The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

5 March 2004

Tragedy of a ridiculous situation

I hadn't had any particular urge to see Bertolucci's The Dreamers; the reviews had been mixed, and the subject matter — basically, the Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly is superimposed upon 1968 Paris while Daniel Cohn-Bendit warms up in the wings — didn't seem especially appealing.

Then the Oklahoma Gazette decided to do their sporadic Dueling Reviewers thing, praise from Preston Jones and panning from Doug Bentin; each made his case well enough that I found myself thinking, "Maybe I ought to see this thing after all, just on general principles." Bad idea. Nowhere, in the twin articles, on other Gazette pages, or on their Web site, is there any indication of where the damned film might be playing.

The Oklahoman, which accepts no ads for films rated NC-17 — over the years, there have been times when I thought they would turn down ads for R-rated films if they didn't need the bucks — would of course be no help. Fox Searchlight, the film's distributor, has a blog, which pointed me to various search tools; eventually I discovered that The Dreamers is not playing here at all, and if I have any desire to see it in an actual moviehouse, I must drive to Tulsa, Kansas City or Dallas.

Which begs the question: Why did the Gazette devote a whole page to arguing the merits of a film that the vast majority of its readers will never get to see until the release of the inevitable DVD? To try to shame one of the theater chains into booking the film for a week? Fat chance.

(Update, 7 March, 6 pm: The Gazette responds.)

Posted at 7:38 PM to Soonerland