Sunday, July 3, 2011
The super hero movies of summer have been awful so far, X Men First Class feeling as rote as a instructions on how to use make noise with a doggie chew toy, Thor turning Jack Kirby's peerless, dynamic design from the original comic book into designs rejected from The Little Mermaid, and Green Lantern looking like a bad compromise amongst a handful of mediocre fan boys. I honestly don't hold much hope for the pending release of Captain America. I am afraid the unthinkable has happened to Fan Boy Nation: WE ARE SICK TO DEATH OF SUPER HERO MOVIES, or rather, we are tired of discovering that the super hero adaptations are substantially sub-stellar, ie, not super . The irony of it all, it seems, is that as a teen reading my big fat share of DC, Marvel , Charleton comics, with occasional excursions into Gold Key and Dell titles, I read my comics as though they were movies and I was sitting ina theatre during a Saturday matinee watching them; the artwork, the paneling, the crashes and destroyed cities were all perfectly fluid and dynamic, all the bombastic dialogue and simplistic exposition was perfectly plausible. The thrill of seeing "live" depictions of these tales comes down to little else than that the novelty has worn out, that there are not enough Sam Rami out the with the genius to make a comic book come alive on the screen with all the elements being seamless, balanced, without a worried conceit . We are perhaps simply tired of seeing directors try to shoe horn actors into fantastic bits of computer generated animation: we wind up nagging about the surface details and miss everything of those old matinee adventures when the tale carried the rest of the afternoon. I wonder : why not just make a Superman reboot using nothing but computer animation? The technology is good enough.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Critics without a malleable framework are talking only to themselves, finally. The value of criticism is in how it deepens the reading: an ideal criticism, I think, ought to be the sieve through which the variety is taken in and studied. A criticism that counts should, I think, help re-imagine the world and provide us with a plausible, doable, political feasible way of doing just that. Re-imagining the world requires action to effect the change. Re-description is precisely the problem with the Left in this country, which mistook the on-going circle jerk of language theory as a practical substitute for activism. The wan hope might have been that enough people might hack their way through the many books and monographs and learn, as a matter of habit , that their written and spoken responses to the world they navigate would be tempered so as not to privilege anything according to old hierarchies and that the a fairer existence would result. Literal or not, one needs to gauge the words in a sentence against the world the words are assigned to describe. Language, being a living activity that functions with a mind and consciousness that must adapt consciously to the constantly changing state of Nature, cannot contain meaning that is self-disclosing, absent at least a superficial gauging against the world. Even at the " most simple" levels, a reader constantly goes outside the words themselves to judge their veracity, their usefulness, and hence, interprets the words to come to what sentences mean, in their contexts and their subtler permutations. Interpretation isn't always the circuitous method of the academic, or the specialist: the activity is instinctual, I think, as we use language and change language to accommodate changing requirements and conditions.