically savvy cineastes.
On that note, Speedcine, Reid Rosenfelt's new online movie search engine is worth checking out. I worked on a similar project last year for start-up called Wonderland, but the founder of that site hoped to apply a "talent-based filter" to the search engine, limiting the number of movies available at the disposal of the user. And we all know that limitations simply don't cut it when it comes to the web.