A Vision of the New Criticism

Go on any major film site and marvel at the display. Let your jaw drop at the crass wasteland masquerading as Eden, where neon banners sit atop the words in all their glittering pageantry. Now scroll down to their denizens of the deep, scouring in the muck in search of the almighty Quote. Now look beyond it, to the expanse it could have occupied. Gasp in awe at what it could have been—a beacon of salvation upon a hill shining its light for all to see. But the people won’t look, nor will they listen, they’re too busy suckling at the teat of false knowledge. Junkies looking for the next critical fix, and the site provides. It pushes its content into their ossified network of veins, blasts it in their deafened ears just so even a faint blip might register. Truly this is hell, if only because some of us can still see that hill, and we’re moving further from it every day. The train has left the station, it’s teetering above the chasm, and there’s no stopping its descent. Continue reading

Mission Statement

English: High and Low by Akira Kurosawa on 35 ...

English: High and Low by Akira Kurosawa on 35 mm film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“What’s all this?”

Why does this blog exist? Why bother writing about movies (AKA why not get a real job pushing papers)?

It all started after a rather heated argument with a close friend over the merits of a film. It ran thusly:

Friend (for his sake, name has been withheld): “I don’t get why people like The Godfather. I tried to get through it, but I don’t think I made it more than 20 minutes.”

Myself, understandably shocked: “…”

For all my years of reading film criticism, the countless times I’d watched that movie, read the script, studied it, dissected it, hell, even quoted it, I couldn’t respond to that statement. It was like he’d set off an atomic bomb in my brain. At first glance stupefying in its inept insufficiency as a dejection of a masterpiece, it ironically served as the most succinct (albeit inadvertent) summation for today’s disconnect between audience and critic. After all, The Godfather, one of THE GREATEST FILMS EVER (I’m a bigamist when it comes to film, as this site will attest), declared unwatchable?! Surely there was a derangement in my friend’s mental faculties. “But then,” I reasoned inwardly, my brain—struggling to comprehend—grasped at the few pieces of floating evidentiary debris it could latch onto after this sinking of a nigh unsinkable Titanic of film history, “we seemed to be pretty much on par for everything else in our deep and abiding love for other things pop culture, from music to films and even TV shows.” Rather than end the friendship outright, or begin screaming incessantly until my friend ran away, I, like all good friends, let that comment which had so deeply affected me slip past superficially unheeded, while the train of thought left a splinter in my mind that would fester and grow to this moment. Continue reading