Friday, June 12, 2009

A Generation Passes By Engagement

Wesley Morris on the state of young to middle-aged filmmakers:

An entire generation of directors and writers is passing through their adult youth sucking their thumbs and staring at the navels of their teenage selves in movies like "Adventureland" and "Lymelife." They go to work in Judd Apatow's hormone factory, which cranks out hypersensitive male nostalgia comedies about a strain of permanent adolescence. Those movies, as pleasurable as some of them are, feel only loosely connected to the actual world. No one begrudges Wes Anderson, David Gordon Green, or Spike Jonze their dioramas, sand castles, and microcosms, but it would be nice for their worlds to meet ours.


Thomas Garvey said...

Um - and why not begrudge them their dioramas? I don't get it. Isn't that what a real critic would do? Jeez, you sure seem to home in on the gutless-wonder film reviewers these days, Art! Or maybe the problem is that ALL film reviewers are gutless wonders these days. Of course maybe the larger problem is that their audiences, too, are only "loosely connected to the actual world." Indeed, many of them wear that disconnection as some kind of badge of honor. At any rate, it's a little late, isn't it, for the Globe film reviewers to suddenly begin evincing doubts about Spike Jonze, et. al.? Haven't they been among this crowd's prime facilitators up until now? I mean, credit where it is due, etc.

Art said...

I don't know Thom, I think you've got the wrong guys here.

Morris and Burr have been onto the emptiness of Anderson's films for a long time, Burr from the very beginning.

Burr's review of Life Aquatic says:

With the exception of his first film, "Bottle Rocket" (1996), Anderson hasn't made a movie that's more than the sound of a young man talking to himself. With "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" (opening tomorrow), he has run out of things to say.

Morris said of Darjeeling:

Anderson is 38, and the older he gets the further he retreats from the human resonances of a movie like ‘‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’’ a film about the familial swamps of depression and the necessary fight to be happy. That movie was not without its problems — Anderson seemed to be too in love with his characters to sacrifice them, but I thought he seemed ready to leave the hothouse he built with that film, to introduce his world to ours. Instead, Anderson recedes into his own Neverland. He goes all the way to India and spends half of the movie playing inside his dollhouse of a train.

Thomas Garvey said...

Ok, ok, I'll give you Anderson, but I'll raise you Apatow.

Art said...

Maybe so.