05 June 2006

Losing It At The Movies

      Coincidentally, a number of rather good pieces on film and film criticism have cropped up. They include Anthony Lane's devastating review of The Da Vinci Code for The New Yorker, Clive James' cheeky review of the new volume American Movie Critics, and a lengthy but amusing entry on the sorry state of reviewing over at 2Blowhards.   This occasioned me to track down an old favourite, Roger Ebert's "Glossary of Movie Terms," a piece that may need some updating but still holds its own.   Ebert, after all, hadn't yet identified that the essential premise of a Tom Cruise movie must necessarily be the redemption of a callow-but-decent ne'er-do-well, a fact that surely warrants a term unto itself.   (A friend recently noted that he had never seen a Cruise craptacular; one wonders not only how this could be, but also if seeing one would complete him.)   There's, naturally, a bit of irony to all this, because later today I have to submit applications for some courses to teach, and there are two film courses for which I'm considering tossing in my name.   (To bother or not to bother, that is the question.)   Odd in all this is that Clive James in his review ends up sounding a lot like Harold Bloom in The Western Canon. Something tells me that would horrify Mr James as much as it would Mr Bloom.

      BTW, a totally unrelated search on Google led me to this link, which just goes to prove that on the internet, as with greeting cards, there's something for everything. I'm sure some pseudo-scholar could patch together an article of some supposed academic import based on this data....

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