Author Topic: One Critic's Opinion  (Read 4271 times)

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Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: One Critic's Opinion
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2008, 01:07:31 AM »

It seems that in reviewing Ken Russell's films, critics are apt to use to overworked word 'excess.'

But one must ask the question; what are they specifically responding to that would make them criticize his films as excessive? Excessive visuals, music, sound design, taste, dramatic license? All of the above?

There is a tendency to use 'excess' as an all encompassing word. It neatly avoids having to intelligently defend a critical stance. If everything comes down to a simple matter of taste, it somewhat nullifies the authoritive voice of the critic. 

...

I think that the subject matter versus Ken's style is what gets poor critics.  Few people call Tommy or Altered States excessive, but when the same style is used with classical composers, they react hostilely, almost always reverting to cliches or personal attacks on Ken.  The poor critic prefers a reverential style for documentaries on composers, regarding Tchaikovsky as a tortured genius, but not looking at what made him tortured and a genius- for example the homosexuality is skipped quickly over.

Whereas The Music Lovers celebrates the music with imagery that reflects many aspects of Tchaikovsky's life.  The viewpoint is Ken's, and you may disagree with some interpretations, but they are no more or less valid than other interpretations and I wouldn't disagree with Ken's vision of how powerful and exciting the music is.

Iain

Offline regal26

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Re: One Critic's Opinion
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 08:06:19 PM »
It seems that in reviewing Ken Russell's films, critics are apt to use to overworked word 'excess.'

But one must ask the question; what are they specifically responding to that would make them criticize his films as excessive? Excessive visuals, music, sound design, taste, dramatic license? All of the above?

There is a tendency to use 'excess' as an all encompassing word. It neatly avoids having to intellegently defend a critical stance. If everything comes down to a simple matter of taste, it somewhat nullifies the authoritive voice of the critic. 

As for me, when a film divides critics...well, that's certainly more interesting than a film which is
universally lauded. There's nothing that strikes terror in my heart when I hear the phrase 'all the critics agree...'

I think Oscar Wilde said it better: 'when critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.'

« Last Edit: August 23, 2008, 01:01:31 PM by Iain Fisher »

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: One Critic's Opinion
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2008, 12:49:34 AM »
I don't mind what a critic says as long as he is being honest.  A lot of Ken's critics are lazy and looking for a cheap headline, and often Ken plays up and provides them with the headline.  But as Ken says, "time kills critics".

I like Mark Kermode.  He did a lot for The Devils, including finding the lost Rape of Christ scenes on tape.  He is a thoughtful writer- if I disagree with him it is always worth considering.

Iain

Offline tornhill

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Re: One Critic's Opinion
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 11:14:39 PM »
It's not important what a critic let alone the overrated Ebert thinks about a film. He often tends to over react on certain issues. The exact same phenomenon can be seen on some of Mark Kermode's reviews. And Kermode champions THE DEVILS.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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One Critic's Opinion
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 01:44:31 AM »
Is "Last House on the Left" a better film than "Lair of the White Worm?"
Is "Lair of the White Worm" a better film than "The Wild Bunch?"

or

Is "The Wild Bunch" a better film than "The Devils?"
Is "The Devils" a better film than "Last House on the Left?"

Roger Ebert was one of the first film critics to champion both Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch" and Craven's "Last House on the Left," but he has never championed any of Russell's films. Indeed, he hated, hated both "The Devils" and "Lair of the White Worm," when they were first released. Actually, he hated "The Devils" more than he did "Lair of the White Worm." And his opinion on both films hasn't changed since.

I guess there is no accounting for the taste of some people.

Next time: "Ken and Freddie and Terrence"