Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: ‘Film Criticism is Dead’ Edition


Mornin' folks!

Film criticism is dead! Brandeis professor Thomas Doherty has the scoop in the Chronicle Review. Whodunit? Doherty's theory: Blogs, on the Internet, with the Endless Waves of Unlearned Ranting. To illustrate this, Doherty points us to an example of a fan/critic site that apparently has not been redesigned since 1996. The rhetoric of blog-based criticism, he argues, is not "linear" enough, and the Internet does not provide "coherent space" for criticism that's acceptably erudite. Plus it's not fair to real critics, i.e. film professors, because can't put blogs in their tenure files. 'Cause moviegoers who take their intellectual cues from fan blogs were definitely going to buy your book about depictions of sexual morality in 1930's cinema.

Speaking of cinematic obscurity, the German film The White Ribbon beat Avatar at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards. But I doubt The White Ribbon has spawned many low-budget parodies revolving around infanticide, so who's the true winner here, really? Meanwhile, The Awl's Miles Klee refuses to see Avatar because his friends are inarticulate when describing why it's good. He and Doherty should totally Facebook each other.

After the jump: Olympians get it on, and George Clinton volunteers to test the effects of Viagra in space.

The Olympics are over. The big winner? Durex.

Shooter Jennings is not his father, and will make as many unpopular records as it takes to prove it! He also programs computer games for fun. WaPo profiles.

Carly Simon hints that the mystery man who inspired "You're So Vain" is producer David Geffen, perhaps ending rumors that fellow suspects Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger are vain men.

George Clinton says he's probably an alien. Why?

Because I believe that there are a lot of them here. Myself and pretty much all the people around us, we share some kind of strange living being. A lot of people are going to find out, they are going to be described as aliens if you were here at this or that time. It's some kind of way or justifying some different type of people being here. It might not reflect the reality, but reality is belief, really. You get enough people to believe in it and then it’s real.

I believe! Happy Monday.

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