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« TIFF '12: Leviathan | Main | TIFF '12: Something in the Air »

September 16, 2012


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Wood had plenty of work ethic and motivation. He just lacked talent, timing and luck, items which are not so easily explained. The great Martin Scorsese himself can't tell the difference between suck and cool anymore, but I'd rather watch a Wood flick any day over "Hugo."


" How we transcend suckiness is a mysterious process which even those who succeed are at a loss to explain."

Hardly at a complete loss. There are those "moments", those "gifts", maybe that is what you are talking about. The rest of it is a very un-neurotic and un-mysterious, persistent and crafted work ethic. Mixed with hopefully and usually at least a bit of talent, timing and luck. None of which are evident in Wood's offerings.

Wood fans are slumming. They tend to be college-aged. They tend to outgrow it.

Bill C

I feel the need to clarify--even though it says in the body of the article, "Originally published: November 30, 2004"--that aside from the Blu-ray portion, this review was written in 2004, hence the oddly anachronistic reference.


I believe Sir Chaw is saying the results of the 2004 election are eternal. What it's got to do with the subject at hand is less clear, other than we might view G.W. Bush as the Ed Wood of Presidents.
We laugh at Mr. Wood, so our love may be condescending, but we also identify with him. Anyone who's ever tried to create something has a voice in his head saying, "You suck" and often it's right. How we transcend suckiness is a mysterious process which even those who succeed are at a loss to explain.


What does that '2004 election' throwaway line even mean?


"More importantly, he's on the tips of cinephile tongues long after his passing; unlike some of Welles's neglected late work, Ed Wood's stuff is eternal"

Yet I detect something sycophantic about those that root for Woods. Welle's "neglected late work" was thus b/c it had to compete with Welle's earlier work. For an artist, public success adds suffering. I do not get that sense with Wood.

"the difference between a director of vision and a director with a vision that sucks."

You think there is middle ground? I don't know about his vision, it's really his inability to make any vision worthwhile.

Fans laugh at his serious attempts and therefore laugh at him. It seems to be condescension at its most ferocious.

Fans also tend to be ignorant of Wood's later life - writing and producing pornography, which he apparently hated, dying without a cent. Now, some artists have similar endings and find their due too late. Yet, the whole thing smacks of pure desperation. Is it well to champion unbridled and apparently unaware incompetence? Is it not a wasted life? Vampira in her later years summed up Woods as "pathetic" for not knowing his limitations.

You mention the seductive element in Wood's/sycophant's motivation and I agree - they sought celebrity. I think the quality of work must count for something, quite a lot actually.

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