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Weeknotes #654

The first half of this week was another one of those times when things just pile up out of my hands. The end of any production cycle is often super-stressful, but I’ve had enough experience to know such stress is amplified by the notion that it doesn’t always have to be that way. And I’m acutely aware of the affect it has on the quality of my work. So that’s what was on my mind Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday evening I was at the IFI for Breadcrumb Trail, the new documentary on Slint and the making of their classic album Spiderland, with director Lance Bangs in attendance for a Q&A afterwards. I liked the film quite a bit, and wrote about it here.

Documentaries like this work as well as they do, I think, because they’re more about the people involved than striving to essay some greater point, and making their subjects serve that purpose. Not that there isn’t a place for the Michael Moores of this world, but his crusading doesn’t get under the skin like Errol Morris, or Werner Herzog (both of whom’ve been doing their thing for years), and I think films like The King of Kong and last year’s astounding The Act of Killing — both the result of filmmakers going where their subjects led them — show how the format’s moved on.

Much of my Thursday was given over to an unexpected but not unwelcome writing assignment (you can read it here if you’re interested) and drafting a formal letter to Revenue over the Local Property Tax I’m not liable to pay because I’m a tenant but they couldn’t be bothered to figure that out for themselves before bothering me with threatening letters, could they? Can you tell that pisses me off?

Friday morning was spent at the Screen in town for a press screening I can’t talk about yet, as we’re apparently embargoed till the release date next Friday. Which is funny since the Americans have already published their reviews. Go figure.

Friday was cold, too, and by evening I was feeling pretty run-down. You know when you feel like you’re coming down with something? That low-level discomfort that never commits to consuming you with full-blown illness? That was me as the week progressed. As good a sign as any to take it easy for a weekend.