Previously on the Symposium: Nathaniel was talking about Tarantino's mastery of 'The Moment' and how it excuses his messy indulgences elsewhere. As a filmmaker he's a perfect match for our DVD chapter-menu culture
Guy Lodge: I think it's a spot-on point, and I'm both intrigued and troubled by the idea of Basterds being a success story of latter-day audience inclination to edit their own movies. My problem is that, while I'm as capable as anyone else of filleting out treasurable moments -- -- "Attendez la crème!" -- from the sheer morass of stuff in the film, my brain can't blithely discard the missteps as you imply others can. For much sorrier reasons, the wincingly awful appearance of Eli Roth burns as brightly in my memory as that exquisitely extended opening sequence, so much so that one can't eclipse the other.
But I think you've latched onto a selectivity that has boosted the fortunes of a number of contenders this year besides Basterds: everyone has cut out and stuck the 'Married Life' sequence of Up into their cinematic scrapbooks, but who really wants the rest? Precious, whatever your take on it, is made for mental re-editing -- Joe Klotz's baffling nomination notwithstanding.
Tim Robey: What we're basically saying here is that a lot of these movies are screener-friendly. They can be browsed. And I have to say this faintly depresses me as an old-fashioned, packed-audience-on-opening-night, communal experience sort of guy. This is where I think the 3D selling point of Avatar is quite a canny ruse -- a trick to get people going back out to the movies rather than waiting for the inevitably diminished experience on their home TV -- and it's a ruse for which I have some respect. Did Cameron send out screeners for Avatar? Did he need to? To lesser extents, Up and District 9 (and to be fair, even The Blind Side) are films that audiences discovered together in their first few weeks of release, whether in a mall in Kentucky or the Odeon Leicester Square (where The Blind Side has yet to be unveiled, actually -- Sandy or no Sandy, UK distributors are understandably never in much of a hurry to release anything to do with American football. We get confused! Don't ask me what a Tight End is.)
Read the rest at Day Three of the Symposium
In which we discuss "the Ten", The Hurt Locker, Where the Wild Things Are, the scores, missing foreign films, screeners vs theatrical and wrap up this three-day party with Meryl Streep vs. Sandra Bullock and Nathaniel's favorite movie game "Re-Casting Couch"
Return and comment. It keeps the conversation going!