Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Hey guys.  I've been in a bit of a writing slump as of late.  It seems this might be a little contagious.  I'm glad to see a recent mini-flurry of posts however. It's rejuvenating.  I'll try to respond to as much stuff as I can.

Brandon and Chris, I can't add anything too substantive to the objectivity discussion.  We all bring a multiplicity of ideas, sensations, judgments (and prejudgments) to any films we encounter.  The nature and extent of all these multiplicities is unique to each of us, and probably unique to each film.  Honest reaction is a good precept to follow, but sometimes it's just too hard to weed out all of the information we've acquired.  I readily admit to being influenced by factors outside of the films themselves at times.  It's part of the curse of being interested in criticism and film culture.  I like knowing who makes films and what others are saying about them.  I try to be as honest as possible in addressing a film, but a lot of times I'm just biased for a variety of reasons, and y'all can feel free to call me out on it anytime.  I'll try my best to either defend or dissemble. :)

Tim Burton is one of the most instantly recognizable pop entertainment auteurs of the last few decades.  There's no denying it whether you care for him or not.  And I remain a big fan of his.  When he's on and true to his aesthetic, there's nothing quite like him.  Like both of you, I find ALICE IN WONDERLAND to be intensely problematic and ultimately hollow (Sorry John, but it's a overly-CG stinker).  I found FRANKENWEENIE enjoyable (it's often a fun game of spot-the-reference) albeit stretched a little too thin.  I'm still curious to see DARK SHADOWS.  It didn't appear to be THAT bad, and it has some important people backing it, so I'll try to see it.

John, I have to say, I agree entirely with you on DARK CITY.  I liked it a lot back in the day, and even bought a copy of it, but I watched it a few years ago, and it didn't really hold up that well.  There's fascinating stuff in it, but all told it just feels cold and clunky now. You're right - Sutherland's performance is exquisitely ham-fisted, and certainly one of the most repellant things about it.  I'm with you on this one.

I haven't seen any of Argento's recent work.  From what I've heard though, he hasn't made anything of note or quality in some time.  So, while I would love to remind you not to judge him solely on his current output, I have sneaking suspicion that you wouldn't care for his older films either.  Just a hunch. :)

Your points on the horror genre are well taken.  I don't know if I have the energy to respond to it all in great detail.  I'll just say that I share your concerns over who is watching these films, and what impact it is having on them, but only insomuch as I am concerned with all types of media and the cretins that consume them.  On issues of craft, certainly I'm rarely scared by horror films anymore, as I too am overly-sensitive to the director's and editor's hand holding sway over everything.  But I must agree with Brandon that there are a plethora of genius craftsmen at the helm of many films in the genre.  His listing of some of those names is really the only argument one needs to give the genre some credit.  Still, I understand your reservations when it comes to horror.  I doubt I'll be the one to convince you otherwise.

Speaking of horror, I'm working at school now, but I'm gonna post my horror top 10 list when I get home sometime.  It won't be that enlightening, and you can already imagine what'll be on it, but it'll be nice get something extra posted today.

Happy Halloween CR5FC!

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