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That Moment I Love and That Moment I Hate

That Moment I Love and That Moment I Hate

We’re so deep into watching submissions for SXSW 2008, I sometimes don’t know which way is up. We’re seeing some good, some very good, and some not-so-good. We’re starting to have programming meetings on the weekends, discussing and reviewing some of the films that have worked their way up the ladder of consideration. It’s hard to say just how many films we’re watching a week, but it’s a lot. No time for I Am Legend. But, this is why we do it all, and it’s really exciting. Over the next six weeks, the program of SXSW 2008 will take shape and be decided. Everything can change, and you never know what amazing discovery awaits around each corner. It’s a moment of the process that I love.

But what also happens this time of year is lots of disappointment. And I’m not even talking about the submissions that exhibit really poor filmmaking. I’m talking about those films which start off full of strength and potential, and then somehow totally lose their way. And lose their way in a manner that can never be fixed or mended with post-production. I’m talking about a horrible lead performance, or a story twist that was ill-advised. Hell, even deciding to do something like turn the film into an action flick when there isn’t the skill or experience to handle it. It’s that moment, which breaks my heart. I always say, and it’s true, the films that pain me the most are not the really bad ones but the ones that were so close to being good and missed the mark.

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