300: Ich bin NEIN Berliner — UPDATED

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300 had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival last night, but according to Cinematical, an earlier press screening did not go well:

It started shortly after the opening credits; small groups of folks began heading for the door. It got worse when the main villain appeared on screen and all the audience could do was laugh. And, yes, it ended when whatever was left of a packed house booed Zack Snyder’s 300 as the end credits scrolled up the screen — once and for all squashing all rumors that this film would sparkle, dazzle and unite moviegoers from around the globe in the belief that 300 would be the first great flick of 2007.


While most reviewers have had to change their astronaut diapers after seeing the movie, whether fanboys or Hollywood types, this is the first big thumbs down.

UPDATE: It’s now been made clear that this was a press screening and not the World Premiere, at which, according to a report at (where else) GerardButler.net, the actual premiere received a standing ovation. Questions were reportedly hostile at the press conference, however. We haven’t had a chance to watch it, but it’s available here under 2/14.

Comments

  1. It wasn’t a world premiere, it was a press screening. There’s a difference.

    Also, judging by the original post and the subsequent review on Cinematical, I wouldn’t place much stock in the credibility (and veracity) of their opinions.

  2. rolando says:

    I’m confused… If it’s a press screening, then aren’t those people being PAYED to watch the movie? Isn’t that like walking out on your job? Wouldn’t regular people get fired for doing something like that?

  3. rolando says:

    Just realized I spelled PAID as PAYED. I’m an r-tard.

  4. The Beat says:

    Bulent, I’m pretty sure it WAS the world premiere, which was indeed held at the Berlin Film Festival, with a press conference and photo call, etc. What makes you think it was a press screening?

  5. Heidi, it says at the bottom, “Note from Erik: This was a press screening. This was not at the premiere of the film which took place later that day”

    Though, I’m not sure I see why it would it make a difference in the validity of the opinion for being a press screening as opposed to the premier, especially when it comes to more negative reviews. Maybe I’m not seeing the full picture, though.

    And there is now a longer review up now, as well: http://www.cinematical.com/2007/02/14/berlinale-review-300/

  6. The Beat says:

    Ah interesting. That clarification was DEFINITELY added later.

  7. John Arena says:
  8. It is not uncommon for the press, or parts of the press to walk out of a movie during a press screening at a film festival. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the press is not at a film festival to do reviews on films, but to cover the festival itself, the parties, setting up interviews with A-, B- and C-stars and whatever else strikes their fancy.

    What usually strikes their fancy is the free booze in the lobbies and the chance to boff people in the same industry.

    From somebody who has had to cover a few film festivals in his life, albeit a few years back, you usually do not have the time to watch all that many movies, so the ones who stayed here were pretty much the reviewers.

    Also, one must understand some of the peculiar bits of the German culture (yes, we call it culture and not Arts or Books or movies… or we use the French word feulliton, which I am sure I have spelled badly as always) journos.

    Like, the absolutely horrid film THE GOOD GERMAN got rave reviews during the film festival, simply because, well, it played in Berlin and Cate Blanchett was there and it would be bad form to boo her.

    THE GOOD SHEPHERD got rave reviews, because a) DeNiro was there and everbody wanted to talk to him and be nice and b) it shows the CIA in a particularly bad light, which resonates with a lot of the German intellectual journos. So, despite it being again a true abomination in terms of actual film-making (Matt Damon never aging, Angelina Jolie as the “good” mousy wife, time lines that kept on shifting, no clear narrative), it was lauded.

    The real test of any film will come when they put the reviews in the dailies, not something that is going to happen during a film festival.

    (that doesn’t mean necessarily that 300 is a good film per se, I am just saying to not always rush out faulty info without knowing what context it was in. But then, today everything becomes a headline, doesn’t it?)

  9. Okay, I watched most of the press conference, and here’s what becomes blatantly obvious. The utter rejection of the film comes ONLY from journos of the, well, let’s call it Persian cultural background (there is an Iranian, a Turkish and – if I remember correctly – a Syrian journo).

    The questions make it clear that they are projecting a very real, yet also very dangerous political agenda into a film that is basically, well, let’s face it, Frank Miller’s 300 is trash. It is beautifully executed trash, with a wafer-thin story and showing in every panel his love for hardboiled cliched characters.

    The reaction displayed here has little to do with the film itself, it seems

  10. The Beat says:

    Considering that the Persians (the original Aryans) are portrayed by Miller and Snyder as Abyssinians, I can see where they got a little confused. Thanks for the info!

  11. Mauricio says:

    Well, yesterday I have the opportunity to see 300 in a special screening for journalist in Mexico City. To my eyes, Miller’s 300 it’s a simple but strong anecdote transformed in a great spectacle: widescreen images (two pages for each panel) as vehicle of great artesans (Miller and Varley).
    And the Snyder’s 300 works very well in that way, but at moments it looks like more action could be of help for the transition. The colors and the form itself of the Miller story, like everyone could see on the trailers, are respected on the film, but there are more dialogue than the in original and I believe that that was a mistake. Even there are more gross and incredible characters in the movie than in the comic.
    In my personal view, I believe that it´s a good adaptation of a minor Miller ouvre.
    But the you will look…

  12. Apologies Heidi, didn’t mean to sound snarky. As other posters have pointed out, the reactions displayed at that screening had little to do with the film. It was kinda irksome how the blogger from Cinematical tried to spin it into a denounciation of Harry Knowles and the assembled armies of nerd-dom.

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