Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Queen 2: What is Manohla Dargis Talking About?

Film critics are strange people, amiable, enthusiastic and, to a rough approximation, wrong. But Manohla Dargis of The New York Times is simply bewildering. I have posted before on her wrong-headed review of the excellent A Scanner Darkly, but she has excelled herself with her review of The Queen. She starts by describing it with hair-raising inaccuracy as 'a sublimely nimble evisceration of that cult of celebrity known as the British royal family.' Er, what? The rest of the review goes on to confirm she hasn't a clue about the crucial dynamics of this film. Let me offer her some help derived from that great novel Giuseppe de Lampedusa's The Leopard. The trick is to change in order to stay the same. See?

4 comments:

  1. The Leopard a great book all right. I remember being unable to say why I thought it was great but that within a minute or so of starting to read it I would feel extremely calm. A wonderful weighty calm to it if that doesn't sound too pretentious. On the opposite end of the spectrum, out of interest, have you read Mysteries by Hamsun?

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  2. I haven't, Andrew, I should have done. Did you see what Simon Schama said about The Leopard in my piece last Sunday? Very good. At timesonline - dodgy web site, should work, if not I'll post it here.

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  3. I'd read the Schama piece but just reread it now to recap. My slow brain took a little while to absorb its meaning. Reminds me of a line in something recently read about the intellectual classes failing to see the trees for the wood rather than the other way round.

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