Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Right on!

"You are all my guests. That's how I feel. Not the other way around. I am the best filmmaker in the world." -- Lars Von Trier, during a press conference at the currently ongoing Cannes Film Festival to a bunch of pompous film critics who attacked his latest film Antichrist and asked him to "justify" its existence. I'm sure they will take him at his word, not catching his sense of humor (they never do -- see their responses to the Dogme Manifesto, which they seemed to think was as serious as the Ten Commandments), and attack him some more for declaring himself the best in the world. They won't attack themselves for demanding that an artist justify something he made. Ask a fireman to justify putting out a fire, you stupid clods. I will never understand the vitriolic hatred for Von Trier and the gullible swallowing of his poker-faced provocations by the majority of film critics, journalists, and film buffs. I can see why his movies are divisive, but I don't understand where his critics' anger and hate and self-serving outrage come from. Why does he make people so mad? Because he believes in what he's doing? Because he's supposedly "sadistic"? (I think that's a lot of bullshit.) Because he's more formally inventive than most people making movies right now? I don't know. It baffles me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's because amistad and glory and crash let audiences feel good, or superior, about feeling bad, but dogville or dancer in the dark make you feel bad about your complicity in bad (or the ways in which your feeling bad makes you feel good). The former are light entertainment, the latter are the opposite of that, which puts them out of the purview of what even the most serious, and yet bill-paying, "film critic" is interested or expected to comment on. in fact, it's the opposite of what they are expected to comment on: it's hard to show how clever and hip and snarky your critical "writing persona" is when you are dealing with films that are legitimately devastating. so maybe the problem is criticism as light entertainment? or maybe there ain't a problem, just a pile of jerks in one corner and another pile of jerks in another?

the lesson is: only watch movies about superheroes, penguins, or dudes in drag wearing fat suits. (on that: did the market really demand multiple varieties/franchises of black dudes in drag wearing fat suits? one, i understand. but can you imagine the meeting where some dude had to propose another one? that meeting should be the next von trier movie.)


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