Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Link: "Pauline Kael & trash cinema"

Writing for the National Post, Robert Fulford makes interesting connections between Will Smith, trash culture, and Pauline Kael's celebration of Bonnie and Clyde. Could it be that Kael's movie reviews paved the way for Men in Black?


JUS said...

In the absence of an ordering energy, entropy guides us unerringly to increased disorder.

The effective and ongoing imposition of an ordering energy requires effective and ongoing effort.

We are lazy more often than we are determined. We are increasingly asking others to tell us how to be entertained and what to think about it. The all-powerful lizard-brain compels us to respond more powerfully to raw titillation than to abstract ideas.

Therefore the rise of trash culture celebrated by Kael, then apparently regretted as the only remaining order at her death, is entirely predictable. As a society generally friendly to pushing through restrictive boundaries, and one that values the impetuosity of youth, is it any surprise that we are experiencing ever-raunchier displays of human misbehavior packaged as entertainment that the public wants?

Nickelodeon is the moral and behavioral training ground for the next generation of teachers, leaders, and media creators. Where will the ordering effort come?

Pauline should have seen it coming.

FDr said...

I like Fulford's essay mostly because he promotes Pauline Kael's work, not because I fully agree with him. Bonnie and Clyde has its share of exploitative violence, but it mixes it in with humor and the invitation for the audience to identify with Clyde and Bonnie, thereby complicating our reaction to the "trash" in ways that, say, would never occur to the makers of Hancock. Kael usually responded most to violence intelligently handled, not just to raw titillation.