Programming, discussion and racing to the Tree

Tree of Life (Terrence Malick) 2011 USA 138 min

Postcard from Berlin, by Andrew Grant

Cinephilic brothers-in-arms:

Much to chew on here. Will return to matters of cinephilia in a moment, but I wanted to address the issues of criticism that have been raised. While I agree that critics, particularly those that write for online-only outlets, are under pressure to turn in copy while the topic is still “fresh” it’s reached rather ridiculous levels of late, and one only need turn to Cannes coverage for proof, particularly the morning of 16 May, when Malick’s The Tree of Life was unspooled for critics. At 10:05am (CET) Fabrice Leclerc’s review appeared on the L’Express site, even though the film still had about another 30 minutes to go. No idea how that happened. Was he filing from the screening, or did he decide he’d seen enough around the ninety-minute mark? Continue reading

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It’s about time

OUT 1 (Jacques Rivette) 1971, France, 729 min

Postcard from Berlin, by Andrew Grant

Neil, Frances, Mike, Mathieu –

Greetings from Berlin.

A thought occurred to me while reading your letters – have I actually ever referred to myself in conversation as a cinephile? Though I’ve been called one on numerous occasions, and certainly align myself with the more-or-less agreed upon definition of the word in that I’m interested in (to quote Girish Shambu from his inaugural post on the site) “the discourse surrounding films”, it’s little more than a label used to distinguish ourselves from those who simply love and see films as often as we do. I mention that not to knock the word, or anyone who proudly considers him/herself one, but I think there’s no question that the democratizing nature of the Internet is, in some ways, responsible for resurrecting the label, and giving it a new significance. Continue reading