Thursday, March 21, 2013

This Week In Tickets: 11 March 2013 - 17 March 2013

Chlotrudis Awards stuff dominating my movie-watching time, for good and ill.

This Week in Tickets

Stubless: The three movies I saw to vote on Chlotrudis's Buried Treasure Award (Beauty Is Embarrassing on Monday, Alps on Tuesday, Sound of Noise on Thursday, all in my living room); and Ginger & Rosa (Sunday at 10am in Coolidge Corner #2).

I think this may be the first year of voting in the Chlotrudis Awards when I've actually seen enough of the movies in the Buried Treasure category to actually vote in the category. I still missed Breathing, but five out of six movies that are, by their nature, difficult to see is not bad, especially when you're the only movie lover in North America without Netflix.

I didn't have quite the busy weekend I initially intended. The two King Hu pictures on Friday night were a start, but were also a lot at the end of the work week. Saturday wound up being a bit of a spring cleaning day, and I didn't feel like I'd make the end of A Touch of Zen, let alone The ABCs of Death - especially with a 10am screening of Ginger & Rosa, which wound up being pretty good, on Sunday morning. After that I went for The Call, trying two theaters before I could get MoviePass to work, and then just barely had time to grab some groceries and a much-needed shower before it was time for "the Trudies".

As usual, it was an amusing enough evening, eventually serving as a wake for the Boston Phoenix, which abruptly ceased publication a few days earlier. It's long been a friend to the organization and film in general, and it's tough to imagine the Dig completely filling the void it leaves.

A lot of the people presenting the awards were from the Phoenix, or other local organizations, and maybe it was because that paper closing means that its critics are, temporarily, just enthusiasts like us, but the thing about the Chlotrudis Awards presentation that has struck me as weird ever since I started attending really stood out: Why don't we, as members, give out our own awards? On one level, it doesn't really matter - folks are only rarely there to pick them up - but as much as it's cool to have guests there validating us as being worthy of the critics' and programmers' and officials' respect, the usual set-up where Chlotrudis members stand on stage, introduce someone else, who reads off the nominees and announces the winner kind of feels like we're stepping aside or making sure that someone with authority speaks for us. I think it would actually be much cooler if the members were standing side-by-side with the guests, rather than ceding the stage.

The awards themselves were a pretty reasonable lot. For a small group like this, just getting seen give a movie a lg up, especially since that lets people discuss it on various forums and boost visibility. So I wasn't surprised that The Perks of Being a Wallflower wound up getting a lot of awards; it got a push. And I can't complain about stuff getting a push, as the movie I nominated for Buried Treasure, A Simple Life wound up winning, despite only one or two of us having seen it before the nominating meeting in January. It gave me a weirdly personal stake in the evening's festivities, which I'm sure the folks who nominated the other films up for consideration must have shared. When that got announced as the last and biggest prize of the night, well, what could I thing but "Suck it, losers!"

I kid, especially since a lot of people at the after-party seemed to be implying that they voted strategically - apparently they saw this having momentum and, having liked it pretty well, voted for it perhaps over their first choice; based upon the number of people who did that, it seemed like Sound of Noise could easily have won. That's why you vote your conscience, folks.

The reception afterward was OK, although I found myself having to leave to get some lobby air after a while - aside from the usual difficulties in being able to hear in a crowded room, it was one of those evenings where something just seemed to assault my sense of smell. In this case, it was cucumbers - normally inoffensive enough, but had me recoiling in full get that away! mode.

It was cool to actually hear people talking about reading and looking forward to what I wrote, though. As much as I write in part because it's the best way for me to organize my thoughts on something, I do like knowing people read it, and looking at the page views on this and eFilmCritic often has me wonder how many are people actually reading and how many are spiders or other robots doing little but cataloging the web. A couple of folks mentioned (one or two actually enthusiastically) reading my reviews and, no joke, that felt really great.

Dragon Inn
All the King's Men
The Call
Chlotrudis Awards

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