Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Depradations of Post-Modern Literary Analysis

This criticism of movie critic Roger Ebert was an interesting analysis even if I've never read Armond White nor seen most of the movies mentioned here. I've never liked Roger Ebert as a movie critic, and Kerstein provides good arguments against him, which can be summed up in Objectivist terms as:  Ebert is a concrete-bound subjectivist who never (or rarely) focused on fundamentals or essentials, but rather on the minutae of his liking, dropping context like elephant dung and usually missing the real conceptual meaning on the few occasions he attempted to address it.

At my own superficial level, I can't recall liking any movie that Ebert liked, and he hated many movies that I thought were good, for simply arbitrary and often vicious reasons.   For instance, Ebert trashed one of the best comedies I know, "Addicted to Love", because of a few seconds on screen with a guy on a motorcycle.  "How cliche!  EVERYone has done that!" yadayada -- not only was this not true (and a comedy is certainly entitled to mock a cliche), but it ignored everything good in the plotting and characterization and the acting and the dialogue and the novelty of the situation that was set up (the use of a "camera obscura"), as well as the genuine pathos of a couple of desperate people pathetically seeking revenge on an overly arrogant but even somewhat admirable Frenchman who stumbled through the glass shop of their lives.

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