Friday, October 08, 2010

CIFF Reviews: Sex Magic: Manifesting Maya; also, Sasha

Jonathan Schell and Eric Liebman's frisky, earnest, hilarious, eye-rolling, and eye-opening documentary Sex Magic: Manifesting Maya only plays the 46th Chicago International Film Festival tonight and tomorrow, and I think it deserves a strong audience, though no one under 18 will be admitted. Given my imagined readership for this blog, I doubt this poses a problem to any of you. My full review is here. I was less taken with the German-Montenegrin coming-out drama Sasha, but as I say in my review of that one, the clearly extant audience for pathos-inflected, light-comic gay movies will very likely enjoy it. I wanted more formal and storytelling ambition and fewer narrative strands tied up so neatly, but many moviegoers have exactly the opposite tastes. Chacun à son CIFF. Sasha's two play dates are Saturday and Sunday.

Meanwhile, if you aren't following my Twitter page, I just want to underscore how much I loved the French, girl-centered, coming-of-age drama Love Like Poison, which made use of that haunting Belgian-choir cover of "Creep" before the Social Network trailer did, and which also got a strong, early notice from Bill Stamets in the Chicago Sun-Times. Tickets to that one should be no problem to buy, unlike the situation with the delectable Certified Copy and the mystifying but must-see Uncle Boonmee, which are already sold out on all dates. Among the less high-profile movies, it's definitely my pick of the festival so far.

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Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

"One is at risk of feeling heartbroken that a woman capable of this million-dollar jewel of lucid reverse-discourse—"People are always blaming people for wanting their cake and eating it, too. Who the fuck would want a cake if you're not going to eat it?"—is otherwise sunk in a sludgy verbal pool about "manifesting" and "stepping into The More.""

HA. I love that so much. If I lived in Chicago, I would read this blog's movie suggestions like a bible. I want to see this.

2:15 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

Thanks, N! I'm always worried that out-of-towners, even my closest movie-buddies, won't be interested in reviews of films that may or may not ever be available in their local markets. I know you and I share a belief that festivals shouldn't only or even primarily be about the movies you know you can see later. I'm so glad you're reading all these reviews, though. I'm so happy for this compliment.

2:18 PM, October 08, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Nick, Yours is by far the most in-depth review of this film I've found in over two hours of googling/reading. You certainly offer a more balanced view than most, who either love or laugh at BD and pals. And better still, you write with intelligence and awareness.

But I suggest that you learn some of the SEO tricks to get your blog ranked higher and showing up earlier in searches, especially as it's so much more thorough about films such as this. Teach yourself a bit about those tricks via online research, and watch your readership expand immensely.

Thanks for writing well!

Just Another Writer

[PS: You'll want to edit this postscript out, but when reading blogs I am always somewhat amused when a writer answers a comment within a minute or three, as with your previous answer here. I completely identify with your earnest happiness that someone is reading and liking your stuff, but do yourself a flava and play along with the perception game: take a few hours or even day or two to respond, and at least give the impression that you're out living life instead of hovering at all moments over your blog (even though that's hardly unusual!).

Good luck and keep writing well. You'll go far as a reviewer, but don't forget: writing one good film is worth a thousand reviews. Just a thought...
Wishing you well.]

5:34 PM, October 13, 2010  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Just Another Writer: I really appreciate your kind words about this Sex Magic review, and also the more general encouragements about my writing and the site. I know there is more I could do to increase the visibility of the site and the blog, and I take your suggestions to heart. At the same time, while holding down a demanding full-time job, I'm often pushed to my limit just to write these reviews as a passionate side-project, without devoting too much time or worry to how many people read them. I'll hope to have more time to actively build an audience in the coming years, but for now, I'm pleased when they nonetheless manage to find their ways to appreciative readers, as this one has to you.

As far as that goes, I'm currently the first result for a Google search of "sex magic film review" and the only listed review on the IMDb page for Sex Magic, so at least in this case, I'm satisfied for now with where I stand. But I see that in this and other ways, you're offering generous mentoring suggestions, and I so appreciate that you would even take the initiative. Thanks for your interest and your writerly solidarity, and I'll bear in mind what you say!

11:01 PM, October 13, 2010  

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