Friday, January 29, 2016

Quote of the Day

"I've been waiting almost a year to see this film. Saw it tonight. What-the-huh? Camera movement, compositions, lighting, action sequences--a compendium of art house cliches. Okay, five brilliant minutes here, five brilliant minutes there, but, overall, meh. Where is Pauline Kael when we need her. This is just the sort of pomposity she feeded on.

... It is a critical phenomenon I call "buying stock ". Critics and viewers consciously or unconsciously purchase shares in an artist's work. "I have ten thousand shares of Tarantino." "Fifty thousand shares of Star Wars." Etcetera. Once a viewer has purchased stock in an artist he/she becomes committed to that stock valuation. I first noticed this when Peter Bogdonavich purchased a massive holding in Howard Hawks and was then thrust into the awkward position of defending "Man's Favorite Sport". I watched as cinephiles have purchased stock in DePalma, Carpenter, the Coen Bros to the point that they are no longer objectively assessing the work but instead defending their investment. The latest is Hiseau Hisean Ho [sic] and the assumption by stock holders that it it must be a masterpiece because he worked on it for eight years."

That's Taxi Driver and Raging Bull writer (and director of The Canyons!) Paul Schrader on his Facebook wall taking on the critical consensus over The Assassin and director Hsiao Hsien Hou (whose name he totally butchers) -- for the record, I wrote kind of the exact same thing in my review of the film, which I just didn't get the excitement about either. An interminable film.


Anonymous said...

Where is Pauline Kael when we need her. This is just the sort of pomposity she feeded on.

Feeded on.

Is that correct?

JA said...

Ha I missed that - no, it is not. He has a lot of typos. But the heart is there.

Roark said...

Schrader should be careful about criticizing "stockholder" critics and fans, because I dare say they're the only ones keeping his critical reputation afloat at this point. It certainly ain't his actual films.