Films People Walked Out On Summer 2011
David Denby on Meek's Cutoff, "a pleasureless, anti-sensuous aesthetic." !!?? Whose experience does he mean? That of the characters? Or the audience? Or the filmmaker? In each and any case, I don't agree.
Richard Brody is better, but his second take on the film is odd too.
In his review of Kelly Reichardt’s Western “Meek’s Cutoff” in the magazine this week, David Denby refers to the movie’s “new kind of feminist and materialist realism.” I don’t think it’s new, but it is materialist, and it’s a kind of realism that plays into an ongoing cinematic fallacy: the notion that poor people facing physical travails lack inner lives, as if having a life full of stories, dreams beyond survival, religious beliefs, and a thick tangle of social and emotional connections were a sort of luxury—and as if spending too much screen time finding and depicting them would be a form of disrespect or indifference to the characters’ immediate practical and economic difficulties.
Me? I love blankness and don't need a full-fledged 20th c psychological subject from every film I see. Especially if the film is about ye olde pioneer women in the 19th century . . .
He ends up, "The politics and the sympathies of Meek’s Cutoff are liberal; its aesthetics are not just conservative, but reactionary."
Which is funny, right? Because Tree of Life is so ideologically reactionary, but it tries to be aesthetically experimental.
I also read about Osama and Acai.
And you did see this, the funniest thing in The New Yorker ever? "New App on the Kindle 2GO" Directions to T.S. Eliot's house, "Arrive around 7:30. Our phone is 917-555-0133. Much appreciate if you could bring a dessert—keep in mind that I’m lactose-intolerant."