Without spending too many words because too many have been spent already, the problem with ‘Vulgar Auteurism’ as a theoretical movement is not so much its goals as it is a fundamental misunderstanding of auteur theory.
Category Archives: Critical Analysis
About the only law that I think relates to the genre is that you should not try to explain, to find neat explanations for what happens, and that the object of the thing is to produce a sense of the uncanny. Freud in his essay on the uncanny wrote that the sense of the uncanny is the only emotion which is more powerfully expressed in art than in life, which I found very illuminating; it didn't help writing the screen-play, but I think it's an interesting insight into the genre. And I read an essay by the great master H.P. Lovecraft where he said that you should never attempt to explain what happens, as long as what happens stimulates people's imagination, their sense of the uncanny, their sense of anxiety and fear. And as long as it doesn't, within itself, have any obvious inner contradictions, it is just a matter of, as it were, building on the imagination (imaginary ideas, surprises, etc.), working in this area of feeling. Stanley Kubrick, "El Pais Artes" (1980)
The legend of Chen Zhen has been a mainstay in Chinese martial arts films for the past 40 years, ever since Bruce Lee exploded on the screen. There have been many incarnations of the folklore hero, who fights off the Japanese’s claim that the Chinese are the “sick men of Asia” during World War II through espienage, political rebellion and, of course, kung fu madness! It never gets old, however, as watching the ‘main men’ Lee, Li, and Yen (see the rhyme there?), brings with it a distinctive style and storyline for each man. Thus, the highlights of Fist of Fury, Fist of Legend, and Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen are vastly different. The question is: who wore it better? Continue reading
Ever since the Academy introduced the Best Animated Feature category in 2001 eighty percent of the winners have out-grossed the Best Picture victor of the same year. The only exceptions are Finding Nemo, which was second at the box-office to the franchise juggernaut The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and Spirited Away, which out-grossed Chicago only internationally. Even Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was more profitable than Crash. These dual achievements—critical and commercial—of animated features over the last ten years have been split between Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks Continue reading