For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence."
For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con.
For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them."
For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension."
For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it.
For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists."
It spent thirty years in development, three in editing
and, yes, it contains dinosaurs
. The Tree of Life
, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan
and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick
, won the Palme d'Or
at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States
. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar
on May 26, 2011 -
Hearing him discuss films one day in the Lake Street Screening Room used by Chicago critics, Ebert said, "I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was." After reading his work online, Ebert was sold.Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
, 24, will co-host
the revival of At the Movies
with Christy Lemire. [previously] [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Jan 4, 2011 -
Rise of the Neuronovel.
Marco Roth at N+1 argues that the recent interest of contemporary novels (Motherless Brooklyn
, Atmospheric Disturbances
) in the disordered wetware of their characters represents a defeat for fiction. "...the new genre of the neuronovel, which looks on the face of it to expand the writ of literature, appears as another sign of the novel’s diminishing purview." Jonah Lehrer responds to Roth and Roth responds back.
posted by escabeche
on Jan 2, 2011 -
This may only occur to the obsessive student of The Parent Trap, but once the subtleties are noticed, hints start stacking up, and a creeping sense of the mythic pervades the film...
Join Chris Stangl, King of the Beanplaters
, as he obsessively studies The Parent Trap
, Little Shop of Horrors
, Teen Wolf
, the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, and more
posted by Iridic
on Oct 28, 2010 -
"… if I ever have to see this gurning little maggot clicking into faux reverie mode again – rising from his seat to jazz-slap the top of his piano wearing a fake-groove expression on his piggish little face – if I have to witness that one more time I'm going to rise up and kill absolutely everybody in the world, starting with him and ending with me.". Charlie Brooker, the UK Guardian's TV 'critic', calls it quits.
posted by lalochezia
on Oct 15, 2010 -
Confused in Catan? Conflicted about Carcassonne? Puzzled in Puerto Rico? You've heard about all these awesome new board games that are out these days, but don't know where to begin? Help is here! Scott Nicholson knows all about 'em, and will explain them in great detail in his video series Board Games With Scott! [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Aug 8, 2010 -
The 2010 Booker longlist is out,
and it seems that most of the buzz in the UK is about who's not
on the list. The Guardian article "Amis-free Booker prize longlist promises to 'entertain and provoke'
" introducing the list of 13 nominees actually devotes its headline, subhead, and most of the first four paragraphs to the subject of who's missing in action: Amis, McEwan, Rushdie. Elsewhere in the Guardian Books section, research professor Gabriel Josipovici pulls no punches in including these (former?) darlings of the glitterati in his assertion that Feted British authors are limited, arrogant and self-satisfied
, compares them to "prep-school boys showing off," calls them "virtually indistinguishable from one another in scope and ambition," and muses that the fact that they have won so many awards is "a mystery." [more inside]
posted by taz
on Jul 29, 2010 -
General Stanley McChrystal is in hot water
over a Rolling Stone article
(pdf) where he and his staff are quoted criticizing Obama, Biden, and senior administration officials. (Previously
on McChrystal's appointment.)
posted by Forktine
on Jun 22, 2010 -
What I find chiefly offensive about them is not that they are skeptics or atheists; rather, it is that they are not skeptics at all and have purchased their atheism cheaply, with the sort of boorish arrogance that might make a man believe himself a great strategist because his tanks overwhelmed a town of unarmed peasants, or a great lover because he can afford the price of admission to a brothel.
Christian writer Dan Hart wonders if New Atheism
might just be a passing fad
. [more inside]
posted by circular
on May 14, 2010 -
In its latest issue, the American Book Review
has taken stock of literature and come up with its Top 40 Bad Books
[pdf]. Faced with the unusual Top 40 list (which is not strictly a list and includes, among other things, The Great Gatsby
) Alison Flood at the Guardian
responds by asking, "What makes a bad book bad?
" while at the L.A. Times
, Carolyn Kellogg puts forth
that the list's only constant is "that the best books that appear on their worst-book list are subject to the most unreasonable critiques." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco
on Mar 16, 2010 -
I mean, in these days of indoor plumbing, the toilet is a naturally potent metaphor for everyday repression, for all the bile and rage and memories and sins and other impure thoughts and unclean urges that can't always kept down or flushed away. Every once in a while when the psychological plumbing gets clogged, the load of excrement becomes more than one's psychological pipes can handle, and the shit all comes bubbling back up from below and spews out onto the surface.A survey of plumbing in the movies. Wee bit NSFW in both word and image.
posted by kipmanley
on Mar 9, 2010 -
Satire has long been part of discourse, with written records going back to the Ramesside Period of Ancient Egypt
, and two primary classifications of satire originate with the Roman satirists Horace and Juvenal
. Other notable historic figures
have also been authors of significant satire, but not always with much appreciation
. News satire
furthers the awkward stance with public, as the public may read satire as an outrageous truth
, and be angered instead of amused. The Daily Show, and Jon Stewart in specific, ranks well in the fractured world of current news programming
, and the show was noted in the New York Times as "a genuine cultural and political force
, but you don't have take their word for it. Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism studied the content of The Daily Show for an entire year (2007)
, providing interesting (if slightly dated) details on the show. That year included their much-viewed coverage fo the Democratic and Republican National Conventions
. And in poll results published July 24, 2009
, Jon Stewart was voted America's most trusted newscaster
, apparently filling the position previously held by Walter Cronkite
. But is it because Stewart is one of the few journalists willing to ask the hard questions
or has America been won over by "cheap laughs"
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 6, 2009 -
Greil Marcus writes Real Life Top Ten
for the Believer Magazine, in which he lists "anything that remotely has to do with music, a dress Bette Midler wore at an awards show or a great guitar solo in the middle of a song that otherwise wasn't very interesting." But he's been writing this column online
for just about 10 years. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Jun 25, 2009 -
"R, and G, and B
" is a very well-curated — and, seemingly as yet undiscovered — film review blog by the video artist Blake Williams covering pictures by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Carl Dreyer, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick and, best of all, Abbas Kiarostami.
posted by colinmarshall
on Mar 15, 2009 -
The realistic style is easy to abuse: from haste, from lack of awareness, from inability to bridge the chasm that lies between what a writer would like to be able to say and what he actually knows how to say. It is easy to fake; brutality is not strength, flipness is not wit, edge-of-the-chair writing can be as boring as flat writing; dalliance with promiscuous blondes can be very dull stuff when described by goaty young men with no other purpose in mind than to describe dalliance with promiscuous blondes. There has been so much of this sort of thing that if a character in a detective story says, "Yeah," the author is automatically a Hammett imitator.
Raymond Chandler, "The Simple Art of Murder" (1950)
posted by Navelgazer
on Sep 24, 2008 -
Dude, You Stole My Article
They say everyone's a critic, but in this case, the critic is everyone. Today in Slate, Jody Rosen uncovers what just might be "in purely statistical terms ... the greatest plagiarism scandal in the annals of American journalism".
Stolen from Zoilus
posted by Paid In Full
on Aug 7, 2008 -
by George Saunders
"Last night, in a biker bar, I overheard two men discussing what distinguished “realist” fiction from more “experimental” work. Although one shouldn’t generalize, I never expect bikers to be literary critics. Well, these were literary critics, and good ones—in fact, they’d bought their “hogs” with royalties from a book they’d co-written, Feminine Desire In Jane Austen
by George Saunders
"Experimental fiction is the art of telling a story in which certain aspects of reality have been exaggerated or distorted in such a way as to put the reader off the story and make him go watch a television show."
posted by plexi
on Aug 5, 2008 -