Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New York City; Coen brothers film premiere SHADOW BOX FILM FESTIVAL Day One (12/05/2013)

By Laura P. Valtorta

On Wednesday in Harbison, SC I ate fish and chips at the Bulldog Café with Bonnie, Ginny, and Sarah as a last-meal type of thing. My flight to Newark went smoothly, Instead of dying, I ended up in New York City.

Sixth Avenue is weird. It took me 50 minutes to walk from the 700 block to the 1300 block to see a premiere (invitation, only) of the Coen brothers film – Inside Llewellyn Davis. The crowds were thick and multilingual, but I barged my way through. I missed Milanese Marco who knows how to part a crowd.

Upon arriving at 1350 Avenue of the Americas (a tall glass building), I could not find the Dolby 88 theater. The people in the bank were snooty. They did not know. I explored the side streets. Two women carrying a printout reminded me of movie-goers. I followed them into the bowels of the bank. A guard motioned me in, past some electronic barriers.

Two young men – hipster types with those black glasses and skinny pants -- found my name on a list and I was “in.”

The seats were plush and reclining. The room was about 120 degrees too hot. I barged into the center of the seats and plopped myself next to a bored New York couple (jeans, long hair, air of chic superiority) on one side and an older white British woman sharing M&Ms with a black British guy on my left. Neither side was up for conversation (with me, anyway) so I shut up.

We were all sweltering. An older New York man stood up behind me and bellowed – “Hey, turn on the air conditioning! We’re burning up in here!”

“Thank you!” I said to him. That’s what I like about New York. People are NOT afraid to speak up.

Six out of ten for the Coen brothers. The movie bumps along because you feel for the musician and want him to succeed. It’s frustrating because he does not. Why cast a guy who is not Italian and call him half Italian? It doesn’t work. We can see through all that. We can look at his body, and we can interpret the names of the cast.

I wanted Llewellyn to learn something. I wanted him to sign the correct contract and earn royalties. I wanted him to join the merchant marines. He did not.

As usual, Justin Timberlake saved the day with his acting and his hilarious song, “Mr. Kennedy, don’t send me into space.”
Now, off to the Shadow Box Film Festival.


Anonymous said...

I heard a NPR interview the Coen brothers did about the movie. You and the brothers make it out to be a good movie.

Laura Puccia Valtorta said...

It's terrible. Depressing and sad. It's as though the Coen brothers, reveling in their success, enjoy making fun of artists who struggle.