Re: La Jetee

From: flick harrison (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Sep 10 2007 - 22:39:33 PDT

On 8-Sep-07, at 9:34 PM, Jim Carlile wrote:

> Some good ideas, but pretentious.

Pauline Kael didn't really like Bunuel at all, to my understanding,
but I still love him. She thought he was kind of a one-joke wonder,
which makes not the slightest sense to me - a disagreement which has
coloured my reaction to Kael ever since.

And "pretentious" is a pretty broad and vague put-down - it could be
used against anything that is the slightest bit more intellectual /
poetic / difficult than the critic's personal taste. It could be the
inverse of "dumbed-down," which can be applied precisely in the
opposite direction.

I like la Jetee because the central filmic premise - that moving
pictures don't need to move - is interesting and the story is
intriguing. "filmically interesting and thematically intriguing"
could be called pretentious values, I suppose - certainly Arnold
Schwarzenegger's movies aspire to neither. But then, you could take
12 Monkeys, which is a pseudo-Hollywood popularization of the themes
in La Jetee (significantly expanded and warped, of course) and call
that "dumbed-down".

A true cinephile could call Tarantino's films dumbed-down cinema
chic, while a mainstream viewer could call their tedious homages
pretentious. Or vice-versa for that matter.

If you did, for instance, point out a particular pretence, and
suggest why it's insincere or otherwise lame, that'd be more useful.,

> I mean, come on. Some of those lines are pretty giggle-inducing.
> Considering its reputation, I was amazed at how awkward and
> bathetic it was.

Now, bathetic is a meatier criticism. But still, easy to swash around
with a giant critical brush.


For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.