Cinejabber: The 2011 gems under your nose

Posted by · 11:40 am · October 22nd, 2011

Once again, welcome to Cinejabber, your weekend soapbox space to discuss whatever’s on your mind, cinematically speaking, at the moment. I can’t say there’s much on mine: I took in my 40th film of the London Film Festival this morning (in addition to the 30-odd titles in the LFF programme I’ve seen elsewhere), and the cumulative effect is rather hazy. Say, are there any good plays on at the moment?

As you’ve may have noticed, the festival routine has caused me to fall way behind on my reviewing duties, so expect more reports (and an interview or two) even after the fest draws its curtains on Thursday. Among other festival treats, I enjoyed Alexander Payne’s witty, wide-ranging Screen Talk last night (even if I’m not that crazy about his latest — more on that another time), while tomorrow’s Surprise Film gets harder to pin down the closer I get to it. Possibilities vary in size and scale from “Hugo” to “Le Havre,” with “Tintin,” “My Week With Marilyn” and “Damsels in Distress” all seemingly in play; having just scored a ticket today, I’ll be happy with something I haven’t seen. (Selfish, I know.)   

As it stands, festival talk seems needlessly far-sighted when US moviegoers (okay, those in certain privileged areas) have access to two of the year’s very best films right now. Chances are you haven’t been hanging around our site very long if you aren’t yet aware of our feelings about “Martha Marcy May Marlene”: Sean Durkin’s superb art-horror debut bewitched me at Cannes in the spring (review here), and pleasingly, only got more slippery and ambiguous on a recent revisit. Kris, meanwhile, was no less impressed at Telluride. (Kris spoke to stars Elizabeth Olsen and John Hawkes earlier this week; my interview with Durkin will go up in the coming week.)

With the film having finally hit theaters yesterday, many of you can now share in (or perhaps question) our enthusiasm. I’m also curious to know how many of you have caught “Weekend,” a pitch-perfect British indie that’s been doing the rounds Stateside for a while now, but oddly, only made its home debut at the LFF last week. I plan eventually to write in more detail about Andrew Haigh’s wise, funny, exquisitely judged brief-encounter romance between two gay blokes in the East Midlands — perhaps my favorite discovery of the LFF so far — but feel free to start the conversation about it.

Or, indeed, about anything else. Over to you.

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