Today’s question will sum up my feelings for today’s entry. The question comes from several people: “Zeb, I enjoyed the film thirteen but you said you didn’t. What gives?” Well for starters I spell it Thirteen with a capital “T” it’s like k.d. lang is K.D. Lang, I refuse to spell it with lower case letters. I didn’t hate Thirteen before I actually saw it, the trailers and the reviews made it seem worthwhile to go to. I was wrong. The movie was slow, predictable, and tried to be shocking but failed. The only redeeming quality of the film was Holly Hunter’s performance. It was an independent film which is good but I read that the film was written in six days and co-written by a thirteen year old. That is your first clue that this movie would go to hell. I have written screenplays and have worked on both professional and guerilla film crews and anyone can tell you that a script needs more than six days in order for it to be good. Need more proof? How about the Robert Rodriquez vanity project Once Upon a Time in Mexico? The movie was confusing and there wasn’t really a plot, all thanks to a script that was written over the weekend. Thirteen had so much potential but was wasted for cardboard acting (with the exception of Holly Hunter) and a storyline that read like an after school special written by pedophiles.
Which brings me to the film for today, The Company. A new film about the world of ballet directed by Robert Altman (Altman and ballet?!). It’s playing at the Landmark Hillcrest here in San Diego and it is an independent film. For those of you who regularly visit this website you will know that I love independent films and loathe major Hollywood films. That is not always the case. Certain indie films don’t make the cut (like Thirteen) while every once in a while Hollywood produces a film that I fall in love with (Lord of the Rings trilogy). This film was give or take for me.
I love Robert Altman films. I can sing the songs from Nashville and was only a few of the students in a cinema class who understood Gosford Park. Altman is an original movie director and lives up to his maverick persona who brings realism and a different perspective to his films. I had the honor of meeting Robert Altman and was awestruck when I met him (he was also kind enough to give me an autograph picture). But yet there are certain Altman films that leave me scratching my head, films like Dr. T and the Women and Ready to Wear. This film may fall into the latter category.