I know that I spend space on this blog writing about films I see at festivals, and many times these are films that won’t be released either ever, or many months in the future. But, that doesn’t change the fact that I still find myself in situations where I feel like most of the world gets to see a film I’m dying to witness myself. Right now, it’s Half Nelson. The film, which has received a hefty assortment of positive reviews and an impressive first weekend gross, premiered at Sundance this year. When I was there, a few friends associated with the film recommended it strongly. “You should try to see it,” said producers Jamie Patricof and Rosanne Korenberg. “It’s really a great film,” beamed the director’s agent, Craig Kestel. But, I was swamped, and I missed it.
During SXSW this year, Kestel mentioned that we should have had the film at our festival, but it was one of the annual Sundance-films-that-are-waiting-for-distribution-so-are-off-the-table titles. Plus, I never saw it. Janet Pierson saw it at New Directors/New Films in New York, and raved to me. More salt in the wounds. I’ve been to a couple of festivals where it was programmed, but did not happen to be in attendance on those days, by coincidence. So, Half Nelson has escaped me, for now. It won’t open in Austin for a few more weeks. So, until then, I have to sit and wait and hear reports of how great it is. So, yeah, just because I’ve seen Borat and Babel and Pan’s Labyrinth, doesn’t mean there aren’t movies in theaters that I’m forced to wait for. In a sense, though, that longing is healthy. Programmers are sometimes spoiled by access to films, it’s a good exercise for us to wait in line just like everyone else.