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« Bubble Boy (2001) - DVD | Main | The Monuments Men (2014) »

February 5, 2014

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The Egregious Bowel

Exactly --- I think most of us gave up after "Mother of Tears," which was actively bilious towards its own audience. I remember attempts to shellac that one over as a 'satire,' but it seems Argento has now exhausted all support.

So for whom, exactly, are these movies intended? And given how much Argento's gotten away with throughout such a relatively long and prosperous career --- why all this scorn and hatred from him? This late-period stuff is bitter in its contempt of, basically, cinema itself. And it's all boring as hell, because said contempt is overwhelming enough to preclude anything beyond crass incompetence.

One gets chills --- all those years spent defending all these movies that, I admit, somewhere in my own recesses, I suspected all along were pretty terrible anyway. Like, the last 15 minutes of "Suspiria" is dumb. Really, really dumb. And yet there's this critical sophistry surrounding it, apologizing for it as some sort of semiotic deconstruction of reality...? That *I* absorbed and passed along to other cineaste friends, as if possessed...!? Jeez.

How do these cults start? How do we get sucked up into them? Is there ever any utility to it? Has being a slobbery Kubrick acolyte *really* improved my appreciation of this medium, or merely inured me to the reality that no one makes perfect movies, ever --- that, at best, people make movies that are perfect for a particular person at a particular point in time...

Why do I increasingly suspect home video is the worst thing that ever happened to cinema? Argento's mad excess, seen through the prism of recollection, would be but a happy memory. Entombed by video for perpetuity, it becomes ridiculous, embarrassing, festering --- and the critical apparati, weirdly charged with festooning these relics out of some desperation for taxonomic cohesion (Argento is good, ergo we will deduce backwards from that a priori 'fact'), must become increasingly histrionic and esoteric in its attempts to shore up this supposed brilliance against the obvious, almost ontic reality that these movies were never *that* good.

Hmm. The older I get, the more I realize 'expertise' is, in fact, a position of having lost all rational perspective. It's a sort of madness. And film criticism (to which I gave several professional years) is expertise crossed with a sort of subordinate art-form --- it's an act of creation, but from the vantage of cataloged knowledge instead of the transcenscion ideal to 'non-critical' art. The point being, what was written about Argento was probably more fascinating than what was ever actually in the films. It becomes a simulacrum in its own right --- the map of 'appraisal' has replaced the territory of 'content.'

I used to be *so* into this shit. But I dunno, it feels like it's all another addiction, another dopaminic outlet. I don't get the same... perspective... I used to from thinking about any of it, and I worry that it long ago rose to the level of obsession and, in fact, has been depriving me from both reality and perspective. So fuck this fanatic shit. It's time to kill our darlings.

Triflic

You know, I hit this point at MOTHER OF TEARS (my review of that film from TIFF2007 reads almost verbatim to the above!) and am glad to have saved myself few painful hours of GIALLO and DRACULA and whatever the hell else Argento has been up to at that time...

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