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BNAT Wrap: Kick-Ass Beat Avatar as Best-Received Film

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 13, 2009 at 9:19AM

At the end of the 24-hour marathon of films at his annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon (BNAT), AICN web master Harry Knowles asked the 200 or so folks at the Alamo Drafthouse to declare their best film of the fest. Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass got a bigger response than Avatar, though both had their fans and it was hardly a scientific survey. (The comics action spoof Kick-Ass comes out April 16.) It should be pointed out that Avatar closed the fest. (James Cameron made sure the BNAT attendees had the right 3D glasses.)
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Thompson on Hollywood

At the end of the 24-hour marathon of films at his annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon (BNAT), AICN web master Harry Knowles asked the 200 or so folks at the Alamo Drafthouse to declare their best film of the fest. Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass got a bigger response than Avatar, though both had their fans and it was hardly a scientific survey. (The comics action spoof Kick-Ass comes out April 16.) It should be pointed out that Avatar closed the fest. (James Cameron made sure the BNAT attendees had the right 3D glasses.)

Knowles was thrilled that Martin Scorsese delivered 2010 release Shutter Island, which one attendee described as an homage to Val Lewton. "It's a version of Angel Heart without The Devil," he said. "I figured it out a third of the way through." He didn't sound overly impressed. "I was not knocked out, but it worked well enough."

Ahead of the fest, Scorsese looked at Knowles' list of classics and told him to replace Shock Corridor with The Red Shoes. Knowles started to argue with him and then said, "Why am I arguing with Martin Scorsese?" Apparently the Michael Powell classic--the only film not programmed by Knowles-- played fine. Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Micmacs also played the Austin fest.

This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.