For myself, and for many fellow ink-stained wretches who cover, with joy, the world of film, September is the cruelest, craziest month. There's the Toronto International Film Festival and then -- less than a week after that meghilla of too many awesome movies and too many awesome Canadians is over -- there's Austin's Fantastic Fest, famously called "a film festival with the boring parts left out," replete with beheadings and behandings and bemusements. Plus, it's the informal start of Oscar season, which warms movieland up pretty fiercely even if you don't care about who exactly the Academy extends, with shaking hands, its awards to. And the biggest funny thing I can imagine is that I'm in the middle of all that and, of course, thinking of the one person, and one film, that combines the arty aspirations of the Oscar race, the Canadian-ness of Tiff's programming and the scares and shrieks of Fantastic Fest, and that's 2004's remake of 'Dawn of the Dead.'
It's a little sad when you're let down by a film -- anyone who loves movies can certainly laugh at a bad film with the best of them -- but I think the real secret key to the movie lover's club's most secret hallows would be how you want every movie to be good. Or even amazing.
Take, for example, this week's 'Lawless,' a Prohibition-era drama about the Bondurant boys, backwoods bootleggers who refused to play along with a more hypocritical and corrupt form of the previous hypocritical corruption that had been earning them a fortune up to now.
When actors step up to the roles that make them big-time, it falls to long-term fans to inform all those come-lately types that, yes, long before they had mega-million paydays and films with even bigger budgets, the stars you love seeing splashed across the screen 60-feet high in your multiplex were in -- and good in -- great films before that.
The release of 'Jaws' to Blu-ray already had me thinking about the past, and then news came that Bob Hoskins had announced both the sad fact of his Parkinson's Disease and his retirement. This is a private tragedy to those who knew him, of course, but certainly, even in a minor key, a moment of note for anyone who loved good film acting.
I'm lucky. I'm lucky I get to write this, and I'm lucky you chose to read it. You like movies, and these have been a rough couple days for anyone who likes movies, because it's been a rough couple days for everyone. Last week, I filed a column about how 'The Dark Knight Rises,' with its big action and urban politics, wouldn't make a bad double bill with 'The Battle of Algiers.' And waking up Friday to the news, I didn't much care about that article or any article about Batman. I doubt you did either.