Monday, December 30, 2013

Elaborated re-post: Not watching your own movies

Any good interview, even one that’s entirely friendly on the surface, should have a slight adversarial quality, since the reporter and the subject have inherently different goals. The Coens don’t always suffer fools gladly, but they give good copy, even in one-word answers to questions that don’t interest them. (“Do you get excited about the Cannes competition?” one reporter asked them. “Does that get your heart pumping?” Ethan Coen: “No.”) Over the years the Coens have developed a routine that lies somewhere between practiced shtick and a psychological coping mechanism. Ethan, the younger, shorter, lighter-haired brother, delivers brief responses, often glib or acrid in tone, and then the taller, older and more loquacious Joel bails him out, expounding generously on the original question or diverting it into friendlier terrain.
[. . .]
Well, I feel like one aspect of that is that your movies almost always reward a second viewing. There’s always stuff I didn’t see or didn’t understand at first. Which definitely isn’t true of most movies!
J.C.: That’s a marketing trick!
E.C.: We endorse it! [Laughter.] But, my God, we don’t watch our own movies. No. You work on it for a year, a year and a half, and especially by the final stage when you’re fussing over every little thing — and we cut them ourselves — and everything is problem-solving, fixing stuff up. There’s a job involved, and beyond that when there’s nothing to be done, why would you look at it again? I mean, you know how it comes out. ("Joen and Ethan Coen: 'My God, we don't watch our own movies!'" interview with Andrew O'hehir, Salon.com)
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Emporium

"Don't watch our own movies"

I hate that answer; it's designed to make them seem remote from us, as if we're rabidly chasing down appetites they're removed from. There's no way they haven't replayed the experience of making the movies—key scenes, reverberating portrayals—many times, even as they go about their next projects. Piecemeal, over time, they've seen them as much as any of us ... I, personally, would have made this clear. Join the rest of us, Coens, and particular yourself from there. It'd be more interesting. 

        

Graham Clark

I hate that answer; it's designed to make them seem remote from us

Or it's just the honest truth.

And they don't need to make themselves seem remote from you; they are remote from you.

        

Emporium

@Graham Clark They don't watch their own movies, but they know that by saying that that they're going to seem as if they dump everything they've done without a need to look back ... this draws us to envy and be in awe of them (they're very psychologically sophisticated people). I think part of them likes to pretend they've garnered some kind of enlightenment, but won't from within their cloaks, show it to us. Someone ought to chastise them for their limiting tendency to withhold, and me, Emporium, just did my limited bit. 

Also, I enjoy their movies. They're different from me, can show me things about people that'd learn and excite me a lot; but they're not all that remote from me, good sir. 
        

Graham Clark

but they're not all that remote from me, good sir.

They are indeed all that remote from you, and you know it. Hence the resentment:

this draws us to envy and awe them (they're very psychologically sophisticated people). I think part of them likes to pretend they've garnered paradise (or at least, enlightenment), but won't from within their cloaks, show it to us. Someone ought to chastise them for their limiting tendency to withhold

        

Emporium

@Graham Clark Graham, do you cling to the authorized, so to make fun of those below? I'm always willing to re-fresh my take, but I seem to remember that was the fit you unfortunately found you belonged to. 

        

Graham Clark

Graham, do you cling to the authorized, so to make fun of those below?

No, but I do have an unfortunate compulsion to make probably futile attempts at encouraging those below to do something more productive with their time than nip at the heels of the angels.

but I seem to remember that was the fit you unfortunately found you belonged to.

What?

        

Emporium

@Graham Clark My art is different from theirs, but they are amazing. Still, they withhold, and it's meant to draw ... but frustrate. And just as your everyday average Magna Carta human being — with a nifty, remote, admittedly "you-denying" pseudonym — who'd prefer none of us had too much a taste for heights and angels (that was the real 60s, after all), I'm for sure going to point that out. 

Andrew's piece had it that if we were left with only the younger, we'd be warranted to mob at and burn them — did you catch that?

* * *

rdnaso

@Emporium Nothing ruins the fun of watching a movie more than working on it. At the end, just like they say, everyone's just trying to get it out the door on time and all too aware of everything that could have been done differently and better. I doubt that novelists spend much time reading their own novels either: too busy working on the next one. Mailer claimed to not read at all: "I'm more a writer than a reader." Poets though - they read their own stuff compulsively... 
        

Emporium

@rdnaso @Emporium If that were generally true, by now it wouldn't be a surprise to learn they don't watch their own — in fact we'd be surprised if they did. I think many creators know that it sounds sort of masculine to always be onto the next work, and feminine, to admit watching the whole film with an audience is a rewarding good time. They toss things off as soon as possible and don't look back, while we, their dependents, indulge. Masculine to our feminine. 

Emporium / Patrick McEvoy-Halston



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sparks of inspiration -- MEET JET ENGINE!

Jordan and his friends grew up lower-middle class, at best, in the inner suburbs of Queens and Long Island. They had been to state college, community college or no college at all; in class terms, they represented an insurrection against the Ivy-educated, third- and fourth-generation wealth that dominated the financial industries. It’s not terribly surprising, then, that they were reactionary in other ways, striving to outdo the established Wall Street firms in institutional sexism and frat-boy-style bad behavior, whether that meant spending hundreds of thousands every month on prostitutes and strippers, holding dwarf-tossing tournaments or consuming both prescription drugs and illegal street drugs by the truckload. (Jordan and his pal Donnie Azoff, Hill’s character, engage in an extended search for troves of genuine Quaaludes that yields a number of hilarious and/or horrifying developments.)
So “The Wolf of Wall Street” is much funnier than most previous Scorsese films, and also a whole lot nastier; I can’t imagine what the material reportedly cut to achieve an R rating was like, given that there are several scenes of Jordan’s late-night escapades that I hesitate to describe in print. (Well, there’s one in which DiCaprio appears to have a lit candle up his butt.) Some critics have already accused the movie of being undisciplined and overly long, and there’s one entire episode involving a yachting disaster that I’d probably have left on the cutting-room floor. But I rather think Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker, his longtime editor, have the credentials to do as they please, and the outrageous excess of “Wolf of Wall Street” is more carefully calibrated than it at first appears. We find Jordan’s rags-to-riches story and magnetic personality irresistible, but we also know we’re not supposed to like him, because he stole the money from vulnerable people and seems to be a sociopath with no ethical center. How do we resolve that contradiction? We can’t, and that’s the point.

The real Jordan Belfort worked briefly as a junior broker on Wall Street before losing his job after the Black Friday crash in 1987. He started over in a classic Long Island boiler room, where hustlers in tracksuits hawked penny stocks, most of them worthless, for a 50 percent commission. Stratton Oakmont, as we see in Scorsese’s retelling, took this strategy to the next level, targeting middle-income investors who had ready cash but lacked the sophistication to understand they were being scammed. At one point in the ‘90s, Stratton employed more than 1,000 brokers and handled numerous IPOs riddled with insider trading, including a famous one for shoe designer Steve Madden. Scorsese and Winter make absolutely clear that this isn’t a story about one unprincipled broker and his renegade firm; the lessons of Jordan Belfort’s career are all spelled out in DiCaprio’s tremendous early scene with McConaughey: We don’t make anything in America anymore, and it doesn’t matter whether the clients get rich or go broke. We’re capitalizing on the laziness and greed of others; their desire to get rich quick will make us rich instead.
DiCaprio’s performance is feverish but controlled, capturing the mania of a guy who’s hopelessly addicted to sex, drugs and money and who believes, in true Gatsby fashion, that he has cracked the code of the universe. This is an overcrowded year for male actors, but if DiCaprio doesn’t win an Oscar for this part, he probably never will. (His two best-actor nominations so far are for “Blood Diamond” and “The Aviator,” and to both of those I say: What the living heck?) He’s on screen for nearly the entire three-hour film, sweating, snorting, screwing, stealing and delivering show-stopping sales-floor speeches, including the one where he tells his troops that it’s good if they’re deeply in debt, behind on the rent and have their girlfriends convinced that they’re bums: “I want you to use your pain to get rich!”
You can feel, in DiCaprio’s impassioned delivery, that Belfort believes he’s helping people by preaching this gospel of shamelessness and disillusionment. It’s almost a capitalist Sermon on the Mount: Shed your shame and your illusions, and you too can be like me, a parasite who grows rich from the weakness of others. Of course he’s not dumb enough to believe that this lesson is available to all; it’s like John Calvin’s idea of salvation, a privilege bestowed on a chosen elect who rise above the sea of damned souls. I guess this is a spoiler, but Jordan Belfort’s story lacks the romantic or poetic conclusion that befalls both Alien in “Spring Breakers” and the original Jay Gatsby. He’s out there still, reinvented as a motivational speaker and “sales coach,” preaching the one true American religion, for which earlier Gatsby models laid down their lives. “Successful people are 100 percent convinced that they are masters of their own destiny,” he tells people. Richness is within your grasp, hypothetically speaking, and if you’re poor anyway, it’s clearly your own damn fault. (“‘The Wolf of WallStreet’: inequality and the Gatsby myth,” Andrew O’hehir, Salon.com)

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susan sunflower

Towards the end of Luhrman's Gatsby, there was a brief reference that made me realize that Luhrman saw Gatsby as the hero of the story, which I confess came as a shock. I had always viewed Gatsby much like the Wizard of Oz, a deep-pocketed magician whose feet of clay and unmagical reality would inevitably be discovered.

Still, aside from wondering exactly WHAT they were teaching "young people today," I realized that I had seen a very different movie based on a very different story from the one Luhrman had made. I wasn't willing to re-watch to re-appraise, but I did wonder if the rather widely divergent reviews reflected a certain generational and/or world view gap.

Having a couple of 12-steppers in the family -- 12 steppers who tended to regail any family gathering with the near-death experiences in the bad-old-days when they were using -- I anticipate rather similar "gap" in appreciation for this film. Those who lived through the excesses -- their own or others -- and came out unscathed or have healed may revel in seeing "those days" (or something approximating them) depicted on the big screen. I'm less certain that the victims and casualities, the collaterally damaged will be so amused and/or (once again) exactly how amused the female audience is likely to be.

It sounds like this movie has already been made several times in the last 30 years -- Even from this fairly enthusiastic and positive review, it doesn't sound like this incarnation actually has anything to say ... leaving what? My own feeling is that the "how the mighty have fallen" "closers are always closing" ending does not actually make this movie some how morally neutral.

           

Amity

@susan sunflower
"does not actually make this movie some how morally neutral."

Wait, I don't understand.  You want moral neutrality?

           

susan sunflower

@Amity @susan sunflower

No, but I think Scorcese does. 

Funny how a filmmaker can dodge those issues by claiming "based on a real story" and/or "based on a classic novel" ... as in, I didn't create this story … 

I wrote my comment before reading the daughter's story below. Bottom line, the Wolf of Wall Street survived. This seems to be a boys-will-be-boys story of wretched excess.  Hail-of-Bullets Tony Montana became a hero in some quarters. I thought "Blow" packed a punch without being preachy. If Gatsby can be considered hero these days ....  See also Gordon Gekko.

           

Emporium

@susan sunflower  The times you're living in empowers certain kinds of people. If the times are genuinely — actually morally — good, people like the flappers or hippies are the ones to watch. If you're hectoring their debauch, you're not seeing it straight. When times are bad, it's going to be the like of these assholes, who were going to need a lot, I mean a lot, of kindness to become people who don't need for you to lose so they can feel great, and who were meant to experience zero of it (strangely, Matthew McConaughey kind of does offer a bit at the beginning, which may explain why some critics who hated the film lurch back to this scene, as if long adrift in spank and sewage and desperate for recognized firmament). 

The problem about acknowledging that it is fun to watch these guys nonetheless — the times are enabling their stories, while cowing and deflating others, and it shows — is that you should in my opinion be able to recognize it with sadist Nazis (or maybe Germans in general in the late 30s, as we understand better that they really were one and the same) and their prey. That is the test I'd put to Richard Brody for instance, a very good man, who in discussion of this film genuinely bravely talks out "monstrous potentates whose vast and dark range of experience is precisely the source of their allure."

           

susan sunflower

@Emporium @susan sunflower

The contrast between Brody and Denby could not be greater


           

susan sunflower

@Emporium @susan sunflower

Actually it reminds me of "Apocalypse Now" which I absolutely loathed on a visceral level (while acknowledging the cinematic achievement) because I felt it glorified war (even as it "pretended" otherwise or camouflaged its enthusiasm in dirt, mud, and world-weary cynicism -- another classic book).

My memory is that pre-release, Apocalypse Now was "supposed" to be an anti-war film -- supposed to expose the "horror or war" -- but actually it's most vocal audience (as far as I could tell, this was pre-internet) were Vietnam Vets who endorsed that it depicted "what it was really like", struggling with PTSD, anti-war but watching it over and over. I thought it make war look like the epitome of being "really alive" .... intoxicating, sensual, sexy. I'm doubtful that Apocalypse Now would discourage any adventure seeing young man from enlisting.

( Interesting review by a Vietnamese film reviewer: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2001/nov/02/artsfeatures.londonfilmfestival2001 )

I'm inclined to think that Scorsese made this movie because its topic and extravaganza suited his tastes and his cinematic strengths -- gang of guys -- not because he cared so much about its rags to riches to rags story line. Quite likely because he wanted to revisit HIS OWN past revelries, his own "war stories", his glory days.

           

tasherbean

@susan sunflower excellent comment. I don't know if you saw the movie "Jarhead" with Jake Gyllenhaal, (which I thought was actually a pretty good depiction of the hurry up and wait aspect of life in the military) but the scene right before all the young Marine recruits were getting ready to ship out to Iraq, has them sitting in the Camp Pendleton movie theater watching and cheering crazily the famous helicopter attack scene in Apocalypse Now.......to make your point.


Emporium

@susan sunflower 

It's tough not to glorify people when it's their time. I've had managers at jobs who treat their employees abhorrently, but a fair recounting of who was living the more interesting life — them, or their unsettled employees — would mean for sure them. I live in a neighborhood that is gentrifying massively, and though I avoid their hangouts for their scent of you're-meant-to-feel-it assertion, the better, more confident artistic expression, is there. 

Watch "Walter Minty." Here you get one of those guys who's devotion has kept a company relevant for twenty years +, but seems simply embarrassing when a company feels totally that it can transplant a template where no one means more than their role. Walter gets these great "prompts"—spirited "girlfriend"; grounded family; rugged hero who even the "wolves" salivate over in admiration — that end up meaning that though he loses his job, he can evolve into equal in presence to the "wolf on wall street" boss who has everyone else in his company cowed in fear, and whom the age, even the movie agrees, is mostly theirs now. 

This isn't necessarily more fun to watch than "Wolf". It doesn't admit to the masochism that it baits most in the audience with: feeling small lends to your surely being virtuous. And it's a lie: it's doubtful the few true Walter Mintys out there are living as enjoyably, as compellingly, as these assholes are. Sparks of inspiration — meet jet engine!

Someone at the NewYorker has just suggested these "wolves" are (“the Great Gatsby's”) Buchanan's point-of-view, but this isn't true. Gatsby, was new wealth, when the old was feeling less sure of itself — and the wolves are feeling it

They're really Gatsby — those the age wants to inflate — stripped of course of all that otherwise commends, for our age being the punishment for a previous one's egoistic proclamation that human beings are good, and deserve — all of them; even the weak and gullible — to know happiness and pleasure.



Emporium / Patrick McEvoy-Halston

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Noblesse oblige

Everybody who writes about movies dreads making these lists, yet all of us want to readeach other’s lists. Partly we’re looking for affirmation, partly we’re looking for ideas, and partly we’re looking for guidance on how to approach this strange exercise in subjectivity and perspective. I kept my movie-watching in 2013 to an almost human scale at roughly 175 films, about half the number I typically watched in the days of Salon’s “Beyond the Multiplex” column. (I know plenty of people in and around the film business who watch 450 to 500, or even more.) Even so, you wind up faced with ridiculous conundrums: How do I decide whether a contentious French drama about a love affair between two young women is better or worse than an absorbing and informative documentary set in Tahrir Square? Can’t we say they’re both terrific, and leave it at that?
Sure we could, but that would be cheating. I decided sit down one day in mid-December and make the list quickly, without much deliberation. I don’t fiddle with it for weeks and I don’t try to make guesses about historical importance or whatever; that won’t make me happier, and the odds that I’ll look at it six months or a year from now and think I screwed it up are pretty high in any case. Suffice it to say that what everybody says about 2013 is true: It’s been an explosive year for movies in general and especially for American cinema. We may be in the “post-theatrical” age but movies continue to play surprisingly widely on the big screen, even as more and more people watch them at home, on mobile devices or via brain implants. (OK, that technology’s not quite ready, but just you wait.)
The 10 movies on this list all moved me, challenged me, thrilled me and delighted me; I recommend them all without hesitation. [. . .] 1. “Stories We Tell” 2. “12 Years a Slave” 3. “Inside Llewyn Davis” 4. “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”  5. “Blue Is the Warmest Color”  6. “The Great Beauty” 7. “The Square” 8. “The Invisible Woman” 9. “Her” 10. “The Wolf of Wall Street” (The10 best movies of 2013, Andrew O'hehir, Salon.com)
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Douglas Moran

I'm trying to decide if the fact that I've not only not seen any of these films but have no interest in seeing any of them means: A) I'm a typical shallow, middle-class American with middle-brow tastes; B) I don't get out often enough; C) Andrew's taste is too highfalutin' for the likes of me; D) None of the above.

One thing for sure:  I'm never going to watch the hugely-praised "12 Years a Slave", which while I'm sure is an excellent film, I know will depress the living crap out of me.  Life is depressing enough; I don't need to pay money to see a film and be artificially depressed.  I know this makes me a plebe, but jeez.  (It reminds me very much of when the Glenn Close/John Malkovich "Dangerous Liaisons" was released--I saw it based on the reviews, was depressed as crap by it, and have never, ever wanted to see it again.)

           

Andrew O'Hehir

@Douglas Moran All of the above, Doug. I mean, the ordinary moviegoer wants something different than a critic wants, and there's kind of no way around that. I'm not going to pretend to be a populist, Gene Shalit style, if it doesn't fit. I heard Vincent Canby talk about this years ago: When you see 200+ movies a year, you become a specialist, and you're looking for something you've never seen before. Whereas ordinary moviegoers, by and large, want to see essentially what they've seen before, done well or with a new twist, and with a familiar outcome. The audience for "12 Years a Slave" is inherently much smaller than the audience for "Gravity" or "The Hobbit," and even the audience for "Wolf of Wall Street" (with stars and glamour but a somewhat "unsatisfying" conclusion) is somewhat smaller.


Douglas Moran

@Andrew O'Hehir @Douglas Moran  In all honesty, I have no idea how you can watch that many movies in a single year.  I have to imagine that it changes your perception, and have often thought that "uniqueness" becomes far more of a sought-after quality for a critic than "entertainment".  So something that the great mass of people will find entertaining, a huge percentage of critics will either roll their eyes at or actively detest--"Sleepless in Seattle" or "Love, Actually" being a couple of perfect examples of that.  Isn't there some quote about the familiar becoming detestable, or something like that?  When you see 40 romantic comedies in one year (most bad), you've got to get burned out on them.  Or so I've thought.

Of course, when one goes to so few films in a particular year, one is pre-disposed to want to like them.  And then if you don't, it's even more disappointing.  Such was my reaction to "Elysium", which was one of the few films I made an effort to see this year, and which was basically, "Meh".  Which pissed me off mightily; "I spend all this time, effort, and money, and all I get is 'Meh'?  I'm going to blog about this until my fingers fall off!"  Etc.  

And ironically, when one skips a film because of reviews and then sees it on DVD or whatever and it turns out to be okay, you may end up liking it better.  Such was the case for me with "Oblivion", which got (at best) "Meh" reviews, but which wasn't too bad.  So long as I didn't spent the effort and time of going to a theater to see it.

With critics, the best one can do is find a critic who either provides enough information, entertainment value, or shares your opinions closely enough so as to be useful to you.  So although we seen it demonstrated many times that your tastes are wildly different from mine, you write informative and entertaining reviews that provide enough data that allow me to make an informed decision.  (I felt the same with Charles Taylor, FWIW.)  And given my knowledge of your tastes, I know that I wouldn't enjoy "12 Years a Slave", no matter how goddamn awesome it is in some absolute, Platonic Ideal of a Film way.  It would just depress me, anger me, make me cry or outraged or whatever, and my blood pressure doesn't need that.  So I skipped it.

But I won't stop reading your reviews.  Even when you call me a typical shallow, middle-class American with middle-brow tastes.  So there!  :)


Emporium

@Douglas Moran @Andrew O'Hehir This was like something out of a Jane Austen novel. 

The lord discusses aesthetic preferences with one of the respected men in his nearby town—a pastor, an affluent farmer, a doctor. The lord will be the master in this conversation, but he takes care to give room for the town leader to imagine himself less afflicted than the lord is, that his comparative ignorance and suspicion of change is a sign of his being contented in settled, rich, bourgeois propriety.

So the town leader for a moment gets to pretend he's master in this conversation, by tending to the lord's affliction in a way that highlights his own contentment. Chest out, pleased in feeling a proprietor — who, being a small master of the universe, is of course mostly just going to indulge in daily contentment rather than jostling foreign novelty— he then quickly lends the rest of his thought to acknowledging the real superiority of the lord and the stultifying aspect of his perpetual fixedness. 

The lord has the refined intelligence and awareness; the lord rightly has the authority to instruct. And he, even if he harrumphs his way through the reviews, nevertheless still listens. This doesn't make him a joke; he's still a battler. But deep down he acknowledges his betters. In his middling home set up so middlingly, on the table — even if mostly unread — is apt to be the Times. 

The town leader doesn't want the authority of the lord. He feels comfortable in some place middling — the lords keep the psychic terror "Krakens" at bay. But he likes that the lord's preference for him owing to his being the ideal John Bull-type the royalty can rely on, means he ranges his own grounds with that much more righteous pomposity. 

Here it means being an agent in the comment sections, who may not be an O'hehir or a Taylor, but owing to their concern to single him out in a friendly, acknowledging fashion, he's a warden to everyone else. 

For this empowerment, this flattering divine touch, of course he's still reading his reviews, however much he's thereafter openly begrudged. Mr Collins to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, nothing ever will sink the truth benighted in this grand moment of grace! 


Douglas Moran

@Emporium @Douglas Moran @Andrew O'Hehir So if I parse this correctly (which is hard, honestly, given the length of your analogy), I only read O'Hehir's reviews because he occasionally answers me with courtesy and good humor in the comments section?  Not because, as I said, I find them informative enough to help me decide which movies to see, but because he has shown me Noblesse Oblige?  Is that what you're saying?

Emporium

@Douglas Moran @Emporium @Andrew O'Hehir @Douglas Moran @Emporium @Andrew O'Hehir  In true gentry style, his courteous, good-humored reply had a lot of teaching in it — which some might find plainly arrogant: critics pursue and are entertained by novelty, something new and smart; ordinary people, by a repeat of the same 'ol sack of shit. Under cover of the ostensible key difference — number of movies watched — is being pushed a class difference, a difference in quality of person. 

To which you replied you're still not going to see "12 years," even if God had placed all the wisdom of the universe in it, if there's any risk of it spoiling your dinner. But you're obliged to have had him visit, and ensure him you'll keep reading his reviews to make sure you make an informed decision as to which film out there won't depress, anger, outrage, or unsettle your blood pressure in any way. 

With such self-mockery here, I gathered you conceded that the films he likes are probably those anyone who has a larger stake in the world probably ought to watch. The bumpkin was visited by a lord, and afterwards felt contented and even thrilled. 

So, yeah, I'm thinking noblesse oblige. 


Douglas Moran

@Emporium @Douglas Moran @Andrew O'Hehir  Ah, I see; thanks for clarifying.  I've got it now:  You're a pompous, pretentious bore who believes that, by reading a couple of posts by people you don't know in any way whatsoever and of whose past interactions you have zero knowledge, you nonetheless feel informed and wise enough to pass judgement thereon.  Got it.

That will save me considerable time in the future should I happen upon another of your comments; I'll simply skip over it and save myself the trouble of trying to untwist your tortured syntax.  Thanks; appreciate it.

And by the way, Pro Tip:  If you're going to use such over-boiled phrasing and grammar, you might want to re-read your comments before pressing the "Post" button.  For example, I "assured" Andrew; I didn't "ensure" him.  Also, a single return after a paragraph suffices.  I'm sure on re-reading other edits will occur to you, given your vast and superior knowledge of the written form.


Andrew O'Hehir

@Douglas Moran I have to admit, this whole thing was hugely entertaining. And one of my main reactions (to myself) was: Dude, no freakin' way is some guy in the comments going to out-marxist-analysis me!
           

Douglas Moran

@Andrew O'Hehir @Douglas Moran [laughter]

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Emporium

@Andrew O'Hehir @Douglas Moran  
When you see 200+ movies a year, you become a specialist, and you're looking for something you've never seen before. Whereas ordinary moviegoers, by and large, want to see essentially what they've seen before, done well or with a new twist, and with a familiar outcome. 

This description of ordinary moviegoers would seem to have nothing to do with how many movies they watch. Anyone who wants to see what they've seen before with a familiar outcome, isn't going to seem to naturally evolve into someone who prefers the new and different if they upped their viewing habits. Rather than finally yearn to barf it up, then change it up, they'll eat their predictable bland plate of steak and potatoes with the same insistent pleasure Homer Simpson would his one-billionth donut. 

That is, it's more honest to say that even if the critic can only for some reason make it to ten rather than the two hundred films they prefer or at least usually have to watch, they just naturally are people who take most pleasure, not in the repetition of thrills, but in the piquant, the fresh, the new. They're beyond repetition-compulsion; are more evolved than middlebrow — and it's not owing to practice. 

There certainly are critics that are that. True leaders; better than the average dope, I mean. Still, there's a good number I reckon unconsciously pick choices they can imagine leaving the mob in a fit of frustration. Became the critic, to indulge the delight in stymying. Critic film geeks.  

Emporium/Patrick McEvoy-Halston