Saturday, May 19, 2007
HIFF - FAY GRIM
I really liked Fay Grim. A lot. It is funny, interesting, exciting, different.
(It was shown as a surprise, unanounced, secret, backroom preview at the Hampton's International Film Festival (HIFF), and was the best thing I saw there this year.)
Parker Posey has done a lot of great work in both indie and commercial films, but for me this is the best and biggest thing she's done.
The film is quite quirky. It changes tone midway through the film, something I loved but some distributor-types seem to be concerned about. The director, Hal Hartley, has a "reputation". It does need some brilliant marketing to sell it. "Small" films that deserve a breakout release always do. There was a nice interview with Parker Posey in the NY Times (5/6/2007) , and the Times review by Stephen Holden on Friday (5/18/2007) was very well written, but 'twas lacking that extra spark of terrific enthusiasm the film needs (from some champion) to electrify its release.
Currently the film is showing only in select theaters; it was also simultaneously premiered on HDNet, and is scheduled for DVD release on May 22. (That's not quite "day and date"... but rather, sort of a new "day and date and week" theatrical/HDTV/DVD release schedule.)
The release pattern is part of the innovative strategy of Mark Cuban, and his new film/video projects. He was quite persuasive on Sunday Morning Shootout with Peter Bart and Peter Guber about his plans. Still, this film deserves even more (much more!) attention from the general public than it has gotten so far.
I challenge its distribution/marketing team to find a way to bring it the audience it deserves, and I urge those interested in something a little bit different to check out this movie in the theater, some repeat showing on HDNet, or on DVD.
Great film! Fun!