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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Critical conditions

The following appeared from Simon Tzu at shootingpeople.org recently and got me thinking about film criticism, in which I dabble from time to time. “How do we stay authentic unless there are honest voices unafraid to put the boot in occasionally? … Bad reviews are often the most entertaining to read (though not if you're the filmmaker). Witness Envy: [Jack] 'Black plays an inventor who instils murderous envy in his best friend by making millions off a spray called Vapoorizer. You spray the stuff on dog poo, and the poo just vapoorizes. Later, environmentalists are up in ams. 'Where did the shit go?' they want to know. The answer is painfully ovious: into the screenplay.' -- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE (For more in a similar vein see here.)"

I’m not above practicing film criticism as a bloodsport from time to time, but it’s important not to let the verbal acrobatics get in the way of helping the reader decide if the film is any good or not. Memo to self: you are NOT the most important thing at this press screening.

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