Editor's Note: Most moviegoers don't get to attend many film festivals, but festivals are important nonetheless. What happens at a festival can influence how, when, and even whether a film will get out to audiences.
Two of our regular critics are at the Virginia Film Festival this weekend, and will be sending us daily updates, capsule reviews, and reflections on what they see. (We also covered the Toronto International Film Festival this year, and you can read those reflections too, beginning with Day 1.)
Running from Crazy (directed by Barbara Kopple)
Computer Chess (directed by Andrew Bujalski)
The two critical movie reviewer clichés that bug me the most might be these: "I can't wait to see it again!" and "Were we even watching the same film?" Usually these are more about critics speaking to other critics than the films themselves. Critics can forget they should be talking primarily to readers.
But like most clichés, they persist in part because they communicate something complex very simply. "I can't wait to see it again" can convey a hunch that our perceptions change and that context matters.
I first saw Barbara Kopple's Running From Crazy at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in April, and I've been waiting anxiously to see it again. In April it was my favorite film of the year, but even critics are not immune to favoring that which they have seen most recently. When other critics didn't rate it as highly—the film has been getting mixed reviews—I was tempted to moderate my praise somewhat until I saw it again.
So I tried to check my expectations at the door, look at it fresh, and . . . it really is that good.
Directed by ...1
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