Saturday, December 29, 2007

Where is the kindness?

Alright, I'm upset. It's one thing when legitimate critics are overly harsh on a film, but when my dear friend's little blog slams my husband's film, it makes me wonder: has the whole world gone mad?

My friend writes of Adrienne Shelly's WAITRESS " I don't think critics would have been so nice to it if she hadn't died. Sorry, someone had to say it."

Someone had to say it? Really? And of all people, you felt it had to be you; the close friend of the filmmaker's wife?

I'm an artist. I like when people having an opinion. I like when they speak their minds. What I don't like is when people think their 0pinion is the only opinion. That's one of my biggest pet peeves. My second biggest peeve is the diminishing amount of kindness in the world. So you can only imagine how much this short statement triggered me.

Being a filmmaker, I know MANY filmmakers. And being on the screening committee for a film festival here in Los Angeles, I see a LOT of films. I see a lot of SUB PAR films. One thing remains true: I am always kind.

Maybe not many people have "said it" because... not many people think it. Maybe it was a completely different experience for the critics and audience who saw the film in a theater up on the big screen, in a proper environment, surrounded by other people laughing and crying, than watching it at home alone on video, (which would certainly explain the drop in rating since it's release to the masses on DVD).

Reviewers are NOT a kind bunch. They look for any reason to tear a film to shreds. And in this modern age everyone's a critic, thanks to the internet. People are cruel. To me this means they actually liked the film, even if my friend did not.

And if the tragic circumstances subconsciously made some reviewers look at it with more love, GREAT! Shouldn't all filmmakers have the experience of critics actively seeking to find the value in our films? But, just so you know, it wasn't just the critics who liked the movie. Audiences did too. In our extensive travels around the country and Canada this year , we came to realize that nobody outside of LA and NY even knew the director had died. (It was quite refreshing). And for the critics who did think it, kudos to you for holding your tongues for once, and being respectful.

It's one thing for a stranger to be unkind... But I just can't understand how a friend can be so mean? Where is the abundance mentality? Don't you know that when one little film does well, it opens doors for all of us?

OK.. Wow. I actually feel a lot better. Maybe this is why people blog!

So now the question is: Do I tell my friend how much this upset me? Growing up an only child to an absent mother, I never learned to tell people how I feel, work through things, and let them go. Maybe this blog will be a great opportunity for me to grow.


Chesher Cat said...

I saw Waitress on DVD by myself and I thought it was sweet as pie.

I knew going in that Adrienne had died but that was quickly forgotten because within minutes the movie won me over and I was on the journey with the characters.

The "friend" who made that statement is either jealous or stupid...probably both. We all have the occasional dark/unkind thought but fortunately most of us have an internal censor that stops us from putting such thoughts out there. Especially the malicious hurtful ones.

My question for you is: Why are you still calling this person your friend?

zorba said...


Let that 'good' friend stew in her own juices of negativity. Do I think the tragic death of Adrienne brought more attention to this wonderful picture? Yes, but at a horrible price.

The film stands on its own and apparently your friend is in a dark hole somewhere wishing for a sliver of the success this film has attained.

CINDY BAER said...

Thanks for your thoughts and support! I think thhe older I get, the more objective I become. The reason I call this person my because she really is a friend. (Which is why this surprised me). Just because she had a moment of what I felt was unkindness, doesn't negate who she is to me. And she is a very blunt, sometimes shocking person; and it's part of her beauty. I guess they say our biggest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses! I guess it's all a lesson for me. It did hurt, and I REALLY don't like moments of "unkindness". But at the same time, it makes me remember that we are all human... Thanks for making me think about this!