1996 New York Film Festival Diaries
Week 1: Desperately Seeking Wim II
At the end of the first week of the New York Film Festival, I'm still thinking
about "Secrets & Lies." It's amazing how it takes the orphan
theme everybody's been trying to do - from "Bogus" to "Stealing
Beauty" - and brings it right down to our essential fear - that our
parents may be very, very unattractive.
"A Self-Made Hero" by Jacques Audiard is another good missing-identity
film about a young man with a fascist in the family - the best film from
France in some time, if I may say so. Of course, with the pretentious Maurice
Pialat in the running, it's easy to win.
"Temptress Moon" is a hoot - the best in soap opera since "Gone
With the Wind," with a silk nightie and a little egg foo yong on the
But back to important things: Mike Leigh was in fine form. Even though
the crowd at Tavern on the Green applauded as the film's troupe marched
through, Leigh maintained his dignity and never played the star. Later,
when we went to his table to say hello, he rose and talked like a normal
guy. We'd had a very good interview the previous day, and there's no reason
to believe the rumors that he's "difficult" with the press. Maybe
the press deserves some difficulty.
For me, the best thing about roaming around the press screenings at the
festival is running into "all the usual suspects" in the film
world. People who don't usually get together, who in fact might never want
to be seen in each other's presence, have no choice but to nod graciously
and acknowledge the other person's right to be there - if not to an opinion.
The serious and the facile, the scribblers and the gabblers, the structuralists
and the screenwriters all hang in, watching those films, occasionally disputing
them - but, sad to say, almost never asking an intelligent question in the
press conferences. My favorite this year was one woman's inquiry into how
Miramax was going to mercilessly carve up "Sling Blade" because,
"It's a big, mean company," she claimed. Puhleeze, let's try
It'll be fun to listen to the views and watch the reviews, and then see
how far folks go in changing their minds by the time they get to the keyboard.
Wo ist Wim? I continue my manhunt. Wo ist Wim? Not at the Wienerwald,
not at the Wiz. Wo ist Wim? He's never missed a festival where he had
a stake in a movie - which may be exactly what he did to "Beyond the
Clouds" - a stake through the heart.
Previous Installment |
Back to New York Film Festival Diaries
Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.
Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.