The Movie Club

Enough With the Worship of Old, Dead Directors
Critic vs. critic.
Jan. 3 2008 3:46 PM

The Movie Club

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Just a quick note to Scott:

Let me give you a hand with that cleanup job: I meant no disrespect to the legacy of Messrs. Antonioni, Bergman, Yang, or Sembene, all of whose work I revere (actually, Bergman not so much and Mickey A. only in small doses). Ditto the irreplaceable persistence of those indefatigable masters Oliveira, Godard, Rivette, etc. But their day is done, their legacy is now that—a legacy. As a living critic, I side with the living. John Ford still kicks massive ass, but, well, he's dead, and with him a particular type of moviemaking. And so what? That's not some great national tragedy—it's just part of how art evolves. Why is it that the discourse around movies gets so caught up in nostalgia in a way you don't see in art, music, or architecture writing? ("This M.I.A. girl has some interesting ideas, I suppose, but she's no Edith Piaf!")

It's with love, not hate, that I salute the passing of the elders—then brush them off the stage to make way for the Apichatpongs and Kellys of the world. We need a new generation of artists on the order of Sembene and Altman and Ford, may their blessed souls rest in peace and their movies find a place on your Netflix queue. 

Nathan

Nathan Lee is a film critic for the Village Voice.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.