Thursday, May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022
73° F Dallas, TX

RE: AFI Dallas

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afi_fb.gifIt’s not nice of AFI to schedule gala events on nights when I’m teaching Moby-Dick — “‘The whale! The ship!’ cried the cringing oarsmen” — but what do you do?

So a few grumpy and belated thoughts on Helen Hunt’s movie, Then She Found Me, which I saw on a screener DVD. In the first place, the camera is unkind to Hunt, as she must have known since she directed the film. Watching the film, you have to put aside the fact that Matthew Broderick plays her husband but looks like her baby brother. And why that awkward and oddly forgettable title – the kind you have to look up every time? The film is about Hunt’s character being found by her birth mother just after her husband leaves her and her adoptive mother dies, but it’s really about wanting a baby – and the ending crashes clumsily around that desire, somehow too obscurely and too obviously at once. Still, I’m like you, Eric: I tear up on cue. Means nothing.

Anybody looking for something good to see tonight might join the Rush Line (sold out, but if you get there an hour early, you might claw your way to a ticket) for The Visitor, which has a lot of critical buzz going for it.

James Faust, programming director for AFI, is big on Tracing Cowboys, which shows tomorrow afternoon at the Angelika and then again on Monday and Tuesday. There’s a thumbs-up review of Priceless, screening tomorrow night, in today’s New York Times. I’d recommend any Shorts Program you can. These come in 90-minute packets or thereabouts, and the screeners I’ve seen – anywhere from four minutes to about 20 – are more memorable than many full-length films. Sarah Harris, who picked the shorts from over 500 entries, can’t get over a nine-minute Australian one called “Spider” in Shorts Program I.

Of the World Cinema features I’ve seen, the Canadian Summerhood has a couple of screenings this weekend. I’d give it an upper-level so-so. Spindly 9-year-old at summer camp trying to negotiate romance, that kind of thing.