Saturday, December 1, 2012

More New Yorker validation...

Anthony Lane on the new film "Killing Them Softly:"

Why haven’t more movies stolen from George V. Higgins? He died in 1999, but his work remains a trove, begging to be raided for linguistic loot. If you want to grade postwar novelists on the strength of their ears alone—how fast they prick up at the crackle and blare of American speech—then Higgins and Elmore Leonard, you could argue, lead the pack, ahead of more distinguished names.

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Writing about the same film, around the same time, for the same magazine's online edition (cold looks when they pass in the hall?) Richard Brody proves himself to be a true hipster by asserting that "storytelling is the most overrated value and misattributed term in the world of moviemaking." Luckily, by the time he gets to his big finish, Brody is saying something a bit different, making a point that reflects a degree of cluelessness about how the process of film production actually works:
…this mode of bare-bones storytelling—in which a pared-down framework of facts is presented, tightly and narrowly, as if foregrounding the plot and locating all traces of character in the actors’ performance—is one of the dominant trends of contemporary filmmaking. It doesn’t just serve the goal of brisk entertainment: it reflects the desire to pass the fiction off as objective truth—in order to convey as all the more self-evident the filmmaker’s political point.
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