Sunday, June 05, 2005

The hyper-rich and mediocre movies

I actually shelled out $3.50 for the Sunday NYT today, that brick of a periodical, and lugged it around happily during my visit to Daryl in Brooklyn. Two stories worth reading:

1) The Times' analysis of the hyper-rich -- i.e., the top 0.01 of taxpayers, and even smaller slices of that disgustingly wealthy echelon. The findings? What you'd expect, but here is a choice morsel: "Under the Bush tax cuts, the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes -- a minimum of $87 million in 2000, the last year for which the government will release such data -- now pay income, Medicare and Social Security taxes amounting to virtually the same percentage of their incomes as people making $50,000 to $75,000."

2) A column by film critic A.O. Scott on the great cinema seen at Cannes and other international film festivals that rarely makes it into mass U.S. distribution as well as the recent general lack of quality in movies at American theaters, who have been complaining at that same time that no one's visiting them anymore: "Bad weather? Economic uncertainty? The high price of gasoline? The angry and polarized political climate? Those are interesting theories, but there may be a simpler explanation: the movies that the major studios and their subsidiaries have released this year have just not been very good."

Some similar thoughts occurred to me the other night, after seeing The Interpreter, which was disappointing, despite its great shots of the U.N. And meanwhile, movie prices in Manhattan are inching their way up again: $10.75 for regular admission at the Loews Cineplex on 84th St. Take advantage of whatever discount ticket purchases you can find!

No comments: