Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not Dumb Movies

Zoe Williams says, 'This tesselates with the political point...' I know the feeling, you fall in love with a word and you just have to use it. I think I'm still supposed to get 'maieutic' into The Sunday Times as a result of a ten-year-old bet. Somehow, the opportunity never arises and, anyway, I don't like the word any more. Leaving that aside, Williams goes along with the offendee I heard on Today. Women are badly portrayed in movies etc. As I said, so are men, only worse. But Williams goes further and says movies are not for adults so we should give up on them. Her evidence is the list of the top grossing movies of this century. But surely this is like giving up on literature because of Jeffrey Archer. I've just watched Steve McQueen's Hunger and rewatched Joanna Hogg's Unrelated on DVD - pretty grown-up films and both better than Slumdog Millionaire by a very wide margin. Of course, they were barely distributed. But, if people had gone to see them in large numbers, they would have been. Furthermore, the net quality of current films and the financing of grown-up cinema of the future would have been improved. In other words, giving up on cinema because of a few dumb blockbusters is a mechanism for ensuring you are right about the dumbing down of films and for putting serious movie makers out of business. It's a kind of circular tesselation.


  1. I'd give up on newspapers because of the guardian.

  2. I suppose 'tesselates' makes a change from 'resonates', which is currently everywhere.

    Not a good change, mind. It goes CLANG, clumsy as a name-drop.

  3. The Guardian: Up with the working classes! Down with the oppressive fascist white man and his elitist culture!!

    The Guardian: Up with elitist film making! Down with working class people too dumb to like art movies!!

  4. Ive got a plan, how about "Blockbuster Offsetting", me and my boys are really looking forward to "watchmen" and "star Trek" so how about before we put on a new pair of cargo shorts, Tees and baseball hats we agree to rewatch,
    Sophie Scholl, and Tell no one?

    *not sure if Tell no One, is in the guardian approved list as it was a French blockbuster based on a American pulp novel? I am sure the regulatory authority (staffed from the pages of the Guardian) can adjudicate.

  5. Talking of Jeffrey Archer, he's blogging quite beautifully at the moment, having completely mastered the art of Pooter-ish bathos.

    For some reason, I especially enjoyed this report of a charity evening:

    The main speaker was Sir Matthew Pinsent, who gave a fascinating talk on what it's like to win four Gold medals in four Olympics. The auction raised £21,000, but I didn't get home until 1.30am.

  6. Thanks, Brit, for reminding us of Archer/Pooter. To quote the great lord himself (see his recent entry on art forgery), it's 'undoubtedly the work of a genius - some of whom slip through the net'.

  7. Your ending statement I could not agree with more. Sure, there has been a severe flux in quality - but that doesn't prevent people from watching Kubrick, Cronenberg, Lynch, or any other 'auteur' now does it?