Friday, March 01, 2013


The older I get, the more I value dispassion - not to supplant emotion, I mean, but I value it more for its own utility, to complement emotion.


Political denunciations of a cultural text that rest upon an interpretive stance of a stable text or subtext as a bound to failure on some level, even if just a philosophical one. Interpretation of meaning from the standpoint of form means that a political judgment in this vein is isomorphically similar to a formalist or hermeneutic one. But instead, I would argue, the possibility of any reading carries with it by necessity the possibilities of misreading, reading against, and reading alternatively. As a result ... political judgments that rest upon implied (and thus often unacknowledge) formalist grounds are specious and become ad hominem attacks only. Where then from here? Maybe the criticism of formal conditions of possibility (i.e., non ad hominem) or criticism of inductive/empirical trends.


I found Project X (Nima Nourazadeh, 2012) kind of exhilirating and funny, and though it was attacked (not wrongly) for its misogyny, it seems to me that it is at root no more misogynistic than 95% of Hollywood films - but is perhaps more forthright about it. I suppose some people have made defenses of Seth MacFarlane's Oscar routine from the position that it mocks this rampant misogyny through satire and grotesque, but I didn't see or pay attention to enough of the ceremony to have an opinion, really.


Commercial film sequels frequently stay largely in the same territory already laid out for them, but there's something elusive about what separates the diminishing returns variety (e.g., Taken 2, by many accounts also Expendables 2 though I didn't see that one) from the ones that remain comparatively fresh (e.g., the Transporter and Fast and Furious franchises).

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