The 50th New York Film Festival is bookmarked by two films in which disasters lead to personal awakenings. The opening movie on September 28 is Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI, a 3D adventure tale about an Indian boy’s antics with various wildlife after a shipwreck sets them adrift on the ocean. The closing night attraction is Robert Zemeckis’ FLIGHT, about a pilot, played by Denzel Washington, who saves a plane — if not necessarily his life — from crashing.
I’m not versus LOLA VERSUS. I basically found it engaging. But even a freewheeling labor of love like this can have an occasional run in its pantyhose.
In addressing the comedy—about a woman about to turn 30 who gets dumped by her fiancé and requires a complete lifestyle revamp–I’ll start with the negatives, just to get them out of the way.
We adore independent films here—duh—but surely there are ways to guarantee that they don’t fall into various traps that could make them become the very kind of clichéd fare they’re supposed to be a reaction against.
Before that even has a chance of happening, here are my ultra sane suggestions for keeping the indie spirit alive rather than letting it become as hackneyed as some of the see-it-coming-a-mile-away stuff Hollywood spits out on a regular basis.
Is there anything more pathetic than a middle-aged man who lists among his most winning attributes a record deal his college band almost had, the ability to make a killer mix CD and wearying psuedo-wit and cynicism about the modern world? A cynicism so far-reatching, I might add, that almost nothing escapes its scope, not even the ailing family dog and definitely nothing post-1979 which includes all music, all technologies and all people who came into being after this year. The aforementioned ‘almost nothing’ means GREENBERG, of course, the only person to escape his critical eye.