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Kicking 'Sweetgrass'

Posted by Mark Feeney  April 28, 2010 02:22 PM

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Reviewing "Kick-Ass" in last week's New Yorker, Anthony Lane justifiably harrumphs -- well, Anthony Lane never harrumphs; let's say instead he moues -- over the ongoing comic-
bookification of Hollywood. "A glance through the [distribution] schedule suggests that every film released this year is based on a comic book or else devoutly wishes that it were, with the possible exception of that documentary on sheep pasturing."

Lane's referring to "Sweetgrass," which was made by Newton filmmakers Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor. It played at the Kendall earlier this month. As compliments go, that's about as backhanded as they come. But when you're independent documentarians, you take your publicity where you can find it. And if even just a few of Lane's readers seek out "that documentary on sheep pasturing" (describing "Sweetgrass" that way -- for starters, it's a meditation on time -- is a bit like suggesting "That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles" as an alternate title for Proust), then let's hear it for cheap putdowns. Even Hit Girl can get behind that.


(Marcel, meet Chloe. Chloe, meet Marcel.)

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is's features editor.

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