Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The New Year (Continued)

Is it just me or is everything awfully quiet lately? In the blogosphere particularly.

I suppose we have the tsunami to thank for this. It's as if people have realised that most of what they argue passionately about is rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. As long-time Montreal Gazette reporter Hubert Bauch pointed out in his year-end round-up, if same-sex marriage was the most divisive and difficult issue facing Canadians this year, then 2004 was an annus not-so-horribilis.

So, let's talk movies then. How 'bout that?

1) What's up with all these critics (ie. Slate's David Edelstein) listing Hero and House of Flying Daggers side by side on their top ten lists? They were different movies, folks! I, for one, loved Hero, but thought House of Flying Daggers was overlong and a little too ridiculous. Hero was an epic and had something to say, House of Flying Daggers was fluffy and silly.
Can you imagine anyone putting together two English-language films by the same director like that? Lumping Hero and House of Flying Daggers together basically says, "Man, I liked them pretty, colourful Chinese movies!"

2) But wait! David Edelstein is so right about something else: "Any year that produces Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a great one for movies." Agreed!
You know what I'm tired off? Critics whining about how baaaad movies are this year or last year or the year before. Look: You're never going to be young again and it's never going to the seventies again and you're never going to be young in the seventies again. Get over it!

3) I'm linking to Slate for the third time in a row! It's time for the annual Critic v. Critic Movie Club, and it's a real humdinger!

4) The New York Times' A.O. Scott acknowledges it: Sideways is the most overrated movie of the year. This should make some people very happy. But it will make Charles Krauthammer cry.

5) I'll say this here: Angels in America is the most overrated TV movie of the year.
I don't know if Ross of The American Scene would like it more if he saw the stage play instead of the misguided TV movie. (Dale Peck had a good piece comparing the two earlier this year.) But I'll admit that I go through stages of liking and disliking it. In a university seminar back in the day, I argued that it was a play permanently mired in the 1980s and was aging really badly. But then I decided I liked it later on...
I'm undecided and really need to get it out and read it again, especially given my recent shift towards thinking that all agitprop is bad for theatre and bad for politics.

6) I have nothing else to say about movies right now. If you're interested in the state of Canadian journalism, however, I'd direct you to this article by Paul Wells. I'm a little skeptical of his cure, but I have to ruminate on it further before discussing it. And I may never discuss it, because, well, you can figure it out...

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