Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Director Jake Schreirer (Robot and Frank)
Although a posse of film buffs turned out last night for screenings the 2nd week into the Los Angeles Film Festival program, most attendees agreed that the offerings were a “mixed bag”.
One Los Angeles reviewer went so far as to lament that the films were merely cast-offs or left-overs from other festivals (such as Sundance).
In the filmmaker’s lounge, the criticisms ran the gamut.
I sat there like a “fly on the wall” listening in on the intriguing snippets of conversation all around me flying fast & furious.
Apparently several tickeholders stormed out of Steve Carell’s new flick “Seeking a friend at the end of the World”. (I passed on it)
“The story didn’t make any sense,” one wailed.
“Keira Knightley was miscast,” another scoffed.
One fellow laughed that he tried to exit, but to do so, would have caused too much of a flap in view of the fact he was lodged in-between other guests in the packed theatre.
“I sit on the aisle so I can slip out quietly,” I joked.
“Great idea. I’ll do that next time” seemed to be the consensus from my new-found friends.
One director (The Robot and Frank) – who appeared to be a bit tipsy (drunk?) – pooh poohed criticisms of his flick.
He fessed up that he persused all the tweets the night of the screening.
“Just walked out of Robot and Frank” he mimicked on the comfy couch across from me.
“Piece of shit,” he quoted another, in the next moment.
“Who cares what they think?”
“It’s only an opinion,” I soothed.
When he noticed my Press Pass - and learned I am a film critic - he kidded.
"Do I have to be nice to you to get a good review?"
One new acquaintance raved about “A Band Named Death”.
Coincidentally, the co-director – Jeff Howlett (who worked with Mark Covino) – plunked down next to me.
Covino started out directing music videos, so it begged the question.
“When you started this project did you have to shift gears?”
“Yes," he responded without taking-a-beat.
"Originally, I envisioned a 30-minute doc for an Arts Cable outlet. But, once we started the interviews with the band members, we realized that we had so much more.”
At that juncture, Covino wisely elected to pass on a narrator - and instead - allow the subjects to tell their own stories in their individual way.
I intend to catch the flick tonight since there has been such great buzz about the documentary.
One film buff felt that “FOUR” – a play that was adapted for the screen – left too many lose ends.
The close was left wide open apparently.
“Didn’t they know how to end it," he wondered aloud.
“They’re anticipating a sequel,” I joked.
By the way, I’ll be interviewing the director and actors later today, so maybe I’ll raise those questions.
At this point during the run of the festival the favorite picks appear to be “The Queen of Versaille”, “The Invisible War”, “G-Dog”, “People like Us”, “Vampira & Me”, and “Gayby” (to name a few).
Woody Allen”s – To Rome with Love – has been criticized fully this way ‘n that!
Most negative reactions, though.
Some think that two of the vignettes (there are four storylines) didn’t work at all.
Oh well, better luck next project, Woody.
See ‘ya at the festival, eh?