This Is the New Year
So this is the new year
and I don't feel any different.
-- Death Cab for Cutie,
"The New Year" (2003)
Reviews and assignments I'm working on this month.
Amazon DVDs: War & Peace [five-disc set] (the Beeb version with Sir Anthony Hopkins), Erik the Viking (with Tim Robbins), With a Song in My Heart: The Jane Froman Story (with the in-
comparable Susan Hayward), Canvas (with Marcia Gay Harden and Joe Pantoliano), Desires of a Housewife (with Sharon Stone and Timothy Hutton), Eagle vs Shark, Kurt Cobain: About a Son (for my SIFF review of the latter, click here), and To Kill a King.
Amazon Theatricals: Teeth (psycho-sexual horror), The Counterfeiters (based on the book by Adolf Burger), Grace
Is Gone (domestic drama with John Cusack), and U2 3D.
Still playing: The Orphanage and Starting Out in the Evening.
Northwest Film Forum: Panel participant in "Filmmaker's
Saloon: Critics Critiqued," a panel discussion and socializing
event for the local film community (Tues., 2/19, at 8pm).
The media have been full of stor-
ies questioning the relevance of print critics in an Internet era that has ushered in a new democratization of opinion.
The prospect of babbling blogmeisters being the new kingpins of cinema has left many critics in a sour mood. This quarter our film saloon will
round up a group of critics from print, television, radio, and of
course, the blogosphere to ask them whether they think their role
in entertainment is significant. We'll examine how criticism im-
pacts the viewer, the state of art, and the opinions of other critics,
and, if these critics are losing importance, what does one do about it?
Seatle Sound: Best of local film feature in the current issue.
Siffblog: Elliptic and Unbridled: The Early Films of
Béla Tarr [above right] and Deep End (Jerzy Skolimow-
ski; featuring music by Can and Cat Stevens). And in case
you missed it, here's a link to my 2007 top 30 film list.
Steadycam: Submitted my 2007 top 10 film list.
Endnote: "The New Year" comes from 2003's Transatlanti-
cism. Béla Tarr images (1982's Prefab People and directorial
portrait) from the Northwest Film Forum. For more informa-
tion about their early Tarr retro (1/8-30), please click here.