Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Criticwatch - Less than the average film journalist

Erik Childress sums up his astonishment at a single, incredible comment by Ben Lyons last week. First we get the quote:

"This year I saw 5 movies, a few were pretty decent.”

Then the astonishment:

This isn’t an ironic counter to Ben’s insistence that he sees over 300 movies and brushes up on them thanks to xBox Live updates to Scene It: Box Office Smash. Nor is it an opportunity to comment on what Lyons has actually seen in full through all the texting he’s been reported doing time and time again during screenings. No, this week’s quote comes from the online chat that the At the Movies duo conducted with inquiring minds last Monday. (Their show this weekend was the third rerun of 2009.) And it’s in reference to what Junior did at the Sundance Film Festival this year. FIVE MOVIES!!!???

For those uninitiated to the film festival experience, the average journalist probably sees at least 3-4 movies a day. And that’s a conservative estimate. Everyone has different assignments. Some are doing interviews. Some find time to slack off in the evening to take in an industry party. Many are finding time in-between screenings to crank out a blog entry or even an actual review of something. My personal etiquette prevents me from doing much writing at the actual festival as I’m not bound to plunk down every thought I’m having at every moment. I like to let movies sink in as I formulate what I might want to say in a review and then write it at a later date so I can give the filmmaker as best a write-up as I can possibly deliver. I’m also doing live reports from the fest for back home with WGN Radio, so my goal is to manage my schedule to see as many movies as humanly possible. This usually means 5-6 movies a day for me – anywhere from 8:30 AM through sometimes after midnight. Then repeat the next day. This year I saw 26 movies in 6 days – and that includes the opening Thursday when they only show a single film. So that’s 25 movies from Friday-Tuesday. Ben Lyons saw 5.

Read the rest of the Criticwatch Ben Lyons Quote of the Week here.


Anonymous said...

Un. Be. Fucking. Liva. Ble.

5 MOVIES?! Paris Hilton probably saw more when she was at the festival!

Anonymous said...

Whoa- 5 movies?! Granted, he was there to interview celebrities for E! and not in the role of a film critic, like Eric was- but 5 movies?!

E! should do themselves a big favor and can this idiot. There are a million people in America who can do exactly what he does or better and are handsomer than he is. They aren't getting anything for the 6 figure salary they are paying him.

He can go back to clerking at Tower Records, which is what he used to do. That's the perfect place for someone like him.