Monday, June 03, 2013

Stuff I've Written in May

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Apparently it just worked out that it took another whole month for me to finally get around to doing my usual self-promotional round-up of stuff I've written and published.

Well, the big news of May is that I attended—to the consternation of my ever money-conscious dear mother—the 66th Cannes Film Festival and covered it for my site, In Review Online. I ended up getting four dispatches out of it:

The Immigrant (2013)

The Bling Ring, A Touch of Sin, The Past, Like Father, Like Son and Stranger by the Lake here
The Missing Picture, Blind Detective, Shield of Straw, Ain't Them Bodies Saints and Inside Llewyn Davis here
Closed Curtain, Only God Forgives, All Is Lost and Bastards here
Nebraska, Norte, the End of History, The Immigrant, Blue Is the Warmest Color, Only Lovers Left Alive and Manuscripts Don't Burn here

Perhaps I'll say more about my first-ever Cannes experience in a separate blog post; it had its ups and downs, admittedly (screw you, colored-badge system), but of course I'd gladly do it again in the future!

I also wrote about the great Chinese documentary Disorder for In Review Online here and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood for The House Next Door here. Yes, I somehow managed to rattle off more than 1,000 words on a silly Friday the 13th movie. (I really should start trying to make more of an effort to get, you know, paid for writing shit like that.)


Anthony Vitello said...

That is about the nicest review F13th7 will ever get.

blogger said...

Is chumminess leading to more 'corruption' in culture?

Today, most people call each other by first name from the first time they meet. An air of chumminess is everywhere. Facebook says anyone can be your friends, and people have all sorts of twitter friends.

One thing I notice about a lot of younger film critics is they are chummy and friends with one another. Many of them are immature, have no movie sense, and suck so bad. But they are the 'leading lights' of the film criticism community. But how did they get so prominent? Could it be they are oh-so-chummy with people who publish and edit journals and sites? Are people being favored and hired for their chumminess and personalities?
It's like all movie critics are twitter-connected to one another. A kind of chummy hive mind-set seems to be setting in.

Consider Ebert and Siskel back in the days. Though both were Chicago critics, they never spoke to one another and only began to do so cuz they became hosts of a TV show. Even so, they saw one another as rivals and weren't chummy unless they had to be. And both of them had to deal with real newspaper bosses who were not into chummy mode.

Or consider Sarris, Kael, Simon, MacDonald, and Kauffmann in the 60s and 70s. They might discuss stuff at a gathering of critics, but they were not chummy with one another. And William Shawn wasn't chummy with Kael and played the neutral role of editor.
Village Voice hired Sarris cuz he was a prominent voice of the new film culture. And Shawn hired Kael cuz of her fresh voice with Bonnie and Clyde thing. There was no chumminess involved. Indeed, Sarris felt sort of as an outsider at the Voice cuz he wasn't 'radical'. And Shawn didn't personally like Kael but kept her on cuz she was good.
So, chumminess didn't get you very far.

But today, if you're chummy with some editor or publisher, you get picked cuz you know him/her or cuz you're chummy with him/her. Indeed, all of journalism feels that way, especially with the chum-chum thing between Obama and the media.

Maybe that is the downside friendliness and casualness. You think you're being nice and all, but you're often judging people by likability than for the person's actual worth.

It's like what Renata Adler said about what happened to New Yorker once the chum-chum network took over. And Tina Brown was a clown, and so is David Remnick, especially in his chummy article on Springsteen(ripped apart by Leon Wieseltier in one of his better pieces).

Adler, for the sin of striking out at chummery, was exiled from the magazine community in 1999 for over a decade. It didn't matter that she's Jewish and female(in a world dominated by Jews and feminist-oriented). If you're not a chummy chum, you're gone.

Another danger is fannery. Though Adler's piece on Kael in NYRB was way over the top, it seems like a lot of people were out to get her cuz they were big fans of Kael.

But chummery is worse than fannery. At least fans respect a person for his or her talent. With chummery, talent may have nothing to do with it. It's just a matter of whom you're chummy with.

I mean how else can one explain a series of movie lists as lame as the ones here?

They all seem to be chums of one another.

Mattie Lucas said...

I hate the word "chums."