Guest blogger Matt Griffin gets ready for “Mavericks and Outsiders” series
Over the next week, I will be posting here at the filmlinc blog while following the Mavericks and Outsiders: Positif Celebrates American Cinema series at the Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess: the detail that first drew me to the Positif series was the chance to see The Honeymoon Killers again, which I saw the first week I moved to the New York area nine years ago. I showed up expecting an outlandish, unintentionally-ironic cusp-of-seventies exploitation film so was in no way prepared for such starkly, painfully human performances — they crept up on me and into me. For a sample of how this film was (mis)marketed as b-movie/exploitation fare check out its trailer here — I want you as unprepared for this solid underground touchstone as I was.
Positif editor Michel Ciment has programmed a lineup of films in the spirit of his publication’s commitment to championing voices too fiercely-individual for a priori critical theories of film (ahem, early Cahiers): these are films hard as hell to catch outside an archive (only a few obtainable as cut-for-R-rating DVDs at all much less as unexpurgated film prints — you won’t be catching up on these on Netflix anytime soon); and films I expect to challenge me and knock my socks off a little — like The Honeymoon Killers did to me to kickstart my film house habit.
I’ll tease you with what I turn up as I catch up on Positif and find out more about films in the series. I’ll report back on screenings and onstage discussions as I attend. And don’t worry: you’ll be hearing from more than just me. I’ve buttonholed filmmakers and festival colleagues into watching this series with me, and the snatches I grab from the arguments/conversations will provide the filmlinc blog with more spirited material than I can generate on my own (and this only if the powerhouse in-person q&a’s ever quiet down).
As with many unrepentant filmmaker/cinephiles waking up this January to the reality of a post-Kim’s-Video-rental New York, I’m back to stalking the wild “true cinema” beast in its natural habitat. I should be mentioned, and I’m sure the Film Society will remind you, that the Series Pass ($40 for public/$30 Film Society Member) makes Mavericks and Outsiders a hell of hot stack of tickets this week, cheaper than rentals plus late fees for import DVDs and fuzzy greymarket VHS copies of these edgy films from the now Sicily-bound Kim’s Video “poorman’s film schoool.”