Wednesday, April 06, 2005

That's the truth, Ruth.

"If you went out on a Saturday night to catch a new Werner Herzog film and then His Girl Friday, and you happened to be seeing both of these films by yourself--which I admit wasn't unusual for me--then you might as well have been wearing a T-shirt that read, 'I'm going to this movie instead of getting laid.' Somehow, though, that made it part of the crusade, the holy cause of film fanaticism."

--Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman in a free-wheeling and surprisingly entertaining interview over at the film section of The piece is overflowing with great anecdotes and snark and wrong-headed-but-witty opinions that I can't resist posting some other highlights:
  • "[Pauline Kael's] favorite word in the world was 'whore,' which she applied to so many different people that you sometimes had to think for a moment about whether she was using it literally or metaphorically. I think in Pauline's eyes, there really may not have been much difference."

  • "True, I can't swear in my copy, but most critics who make a point of doing so, like Peter Travers, sound like sixth graders straining for street cred."

  • "Growing up, it never seemed remotely odd to me to love Chic and the Spinners and Donna Summer and Sylvester, and also the Sex Pistols and the Ramones and Iggy Pop (my hometown boy!), plus ELO, Led Zeppelin, Supertramp, the Velvet Underground, and the Carpenters. To me, the Velvet Underground's 'What Goes On' is one of the greatest songs of all time, and so is Supertramp's 'Take the Long Way Home.' Is that a contradiction, or is it simply not being a lame music fascist?"

  • "I think Wes Anderson, gifted as he is, represents a virus that could kill movies. He's all irony and mockery and stylization. It's my belief that he's the first major filmmaker--I'm not counting TV hacks--whose aesthetic is derived from the spirit of television commercials. Rushmore, which I've seen twice, I despise beyond description. I don't believe a minute of it, and the way that the movie celebrates (ironically, of course) its hero's terminal smugness is, to me, the worst sort of poseur solipsism. It's canned vengeance with a great soundtrack. I did think that Anderson showed growth in The Royal Tenenbaums, though the big "sincere" moment at the end, when Ben Stiller decides that he wuvs his daddy after all, fell absurdly flat. To me, Anderson paved the way for Napoleon Dynamite, which is the virus to the fourth power. I'm genuinely depressed by that movie's success. The name of the virus is attitude. It shouldn't be--it can't be--a worldview."

  • "I had mixed feelings about Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate, a movie that seemed to believe that pointing the finger at Halliburton-style military-industrial corruption was a daring stance, instead of just a variation on the same old corporate villainy we've seen in bad thrillers for 20 years."


At 7:13 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

This quote about Wes shocked me, mostly becuase I was finding myself agreeing with it. This is sad to even mention as the R.T. is one of my favorite films ever, but the Life Aquatic seems like this guy's review all over. It was depressingly bad. It actually made me question my love of the Tenenbaums. (sniff.)


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