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CineVegas 2008

[Our Metropolis]

Don’t blurb me, bro

Our own hard-to-please film critic Josh Bell isn’t looking to appear on any movie posters

Audio Clip

Our Metropolis with Josh Bell

This is an excerpt from the radio show Our Metropolis, a half-hour issues and affairs program that airs Tuesdays at 6 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and is hosted by the Greenspun Media Group’s John Katsilometes. Tune in next week to hear the rest of this interview with Las Vegas Weekly contributing editor and film critic Josh Bell:

We’re just coming off the CineVegas film festival. What were some of the highlights for you from this year’s festival?

I really enjoyed Visioneers, with Zach Galifianakis, who is known for being a stand-up comedian and a very funny guy. I went into it expecting it to be a sort of absurdist comedy satirizing corporate culture, which is the way it started out. But it actually takes a pretty serious turn, and even though the subject matter is not necessarily new, it handles it in a very interesting and mature way. The comedy kind of diminishes, not that the jokes aren’t as funny, but it’s just that the story focuses more on the characters as it went on, and Zach Galifianakis gives a really good performance.

What’s it like reviewing local filmmakers, people who you might know through writing about them, who are trying to make it in this industry?

I did a story about Francisco Menendez, who is the head of the film department at UNLV, a great guy, who has worked really, really hard on his film Primo, which played at the festival. And I went to Primo, and I really wanted to like Primo, because A) he’s such a great guy and B) I always want films locally made and produced to be good. It’s really hard to put that aside and judge the film on its own merits, and unfortunately, I didn’t care for most of the film. And here’s a guy who is staying in town—he’s not leaving after the festival. He’s here, I’m probably going to run into him again, and I don’t want to attack the guy in any way. I’m just trying to be objective, but it’s difficult, definitely.

Have you ever been blurbed on a movie poster?

I think there’s a DVD coming out, the recent animated Spider-Man TV show, that called and asked if they could use something that I’d said. That’s the only one I can think of off-hand. There was a certain local filmmaker who made a movie a year or two ago and I reviewed it—it was out on DVD and he did a screening—and it was a terrible, terrible movie. The headline on my review was like, “A Stunning Achievement in Local Cinema,” completely sarcastic, and the filmmaker took that and nothing else and put it on his website. I actually called him out on my blog, and he took it down, to his credit.

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