Wednesday, August 01, 2007


“What is impressive about Antonioni’s films is not that they are good,” wrote film scholar Seymour Chatman, “but that they have been made at all.” It's an offensive comment, since "Blow-Up" and "The Passenger" are two of the greatest movies ever made as far as this blogging bowl of soup is concerned. (Why I was just talking about Blow-Up a a few days ago...)

What is impressive about reading the obits for these two masters is not the truckloads of flowery accolades, not even the heartfelt criticisms, but the salacious, bitchy snipes that everyone seems to have at the ready. For some reason, people love to weigh in with their REAL feelings about directors. Amusingly, perhaps the best example we have of this comes from Mr. Bergman himself. (Read his bilious dismissals here) "Infinitely boring...mind-numbingly boring...a hoax!" and on and on he goes, one cinematic visionary after another, shot out of the sky like a fat duck. I especially love the "boring" comment, since let's face it, Bergman wasn't exactly the Jean Claude van Damme of scintillation. I mean his films are poised, uplifting, funny, complex, brilliant, but man alive, can they drag their heels...


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