This morning most of my Miami International Film Festival coverage will be found on the “Miami New Times” blog “Cultist.” As I noted yesterday, Day 5 at MIFF was an assignment to check out the Oscar-nominated No at the Olympia Theater. I expected to be impressed, but not as impressed as I wound up. This film clearly stands as one of the great cinematic moments of 2012, now finally premiering in Miami in 2013. The key to the film’s brilliance lies in the inspired choice of cinematography meant to blend with television video of the late-1980s period it covers. The smaller academy 4:3 ratio also makes for an appropriate experience, though a little bizarre for the giant Olympia, which, for the first time there at this year’s festival, I noticed the venue packed up to the nosebleed section.
My response to No has appeared in the “Miami New Times” this morning. So, as not to carry on and steal the thunder of the piece, jump over by clicking through the “Cultist” logo below to see why I think it’s so brilliant:
Earlier this very morning, my interview with actor Brady Corbet also appeared in the same blog. He is at MIFF not for his new film Simon Killer (for reasons I have yet to pry from MIFF’s leaders’ lips, but I shall!), but to introduce Robert Bresson’s masterpiece Au Hasard Balthazar… on 35mm. I was eager to speak to this kid, who is close to half my age, about his noble effort to not only keep classics like this film in the consciousness of filmgoers but also champion the 35mm format. You can read that article by clicking on the titular donkey in the still image below:
Half of our conversation was on the merits of 35mm alone, including what role the format plays as far as creativity as well as the picture quality. You can expect that Q&A to appear shortly, if not on “Cultist,” then in this blog.
As for tonight’s screening, it will be a major one: Dark Blood, otherwise known as the lost River Phoenix film (buy tickets). Director George Sluizer never finished the film in 1993 due to Phoenix’s death more than halfway through filming. However, the work continued to haunt the director, and he only recently put together a film from what he had filmed after many trials and tribulations, including stealing the master prints from a film lab before they were slated for destruction. The respected “Village Voice” critic Scott Foundas eschews the romanticism about the film’s world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival last month, calling it a “lemon,” so I’m keeping my expectations low.