Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Life & Death of Jordan Two Delta, a Hollywood Extra.

Yesterday Josh grappled with blogging about another Heather Havrilesky column. I feel Joshua's pain, because I am about to excerpt yet another Armond White essay. I know, I know: why don't I just sign over this blog to Mr. White? Well, maybe I would if he'd take it, OK? So stop hating on me.

Anyway, when I saw Armond arguing that, with a few exceptions, modern avant garde cinema is dead... And that those exceptions are Messieurs Spielberg and Bay [?!], well, I knew I had to post that shit. Enjoy:

Where is the new avant-garde? Is it the Silence of Gus Trilogy, where Gus Van Sant uses Elephant, Gerry and Last Days to imitate Ingmar Bergman's famous Silence of God trilogy (an exploration of cinematic possibility and religious struggle), but actually bleeds life out of film and pop phenomena? Maybe it's Michael Bay's overhead shots of human clones in The Island traversing the lunar-looking landscape—a poetic image of liberty expressing the film's emancipation theme. Lack of avant-garde spirit may explain why both directors are misunderstood, why Michael Mann's visually and conceptually fuzzy Collateral wins acclaim while the sober, visionary War of the Worlds is excoriated.

Side note: I'm just guessing here, but I bet that Armond puts little faith in Metacritic as a critical gauge. However, if he'd head over there, he'd note that the critically "excoriated" War of the Worlds has a score of 73, while the "acclaimed" Collateral has a 71.


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