Was Disney's John Carter the victim of our increasing cultural overstimulation? IndieWire's Matt Singer considers the tentpole's reception — and suggests parallels with Kenneth Lonergan's troubled production-cum-critical darling, Margaret: "[As] perpetual sneak preview culture becomes normalized, audiences are being conditioned to weigh in on a movie before it even comes out. They're trained not only to trust their expectations, but to express them constantly. 'I knew this movie was going to be bad from the first trailer,' is a commonly expressed opinion online. At a certain point, it begins to feel like people want a movie to fail, if only to prove their expectations right." [IndieWire]
Good news for anyone who couldn't get enough of Kenneth Lonergan's flawed, fearless, possibly cursed epic Margaret: The forthcoming DVD will feature a 186-minute cut — 36 minutes longer than the version all but buried last year by Fox Searchlight before a cadre of critical supporters rallied on its behalf. The not-so-good news, if high-definition transfers of talky moral dramas are of particular importance to you: The 150-minute version will reportedly be the only one available on Blu-ray when it goes on sale July 10. But hey. We take what we can get in this world. [Amazon]
It only took about 20 years from conception to writing to development to shooting to the most notoriously protracted post-production saga in recent memory, but Kenneth Lonergan's embattled epic Margaret finally had the festival premiere it deserved Saturday night in Manhattan.
I found 2011 to be a great, overstuffed year in film, though the sweeping trend of nostalgia that peaked during this awards season left me a little cold. Hugo, War Horse, The Artist, The Adventures of Tintin, The Help, even the self-aware looking back of Midnight in Paris -- when it's been such a turbulent 12 months beyond the movies, the comfort of evoking the past, especially the cinephilic past, is understandable, particularly with attendance down once again. But the features I really loved tended to be more prickly, vital affairs, about tragedy and life messily, stubbornly going on in its aftermath -- ones that reminded us that film can not only be a great escape, but can also engage and reflect the outside world.