|Caminante Nocturno |
The biggest tragedy about America's dwindling crime rate is that it took movies like this with it.
Gene's son is a gay doctor here in Seattle. I tried to get him to take me as a patient but I never got a call back.
Every once in a while, you're reminded that Siskel & Ebert were pro-censor assholes.
Any time I feel like I'm taking Ebert too seriously I read his review of Orgazmo and remember that his taste was painfully middlebrow.
"What would wit have done? The missionaries would have knocked on the door, the sweet little old lady would have opened it, and wit would have known that the audience anticipated obscenities, so wit would have had the little old lady say, "I know that in the movies we sweet little old ladies are always getting a cheap laugh by using the f-word to missionaries, but that lacks imagination, don't you think? That's what my son, Quentin Tarantino, always says. Here, have some cookies.""
That's not even middlebrow, that's just about the most painful thing I've ever read in a piece of criticism, period.
Pitchfork writers look like Lester Bangs compared to that.
Scratch that, replace "Lester Bangs" with Susan Sontag.
Painfully middlebrow is almost too kind...almost. While shallow, middlebrow movie reviewers were already around by the time Siskel and Ebert made the scene, Ebert especially helped usher in the era of glib movie-critic-speak, of commercialized film reviewing that is little more than a condiment to be added at the concession stand. Oh, nothing too challenging, please, just let me know the thumbs status, and whether or not these empty-calorie adjectives apply: moving, frenetic, slick, entertaining, singular, beautiful, hilarious, thrill-ride.
All the critics who follow in his shallow wake exhibit the same lack of skill and intelligence, the Owen Gleibermans, the Dana Stevenes, the David Edelsteins, I could go on and on with this list. They use vague words to say vague things about the cinematic art they evidently lose interest in after the closing credits. No matter how serious they take themselves these people approach film as a kind of lobotomized fast food gourmand. "I don't know if it's food but I know what I like!" The only real reason for these peoples' positions exist is that they will put the stamp of approval on enough crap not to put off advertisers.
There's no insight or sublime appreciation in the Ebert school of film criticism, just the endless, dull, joyless consumption of product, enjoyed (or not) without discrimination. Either gushing praise or obtuse complaining.
Ebert said nothing notable about anyone he liked and frequently disliked films and filmmakers for the dumbest reasons. It's easier to remember Ebert's dumb statements about films, since he never really made a smart one. I recall that after Oliver Stone's obnoxious JFK came out and was subject to reviews fact-checking it's idiotic claims, Ebert huffily compared detractors of Jim Garrison, kook prosecutor portrayed as a hero in the film, to "right wing apologists" for junk bond king Michael Milken.
| Register or login To Post a Comment|