Tuesday, April 3, 2012
It’s been an amahzing week for my two favorite kinds of arts criticism, tokenist evaluations of art as political platforms and “TV is better than film” knockouts demonstrating little imagination, experience, or both. I’ve already addressed the tokenism with my list of 25 fascinating, flawed, ridiculous female TV characters, not that it will satisfy the black-and-white progressives publicly pleasuring Lena Dunham and nagging each other to death, but even more water-drippingly torturous is the self-serving, know-somethingish refrain that the movies aren’t as good as TV any more, not least because its heart isn’t even in the right place. James Wolcott’s Vanity Fair piece is just the latest, most prominent iteration of a sentiment I’ve seen in comments and asides four or five times this week alone. “Does anyone think The Artist is better than Mad Men?” he asks with the lawyerly cunning of a four-year-old golden retriever. I’m not sure how one rates entire media against each other, or why, but the artform that’s producing Certified Copy, This is Not a Film, The Tree of Life, Meek’s Cutoff, Weekend, Alamar, White Material, Film: Socialisme, and Inland Empire deserves more than to be judged by its fucking Oscar ambassadors against the thoughtful, inventive likes of Arrested Development and The Wire.
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Posted by Brandon Nowalk at 5:18 PM