Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Flickers #10: BFI Asks About Cultural Impact of Film; and Top Sign That a Stinky Movie's On the Way

What's the cultural impact of film as an art form?

That's the question being posed by the British Film Institute, slated to launch a poll next week asking filmgoers to respond to the following: "If you had to choose one film to share with future generations, what would it be?"

The poll, part of the the 75th b'day celebration of BFI, which publishes Sight & Sound magazine, is being kick-started with the help of 75 actors, directors and producers, who are being asked for their choices.

A sampling:

Leslie Phillips - Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun
Terence Davies - Kind Hearts and Coronets
Cate Blanchett - Andrei Tarkovsky's The Stalker
Juliette Binoche - Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice

The debate is not restricted to British films.

For more, check out Stuart Kemp's story in The Hollywood Reporter.

When a movie isn't screened in advance for critics, or isn't made available until the night before opening, making it virtually impossible for a day-of review to appear in print, that can mean only one thing: Stinky Movie Ahead!

Three movies - Babylon A.D., College, and Disaster Movie (a self-fulfilling prophecy?) - fell into that category last weekend, as Rafer Guzman pointed out in Newsday.

Babylon A.D. landed the No. 2 position with a weekend gross of $9.5 million on 3,390 screens. Disaster Movie was seventh, with $5.7 million on 2,642 screens. And College brought in less than its budget, with $2.1 million on 2,123 screens. The first, third and fourth slots were held by Tropic Thunder, The Dark Knight and The House Bunny.

Other signs of a stinky movie in the offing: Multiple release delays; appearances by Paulie Shore or Carrot Top; L. Ron Hubbard source material (see, or rather DON'T see, awful John Travolta vehicle Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000).

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