I apologize for dropping the slack on my NYFF coverage, but I hit a bit of a wall and general living has gotten in the way of the nerddom it takes to write so much for so little (as in: NO) monetary gain. But I thought I'd spit out some quick takes on films before I head out for this morning's PERSEPOLIS screening.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN -- I think this movie might be a flat-out masterpiece. A third act development left me feeling disappointed, but in hindsight I'm okay with that. Still, I can't deny that I felt an emotional letdown. But that aside, this is filmmaking at its most assured and masterful and I would call it the Coen Brothers' best film by far. This makes FARGO look like a sketch of a movie. I can't wait to read David Lowery's take on the adaptation, for I have no baggage with Cormac McCarthy's novel. That said, I will be shocked if he doesn't consider it to be a near perfect transfer to the big screen. I can't wait to see this again, and if it doesn't even make a kinda-sorta splash at the box office, I officially give up.
PARANOID PARK -- It's hard to be objective with a filmmaker who shares almost every creative instinct with my own tiny brain. My only criticism of this thing is that the last slow-motion walking sequence (in the mall) could have potentially been left out. Otherwise, Gus Van Sant absolutely drilled it this time around, incorporating all of his influences to create something distinct and memorable. That said, show me pretty slo-mo footage set to Elliott Smith and I'll get goosebumps no matter what. But it's not as simple as that, which is why I admire this film so much. Afterwards, some comparisons to Larry Clark came up, and that's when I had a bit of a revelation, an easy way to differentiate between the two: Larry Clark wants to fuck the little girls in his films, while Gus Van Sant wants to fuck the little boys.
RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM: TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS -- I was so excited for the screening of Peter Bogdanovich's 4-hour 13-minute doc about The Petty that I ate a brownie before yesterday morning's 10am press screening. Now that the dust has settled, my take on the "big event" is that it was eerily similar to the music of Petty himself: fine, pleasant, above-average, but otherwise nothing groundbreaking. It was just kinda there (albeit pleasantly so). Still, it didn't feel too long--which is saying something--and there is some footage of The Traveling Wilburys in the studio that made my stomach drop. It's quite stunning. While there's nothing amazing about the doc, I still consider it a must-see for anyone who has a passing interest in rock music of the past fifty years. It almost plays like a rock-and-roll ZELIG. This fuckin' guy played with everybody!