Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More discomfort...

It's been a while since David Bordwell was linked or quoted here. But this snippet from a recent post is too perfect, directly relevant to certain recent discussions.

The Chinese blockbuster "Aftershock," centering on the 1976 earthquake that struck Tangshan, has earned some complaints about weepiness and jokes about "afterschlock." Perhaps melodrama makes many critics uncomfortable. They seem more at home with comedy and noirish crime stories, perhaps because the emotions stirred by these are bracketed by a degree of intellectual distance. But tell a story about a happy family split apart by a catastrophe; show a mother forced to choose between saving her son and saving her daughter; show that the girl miraculously escapes death; present her raised by a pair of new parents; and dwell on the fact that her mother, living elsewhere, expects never to see her again—do all this, and you court mockery.

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