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Natters Notes: Talk Cinema, Bloody Valentine, and Gaiman

Posted at 12:41 PM on January 27, 2009 by Euan Kerr

It turned out to be a busy three days over the weekend so here are a few notes to catch up:

Talk Cinema: thanks to everyone who turned up at the Talk Cinema event on Saturday in Edina. We had a really fascinating conversation about "Wendy and Lucy" the new Kelly Reichardt film starring Michelle Williams. It's film with a simple plot line about a woman losing her dog, but it's beautifully shot and loaded with emotion. As I expected, about half the audience loved it, and about half hated it. It is so rare though to actually sit with a group and hash out the good the bad and the ugly of a film with a whole bunch of people. By the end of our discussion, which went close to an hour, some audience members said the discussion had changed their minds.

My Bloody Valentine: later in the day I took in "My Bloody Valentine 3D," which is pretty much the diametric opposite of "Wendy and Lucy." Seeing a horror movie in 3-D really puts new meaning to the term 'eye-popping." Of course the real entertainment is the reaction of the people around you. At one point in the film a tracking shot provided a glimpse of the murderous miner who is stalking a pair of unsuspecting victims in a darkened supermarket. A young lady near the front blurted a single epithet into the silent theater and released a torrent of laughter. It's not for the squeamish, and it's not great art, but it was an adrenaline ride for a cold winter weekend.

Gaiman: tracking down Neil Gaiman to interview him about winning the Newbery Medal for "The Graveyard Book" was a fun task. It turns out he carries multiple cell phones and as soon as word got out about the award all of them started ringing, and kept ringing for hours. He was in Los Angeles for the pre-release screenings of "Coraline," and to finish a script for a Batman comic book. he had been expecting a day off, but instead found himself heading to the airport to fly to New York to do "The Today Show." The film rights for "The Graveyard Book" were sold before the novel was published. He said the film will be a live action adaptation unlike "Coraline" which is both animated and in 3-D. That poses an interesting challenge because the book is written in eight chapters, each set two years apart. Thus the hero, a young boy who is adopted by the supernatural inhabitants of an old cemetery, goes from age 2 to 16 during the story. Perhaps in the age of Benjamin Button this is not a big challenge, but certainly it's an interesting one.

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