Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I suppose I should take it as some sort of sign that I have finally arrived that I have been quoted in an egregiously misleading manner in promotional materials for a movie that I reviewed negatively, but I was still surprised to see the quote "A stunning achievement in local filmmaking" attributed to me on the website for My 9/11, a locally produced documentary by filmmaker Marko Sakren (who was also his own subject). What the site doesn't have is a link to the review (second item) I wrote back in February, in which I pretty much trashed the film. The quote, as you can sort of see from the confusing way the Weekly website reproduces the print layout, was actually the review's headline, a sarcastic sentiment written not by me, but by the editor.

So I am quoted saying something I didn't actually say, taken horribly out of context. What surprises me is less that this has finally happened to me, and more that it happened with this particular film, whose director wrote me what I thought was a very gracious email after I rather tore his movie apart. He thanked me for the coverage, said he was sorry I was disappointed, and mentioned the next movie he was working on, hoping I might find it more to my liking. After being told by a well-heeled local producer to go fuck myself, I always sort of brace myself for a backlash when I write negatively about local film (which, sadly, is almost every time I cover it), so this was a pleasant surprise. And Sakren, whatever his filmmaking deficiencies, came across as such a compassionate guy in his movie that I find it hard to believe he would do something deceitful like this.

But I suppose any chance to create a positive impression is worthwhile, and promoting the movie is more important than respecting some critic he's never met who said his movie sucked. Personally, I prefer the ironic honesty approach, taken by another group of local filmmakers. I wrote that watching PCP Films' One Step Behind was "100 of the most painful minutes of my life" (which was only a slight exaggeration). They've still got that quote up on their MySpace page.

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