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November 12, 2007

Comments

Joe Wong

I'm sorry, but I don't believe film festival organizers should have their own blogs to tirelessly "flog" their festival, their festival films, and their "fav" filmmakers. Worse still, sites like indiewire should not host these blogs. Why aren't other blogs by festival directors hosted by indiewire?
The truth is Matt Dentler's relentless "hype" of mumblecore, esp. Joe Swamberg is now creating this backlash as more people realize "the emperor has no clothes."
What will be interesting is to find out how Dentler and his staff program the next SXSW festival...too much Swanberg and the backlash will get worse...

tom

I don't normally comment, but
I'm not sure why a festival programmer should be restricted from talking about the films they love/program. I don't think anyone would have looked at this set of films 5 years ago and pegged them as a slick marketing move for sxsw. rather, I think SXSW programmed what they liked, helped nurture careers and that environment has paid off for them. I was recently meeting with a programmer from a competing festival who told me - "We'd like to have our own group of filmmakers... I don't want to say like Mumblecore exactly, but something like that...." Which festival would you rather screen at - the one programming and supporting filmmakers they like, or the one trying to catch up on a trend?

What has been most troubling for me in reading the comments posted on various sites over the past few weeks is the striking out against the camaraderie of "mumblecore filmmakers" & SXSW. As a struggling filmmaker myself, I think independent film needs more of this - it's our strength. So you may not like every mumblecore film - can you at least appreciate young people striking out on their own and making films within their means about things that are important to THEM? I think that's pretty great - and the support they show each other is a rare and important thing in a landscape where so many "independent" filmmakers are clawing over each other to get some slot in LA. Admittedly, I haven't seen many of these films so far, aside from Funny Ha Ha. But I'm excited about what they're doing and the way they are going about it feels honest to me. And yes, we've heard a lot about them this year - but which one of us would not take the opportunity to make a name for ourselves and to build toward a long-term career if the moment arose? In the interviews I've read and the very few e-mail I've exchanged with Joe Swamberg, he's been humble and generous. Now folks (that I respect) are saying his films should cover x topics, look more like z, and should include more y and less w. What is independent about that?

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