April 4, 2018

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A Guide to Properly Hating Old Movies.

There are interesting ideas floating somewhere beneath the surface of The Guardian’s article, but whatever insights might be offered are lost in the all-too-typical emphasis on personal experience as objective analysis. I’m open to reading an article about what The Shining lost during the adaptation process, or why Wendy Torrance is a disappointing female lead given the horror genre’s history of progressive female characters, or even how a movie like The Shining transitions from a disappointment to a work of genius in just a few decades. Instead, we get two very familiar and, frankly, boring arguments: I Was Personally Unimpressed and This Film’s Audience Is Annoying.

But you know what? I’m a helpful guy. If authors are dead set on publishing these types of pieces, then the least we can do is take a moment and work out the perfect template. This way, the argument gets made, the author gets paid, and audiences can breathe a little easier knowing that they aren’t actually missing anything if they don’t click. Film criticism moves a little closer to its future as a perpetual motion machine that chugs continuously on without outside interference. Let’s give it a shot.

Heh. Read the whole thing.

Note that in the era of #metoo, with just a few minor changes, the template that follows the above quoted passage can do double-duty, serving those who priggishly choose to hate on old TV sitcoms as well for insufficient wokeness.

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