Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Who reviews the Watchmen?

One of the (small) plesaures of not being a paid movie critic anymore is that I can read other people's reviews in advance of seeing a highly anticipated release. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker was probably just the right person to review Watchmen, his work gets some love here. (TAS)

Lane has been concerned for some time about the difficult relationship between the portrayal of violence and the depiction of suffering. Here he is four years ago writing about Sin City:

Nothing is easier than to tumble under the spell of its savage comedy—Marv driving along with the door open, say, holding another guy down so that his head is roughly sanded by the road, or Jackie Boy continuing to chatter with his throat cut. We have, it is clear, reached the lively dead end of a process that was initiated by a fretful Martin Scorsese and inflamed, with less embarrassed glee, by Tarantino: the process of knowing everything about violence and nothing about suffering.

What I like about Lane’s approach to this vital question is that it’s unencumbered by the need to make global pronouncements, universal sweeps through the whole territory of cinema. His worry has gathered over years, movie by movie, review by review. And that makes it more worthy of our attention. If indeed we moviegoers are learning to know “everything about violence and nothing about suffering,” into what human situation are we maneuvering ourselves?

1 comment:

coffee said...

I kept thinking that the guy who played the Comedian was Javier Bardem (I found out later that it's actually Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but the two actors definitely look alike