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The Triumph of Derrièrism
December 15, 2008 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Jon Swift, satirist blogger (previously on MeFi), has identified an important new school of film criticism. He calls it Derrièrism—since all schools of film criticism must have French names—and asserts that the main criteria a movie should be judged by is whether the viewer's ass shifts in his or her seat while watching it. He claims Derrièrism is on the rise, citing Andrew Breitbart's soon-to-be-launched Big Hollywood, a site that will include film reviews and criticism by thoughtful cinéastes like House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor, Reps. Thaddeus McCotter, Mary Bono Mack and Connie Mack, former presidential candidate Fred Thompson, MSNBC correspondent Tucker Carlson and conservative commentators Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and others.

Derrièrism has been written about by Variety and The New York Times. Neither note the satirical nature of the writing; either they didn't want to spoil the joke by pointing out the obvious or they need to change the batteries in their satire detectors.
posted by defenestration (23 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
As someone with a near-infinite attention span and practically no ass, I feel pretty excluded.
posted by hermitosis at 2:39 PM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thought at first this FPP was another reference to Deskology, but alas.
posted by lunit at 2:50 PM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jon Swift was one of the first blogs I bookmarked, and I believe the longest lasting bookmark I have. His campaign coverage this year was downright hilarious.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:54 PM on December 15, 2008


Quite seriously, I rate films by the number of times I look at my watch during the showing. Similar to Derrierism, it's a measure of how well the film holds my attention.
posted by pivotal at 3:40 PM on December 15, 2008


Derrièrism is on the rise

[throws out hands]
[sticks out toosh]
[puts hands on hips]
[gives 'em a push]
Surprised? I'm doing the French Mistake!
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:05 PM on December 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's called the numb ass scale in English and my friends and I have used it since the late 70's.
How soon and how bad does you ass turn numb, then hurt during a movie?
posted by hooptycritter at 4:12 PM on December 15, 2008


Imagine — the whole world wired to Harry Cohn's Jon Swift's Metafilter's ass!
posted by Joey Bagels at 4:20 PM on December 15, 2008


This resonates. Toward the late middle of Lord of the Rings I started getting hand-delivered telegrams, right there in my seat in the theatre's aisle seat, delivered by a young man in a snappy suit and round cap, that read things like "Dude Stop Seriously Had Enough Stop Please Make It End Stop Sincerely Your Ass".
posted by rusty at 4:32 PM on December 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


I love Fred Thompson. Butt-Numb-A-Thon?
posted by Curry at 5:26 PM on December 15, 2008


I love this! It works for so many things!

Who needs the classics when Third Eye Blind is back in business? "The four right chords can make me cry?" Damn straight!

Jackson Pollack and Piet Mondrian? Fuck those guys! With Bob Ross I know what I'm looking at, thank you very much.

And have you heard these elite intellectual librul pussies talking about the "puzzles" in Ulysses? It's like they've never even heard of Encyclopedia Brown!

When you come across something new, I implore you to defend what you know. When faced with something that confuses you, turn away and refuse to answer. If something that other people adore bores the crap out of you, perish the thought that the problem might be on your end.

Above all else, if art challenges you, challenge it right back. You deserve better. You deserve to be pandered to, by god.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:40 PM on December 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


“My primary goal is to diversify Hollywood,” Mr. Breitbart told The Hill. “Those people [in Hollywood] who dissent are so summarily attacked and dismissed that they learn to just keep their mouths shut. And there’s nothing I like more than to have debate free and open in America.”

Sounds like payback for An American Carol's reception. That story about Ebert and his review of Tru Loved was just bizarre.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:12 PM on December 15, 2008


... main criterion.
posted by Siberian Mist at 6:37 PM on December 15, 2008


Oops. I should've proofread more thoroughly.
posted by defenestration at 6:42 PM on December 15, 2008


> Above all else, if art challenges you, challenge it right back. You deserve better. You deserve to be pandered to, by god.

The idea that art should challenge the audience is quite recent, and to be honest, I much prefer art that "panders" to art that takes 20 scholars to explain.
posted by archagon at 7:36 PM on December 15, 2008


Above all else, if art challenges you, challenge it right back.

That was great, Navelgazer.

---

I wonder if some of the commenters here haven't actually read the blog posts. Derrièrism is not supposed to be a legitimate form of criticism. Rather, it is Mr Swift's criticism of shitty film criticism that is based on a proud lack of intellectual curiosity; a form of film criticism that serves as a validation of tastes built on short attention spans and an inclination to appreciate only non-challenging work, as well as a dismissal of 'hard' art as rubbish and elitist. Granted, if you view movies as only a form of escapism, the simple definition outlined in this FPP may sound reasonable to you. That's cool, but I'd wager you have no aspirations of becoming a film critic and rightfully so.

Also, if you read the posts, you'll see there's a lot more to it than that simple definition.
posted by defenestration at 7:43 PM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I much prefer art that "panders" to art that takes 20 scholars to explain.

Good thing those aren't the only choices.
posted by defenestration at 7:46 PM on December 15, 2008


That's cool, but I'd wager you have no aspirations of becoming a film critic and rightfully so.

That came off as really condescending and I really didn't mean it that way. What I was trying to say is that if you only see film as a form of escapism, I doubt you are going to dedicate the time and effort that written film criticism takes.
posted by defenestration at 7:52 PM on December 15, 2008


Not to get all, y'know, serious, but re: Ebert and Tru Loved, I know I've turned off movies before the end of the first act. Not often, but it happens. And look, we're talking about a man who sat through this. If he says he saw all he needed to see eight minutes in, I'm inclined to believe him.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:11 PM on December 15, 2008


Navelgazer: I love this! It works for so many things!
[...]
Christ, what an asshole.


Uh, who are you talking about here? I mean, if you think what Jon Swift wrote here makes him an asshole, then you'll be horrified by this.
posted by moonbiter at 12:19 AM on December 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Never thought about it till now, but I wonder if Derrida was taunted in the playground for having a name that sounded like derrière? Probably the French have a different name for one's rear.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 1:41 AM on December 16, 2008


My friend the physician rates movies by taking his pulse during the most exciting parts.
posted by straight at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2008


yea defenestration, you are the only connoisseur of art films and the only one with more than and nonosecond of attention span.
I just watched Truffaut's "Elevator to the Gallows", Mizoguchi"s "Women of the Night," Tarkovsky's "Ivan's Childhood" and "I am Legend" - "Legend" is the only one that numbed my ass.
Douche (pronounce "do-shay") Sir Summer's Eve!
posted by hooptycritter at 4:23 PM on December 16, 2008


hoopty, when did I claim that I am "the only connoisseur of art films and the only one with more than and nonosecond of attention span"?

I didn't even really want to post that follow-up, but I was concerned that I didn't frame the links in a way that would get people to actually read them. I felt that some of the posts in here were from people who felt they agreed, but didn't actually realize what they were agreeing with. I (obviously) think the posts are worth reading and discussing, so I was attempting to explain part of what the posts were about (beyond butt-numbness), in order to get people interested in reading and discussing them. Apparently, I have failed.

I find your take on what I was saying very odd, to say the least. Personally, I love all different types of movies for many different reasons; thought-provoking, pure entertainment, somewhere in between, whatever— if it's good, it's good.

PS - Malle, not Truffaut, directed "Elevator to the Gallows"... Great flick.
posted by defenestration at 7:45 PM on December 18, 2008


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