Tag Archives: rehearsals
On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors Jenna Ipcar and Ned Martin. We discuss all things movie theaters—from our best and worst movie theater experiences, to the best theaters we’ve ever been to. As always, we go on tangents along the way, take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and close the show with questions from our mailbag.
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By the way, the beautiful painting above is by artist Marianne Kuhn, and it is called Naro Cinema Norfolk VA. You can see the full painting and buy prints of it at FineArtAmerica.
Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Seduced and Abandoned (2013)
Written and Directed by James Toback
The title of this review contains one of the greatest puns I’ve ever made in my entire life. (To get it, you have to be aware of the song ‘You Are Worthless, Alec Baldwin’, which plays at the very end of the credits of Team America: World Police.) What makes my pun so great and so apt is that this documentary, Seduced and Abandoned, is literally about Alec Baldwin thinking he’s worth a lot more money than he is actually worth, and constantly being reminded by various knowledgable people that he isn’t, and him not understanding. That’s the majority of this movie, which might make it sound like the greatest movie ever made, but unfortunately, it isn’t. It’s downright grating in its unrelenting narcissism. There are parts where you’ll damn near groan your throat off, and eye roll your eyes off. But you should still watch it. It may not be a good film, but it sure as hell is an important one.
Directed by Cody Clarke
IMDb Synopsis: An experimental documentary in which fly-on-the-wall footage of the lives of sixteen aspiring actresses from NYC is collaged to form a day in the life of one aspiring actress—each ‘playing’ a different aspect of the woman. Through this unconventional approach, filmmaker Cody Clarke has painted a visual poem; an ode to both the beauty and the pain of solitude.
When I go to a museum with friends, unless I’m really close to them already, I act weird. I move from piece to piece quickly, afraid of blocking someone’s view. I make awkward quips. I find myself concerned with whether the person next to me knows more or less about the art than I do. And I almost certainly never read the plaques, although I pretend to. All this doesn’t happen on purpose—it’s an instinctive, self-defeating defense mechanism, and it’s embarrassing and insulting to the art.
This same insecurity happens to pretty much everyone I’ve watched a Cody Clarke movie with. I know this, because I’ve forced a lot of friends to watch them.
Directed by Zachary Levy
A day after I posted my How To Watch a Film essay, I received an email from the director of this film. He reached out because loved the essay and he’d gone through, with his own film, exactly what I described going through with my film, Rehearsals—people that were ambivalent about it when watching a screener and then blown away in a theater setting.
For a long time, he avoided releasing his film on DVD because he felt that a theater was the ideal setting to see it, and he wanted to do whatever he could to make sure as many people as possible could see it properly. However, he’s recently decided to finally take the plunge and release it on DVD and Digital, and it’s due out this month.
Zach was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the DVD in the mail, which I watched this past week, and let me tell you—this thing is plenty powerful on an average-sized flatscreen. I don’t know that I could even handle this thing in a movie theater. This is one of the most gripping vérité docs I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s no surprise at all that it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was on Roger Ebert’s Year’s Best list, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick.