In the interest of getting “hard” copies of my work under one roof, I plan to spend the next few weeks posting the entire archive of my film journalism here on ScullyVision. With due respect to the many publications I’ve written for, the internet remains quite temporary, and I’d hate to see any of my work disappear for digital reasons. As such, this gargantuan project must begin! I don’t want to do it. I hate doing it. But it needs to be done. Please note that my opinions, like everyone’s, have changed a LOT since I started, so many of these reviews will only represent a snapshot in time. Objectivity has absolutely no place in film criticism, at least not how I do it.
Dear Robert Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Louis XIII Cognac, and whoever else has anything to do with 100 Years, I want to see your movie and it’s tearing me apart to know that I will be dead before having the chance to do so. Yes, I know it’s just a short film – essentially a commercial for an alcohol that is way out of my price range anyway – but the fact that it will not be available until long after I’ve left this mortal coil is enough to make me crave it.
Maybe it’s because I’m a cinephile. Maybe it’s because I am terrified of death. Or maybe it’s because The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D is and always will be available, while 100 Years, which is almost certainly a superior film (most things are), is only going to be available to the descendants of a thousand “influential people” who have been given tickets to pass down along with Grandpa’s war metals and Nana’s china.
Who are these influential people? Well one is Jaime King, star of Bulletproof Monk.
Perhaps that’s what bugs me most about this whole thing: there’s a strange air of pretentiousness affixed 100 Years, when it really is nothing more than a publicity stunt (also bugging me: that fact that I, of all people, won’t get to see it). Perhaps you’ve heard of Future Library, a project which was launched in 2014. For the subsequent century, Future Library will be adding one unpublished novel per year to the vault, which will be opened in 2114. The idea is to study just what it is that turns literature into a ‘classic’. Is it the passage of time and the resultant nostalgia? Is it the content of the novel in a vacuum, or is it some unforeseen quality of literature that we do not yet grasp? This is worth knowing, and as such Future Library is a project I can get behind. I’m more than willing to sacrifice my chance to read each and every title if it can help future generations learn something about humanity and our culture. But to be denied a potentially delightful Robert Rodriguez/John Malkovich collaboration in the name of shilling expensive booze. No. I can’t get behind that.
Or maybe I could IF YOU WOULD JUST LET ME SEE THE MOVIE.
And that’s brings me to my point. The film was locked up in 2015, so this is barely news anymore, and short of me, an emotionally stunted film completist, no one is talking about it anymore. The project is functionally useless. Anyone who was going to buy expensive cognac as a result of the campaign has either already done so, or isn’t born yet. And since even the smallest bottle of this overpriced firewater goes for no less then $1000.00, screw your yet-to-be-born patrons. No short film is going to make or break the decisions of someone who has both the funds and the desire to obtain a bottle. I’d imagine this will remain true long beyond the 2115 release date of 100 Years.
Conversely, by releasing the film early I contend that you may end up moving a few extra bottles as a result. May I suggest an individual, one-time use download code affixed to each bottle? Sure, the Martin Shkrelis of the world will immediately pirate the film for the world to see, but so what? It’s not getting a theatrical run at any point, nor does it exist for any other function outside of advertisement, which you’ll be getting anyway.
Unless you’re afraid that it sucks. Because that could hurt sales.
SHOTS FIRED (yes, I’m being mean and petty because I desperately want to see this movie).
So I kindly urge you to release 100 Years now or else I’m going to have to go ahead and, um, live my life and then die without having seen it because that’s how these things go.