I’ll have more thoughts on Edinburgh Film Festival’s terrifically curated, wonderfully engaging Project: New Cinephilia conference after I’ve had more time to digest the event (and more time to experience the festival as a whole–I haven’t even seen a film yet!), but for now, here’s a record of yesterday’s final panel: the P:NC Twitterthon. In this high-stakes competition, four competitors were offered provocations crafted by the program curators via twitter and were given two minutes to respond in 140 characters or less. The gladiators were myself, graduate student Madeleine Chessman, my Reverse Shot co-editor Michael Koresky, and Sam Clements, host of the U.K.’s hilarious PictureHouse Podcast. All the action is below.
[This may well be the nerdiest blog post of all time.]
1. Was Cannes right to ban Lars Von Trier?
MK: If Cannes banned every director or film ever deemed “inappropriate,” would Buñuel or Pasolini or Antonioni’s L’avventura have made the cut?
MC: The Cannes managers, in their infinite wisdom and discretion, decided that banning Lars von Trier was the best way to keep it all hushed up.
SC: Not worth all of the fuss. Added to his popularity.
JR: Nah. Why bother taking the time to ban boneheads with lousy fist tattoos? “He is dumber than a box of hair” – Nick Pinkerton
2. The King’s Speech – best picture of the year?
MK: Others include Braveheart, Forrest Gump, A Beautiful Mind, and Crash. Um . . . can we start this Oscar thing over again?
MC: King’s Speech = the best of the year by Academy standards, and who are we to question their intellectual prowess, taste and love of the UK?
SC: It’s MARVELOUS MARVELOUS MARVELOUS. Swearing in a 12a! #TheKingsSpeech
JR: My mom called me three times a week all Fall to tell me I should see it. Haven’t, but I can smell two hours of C- filmmaking a mille away.
3. Has Woody Allen had his day?
MK: “Midnight in Paris” is one of Woody’s most beautiful in decades. All elder statesmen of film should make such vital films in their 70s
MC: Woody Allen had his day, though he complained about it from start to finish – it was too sunny! Midnight is a much better time for him..
SC: He’s had his day. Then he’s made it again and again and again and again and again and again and again. Albeit with new sexy cast members.
JR: Still is. I’ll go to bat for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, TALL DARK STRANGER, VICKY CRISTINA, MATCHPOINT and SCOOP over plenty of other stretches.
4. Where is cinephilia most alive – online or in cinemas?
MK: Cinephilia is most alive…on the NYC subways. Loud, spittling cinephiles screeching in my ear about Tarkovsky. Keep it to yourself, cretins
MC: Neither-you can’t talk to other people! I’d say cinephilia is alive in coffee shops, college dorms, living room couches, and theater lobbies
SC: It’s alive everywhere, but you score double cinephilia points if you tweet from the cinema.
JR: Trick question: it’s most alive in our “hearts.” Sigh. Luv u, movies!
5. Film critics have no sense of humor.
MK: I’ll punch you in the face if you say that again.
MC: False.Film critics must laugh at themselves to survive, whether tackling unemployment, vapid wide releases, the Internet, or Terrence Malick
SC: [kicking it over to the wider twittersphere] Discuss. RT @ProjectNC: 5. Film critics have no sense of humour.
JR: WTF!?! Naysayers should check out this twitterthon. We are en-fucking-fuego up here.
6. Terrence Malick is overrated.
MK: Perhaps I can interest you in some really nice Ron Howard movies.
MC: I’ll punch you in the face if you say that again.
SC: He’s not overrated. He’s just the best director. EVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVER.
JR: I suppose if your favorite movie is HANGOVER I or II, Malick might be hard to take, but then we can’t all be cretins. #whatdoiknow
More to come…
[Also, follow SundanceNOW on twitter.]