Rightwing Film Geek

Todd Field … good to the last drop

Before I tell this story, I will note up here that I have updated below the two posts that had the Tsai capsule listed as To Come and had similarly noted the grade for The Bosnian Film with a Title Unpronounceable in English.

Anyway … this probably will be my own “celebrity sighting” anecdote from TIFF since I don’t have the slightest interest in attending red-carpets or parties, etc.

I had to leave Wednesday’s screening of LITTLE CHILDREN because I had only eight minutes between the scheduled end of that film and the start of my next film, the Thai hanging-out movie SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (assuming perfect lickety-split schedule-following at both theaters). So, with about 10 minutes to go in LITTLE CHILDREN, I left my seat to watch from the pathway that separates the theater entrance and the back row of seats. This would let me book out of the theater in two seconds.

But I look to my left, and there’s the film’s director Todd Field¹ standing a foot away from me. I rummage through my backpack to dig out my festival guidebook, and I’m able to find in the dark the page for LITTLE CHILDREN. I go to him and whisper “Mr. Field,” and he starts to gesture as if to say “I don’t walk to talk, I want to pay attention to my movie.” But he quickly figures out that all I want is his autograph, so he takes my pen and signs it, I thank him and move a few inches away, back to social space.

About 9 minutes later, there’s the return of a voice-over, which ends with a clear walk-off line. The camera starts to pan up and out. All the narrative threads have been resolved. Movie’s clearly over.

I turn toward the door, and Todd Field touches me and whispers something to the effect of Ddon’t go. Not over yet.” So I don’t.

The movie last maybe another 3 seconds for a shot of a set of swings, coming to a stop (makes sense if you’ve seen the movie). Fade to black. Before I step outside, I say to him something like “I’m sorry, Mr. Field. I didn’t mean to disrespect your work. I just have my next film in five minutes, and I needed to get out quickly.” He says in an “I understand” tone something like “That’s OK. Go to your next film.”

Hey, if my presence matters to (and was noticed by) a film’s director, who am I to say he’s wrong.
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¹ Whose IN THE BEDROOM I think a great film; this one I like, but not so much.

September 15, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Artist input

The original comment is now way down at the bottom of the site, so I’m replying up here.

hough.jpgMy review of THE BACKYARD (besides providing the basis for an article in the Matthew’s House project) won notice while I was absent from the film’s director Paul Hough in my comment field. Mr. Hough says in his note, contrary to my there-stated doubts involving a couple of scenes, that nothing in the film was faked besides the wrestling itself. I take his word for it and thank him for the information. But I stand by my opinion that if the “Three Stages of Death” story line and Bo were for real, it’s an attempt at pathos that falls flat from self-consciousness.

Still, I enjoyed the film enormously and look forward to Mr. Hough’s next project.

Certainly, this was a lot better than the last time I got input from a film director, based on this embarrassingly snarky little note I posted on Usenet almost … (gulp) … seven years ago about THE DAYTRIPPERS, a film I would have long ago forgotten about if I hadn’t gotten an e-mail from the film’s director, Greg Mottola. It was addressed “Dear Hater of My Film” and told me what a jerk I am (that’s the G-rated version) and how, I remember the exact quote, “AT LEAST I’M TRYING, rather than posting smug, self-important blather on the Internet.” Um …

January 14, 2004 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment