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November 24, 2006

A Film Canon?

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Those who like bickering over canons should enjoy Paul Schrader's reflections about movie greatness, as well as his readers' responses. Schrader responds to his readers here.

Me, I'm temperamentally averse to canon-warfare except when it's conducted in the most lighthearted kind of way. Where this particular discussion was concerned, I found myself rooting for David Chute's reaction: "I've never been this kind of critic, the kind who hands down value judgments from on high. In fact my career has probably been hampered by (among other things) my underlying 'who the hell am I?' frame of mind."

I did some musing of my own about the greatness thang long ago.



posted by Michael at November 24, 2006


I couldn't stand Schrader's piece. It was egotistical criticism that harkened back to John Simon's writing. I immediately wanted to put the magazine that it appeared in (Film Comment) down. Many of the movies that I love would not appear in the pantheon of film art that Schrader writes about. The man is just too serious, and not frivolous enough about perception and art. Schrader has also devalued the work of a writer that helped him get noticed in the first place. The article that he wrote represents someone who loves the cinemah.

Posted by: David Brown on November 24, 2006 9:33 PM

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