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Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading

I saw the new Coens’ film yesterday, and my reaction was very similar to my colleague Eugene’s. He put it quite aptly on his blog, so I won’t go too far here… but essentially… as I believe is implied in the film’s title, the film isn’t meant to mean anything. Its a total farce, playing on the notion that people tend to read too much into subtexts and undertones, etc, etc. No plot really follows the direction were led to believe and in the end, you’re left with a film that feels as empty as the characters in it. But not necessarily in a bad way. Its highly entertaining, and the cast is fantastic (Tilda!)… And, really, considering that idea – that nothing means anything – while watching makes for a really engaging experience.

My actual viewing of the film was interesting as well. It was not part of the festival – Focus did four screenings themselves. It was in the basement of the Hazelton Hotel in a really swank screening room. The seats were lines of very comfortable couches with arm rests you can pull out of the back of the chair and place beside you. This dude that was beside me pulled out his arm rest and turned to me: “I wouldn’t be needing this if my girlfriend was here.” I ignored him, unsure if he was oddly affirming his masculinity or just being a weirdo. Then he asked me if I had any snacks. Then he yelled “Shit!” really loud when he realized he wasnt getting cellphone service, asking me to hold his bag while he went upstairs to make a text. When he got back, he started to do something he did CONSTANTLY throughout the screening – taking out both eye drops and a nasal inhaler and using them as loudly and obviously as possible. When the film finally started, he yelled out “Where’s the Scotch??” to many an annoyed stare from journalists.

Anyway, I also went to the film’s press conference this morning. Besides the enjoyment I got from staring at Tilda for an hour, I also got a very brief video of Mr. Pitt making a joke as the conference began:

More on the conference later in the week…

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