December 12, 1996

I really didn't want to go into tonight's screening without making the changes that I thought of yesterday, so I called Robin from work, and she cut out the offending shots on her own. For the first time, I'm getting to look at an edit with completely fresh eyes!

Tonight's screening was supposed to be for a small, selected audience, but the invitation process ballooned out of control, and we wound up with almost 25 friends in the smallish editing room. Robin's cut looked great, and I feel sure that the film is better with those two shots (each of which was a minute long) missing. There might be a few things left to play with, but we're nearing a final version.

Reactions to the film were more or less the same as always--except that this time, people started getting on Michael's case as well as Mimi's. Maybe my cut had an effect after all! Again, there was the solitary viewer (a playwright friend of Bill) who really liked the film, a few other respectful comments, and a whole lot of people who crept out of the editing room without comment. I think I have now reconciled myself to the probability that my film will not get distribution. The only way for an unnmarketable project like this to interest distributors would be for it to get consistent raves from critics on the festival circuit. And it's easy to see that critical reaction to this film will be mixed at best. My goals for the film have shifted over the last month or two--my biggest practical hope now is that it will help me get another project off the ground, perhaps by making me more grant-eligible. And then there's always the fantasy of European acclaim....

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