Can We Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time?

I realize the baton has been in my possession for a few weeks now, and I apologize for not posting something sooner. My alternate life as head of a DVD distribution company has been keeping me extremely busy.

Those who know me best know that my tastes in film tend to run towards the downbeat - dysfunctional relationships a specialty. (Hmm....wonder why that is?) On top of that, my DVD collection skews heavily towards the foreign, which raises an interesting question: Would a live-tweet of a non-English language film be possible? Enjoyable? Or would it simply become sensory overload?

Then of course there's the issue about finding a title that enough people are familiar with. For example, I'd love to live-tweet Chinese Roulette, but how many know the film well enough?

I'll wait to hear some responses on the foreign film question, and in the interim think of some titles that are in American.
Posted on 8/12/2009 11:24:00 AM by Andrew Grant and filed under | 11 Comments »


Simon Abrams said... @ August 12, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Haven't seen it or (wait for it) any other Fassbinder. So why not?

Anonymous said... @ August 12, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I'm Fassbinderless as well, Simon. But you have the excuse of youth. I can't imagine being able to tweet while reading subtitles... but I'm up for the challenge. I'd want to pre-watch a Fassbinder, though.

mattprigge said... @ August 12, 2009 at 12:11 PM

I would be up for this. It's not a Fassbinder I'm intimately familiar with -- saw it once, years ago -- and think it would be interesting to see the response to something so few have seen or even own.

John Lichman said... @ August 12, 2009 at 12:11 PM


Andrew Grant said... @ August 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM

But I don't want to pick a title that's going to alienate many. Plus, that's one of his most difficult (well, at least disturbing) titles.

Maybe the subtitle idea is a bust after all.

SHORT CUTS was on my short list, but, you know...3 hours might be a tad much.


Patrick said... @ August 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM

In the early days of this LT business, I did 400 Blows, which of course, is a much more universal picture. It was more or less a solo venture, so it was leisurely done, and not too overwhelming. So, a foreign film could be done alone or with a smaller crowd. Also, if it was a major foreign release (for example AMELIE), I think it could also be done.

I think there could be more solo ventures as well. I thought the idea was just to promote and go. The grouptweet is just more social if that's what you want.

If you feel strongly about CHINESE ROULETTE, go for it. I'd love to watch something via livetweet for the first time, but of course, couldn't participate. Which is why archiving these is so important, like a series of fan commentaries that can be accessed at a later date. I also wonder how many copies of CHINESE ROULETTE could be gotten in a short period of time.

Phil said... @ August 12, 2009 at 1:41 PM

If you do CHINESE ROULETTE perhaps it could convince me that it isn't as intolerably dull and one note as I found it to be.

So go for it.

Alejandro Adams said... @ August 12, 2009 at 1:53 PM

My only concern is accessibility--and I mean that in the other sense: if we Netflix an obscure title simultaneously, we'll exhaust their supply and someone will be left staring at a "long wait" warning. All other factors/concerns are irrelevant to me personally because I see each of these events as an experiment. So why not a difficult, subtitled film which hardly anyone has seen?

Tom Russell said... @ August 12, 2009 at 2:51 PM

CHINESE ROULETTE is actually the one Fassbinder film that I'll never watch again. That movie *DID* things to me, man.

But I'll certainly follow the live-tweet with interest if that's the one you pick and I certainly am not trying to dissuade you. Go for it!

mattprigge said... @ August 12, 2009 at 7:42 PM

All this said, I think it would be fun to do a film that only a small group of people are into/have access to. It doesn't have to be a big free-for-all every time, does it? I like doing Jaws, ESOTSM and all, but I think an LT around, say, Nick Ray's Party Girl shouldn't be deemed undoable just because it's only available stateside via expensive Warner Archives burns. If you, Andrew, want to do Chinese Roulette, I for one would join you. Anna Karina speaking German! (I think. Been awhile.)

Also, I think we need to broach the subtitle issue and see if it's really the issue we think it is. Maybe it isn't.

Tassoula said... @ August 14, 2009 at 8:47 PM

I'm open to anything (even foreign titles I haven't seen like the one being proposed), but the point about Netflix accessibility is a good one.

If you're going to choose something rare or obscure, just give us plenty of notice so we have time to track down a copy.

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