Many filmmakers including world masters Wim Wenders and Jean-Luc Godard credit film criticism as a developmental chapter towards their careers as directors.
Veteran director and actor Paul Mazursky (Enemies: A Love Story, Moscow on the Hudson) turns their process upside-down by entering film journalism after a long career as a filmmaker and actor. Mazursky is entering the world of journalism not as a blogger but in high-profile fashion as the new online critic for Vanity Fair.
Matthew Fleischer at Media Bistro highlights some interesting pull quotes from Mazursky’s debut column.
“So as of this piece, I am now a critic,” Mazursky writes. “Oy vey! I feel a huge responsibility. I know I must be honest. If the movie is great; good. If it stinks, sorry. If it’s a real turkey, I won’t bother to review it. So, how to rate? A simple thumbs up or down? Too late for that. On a scale from 1 to 10, etc? Silly. Four stars? It’s been done. So here’s what I’ll do: review the film with simplicity, brevity, depth, and passion, and maybe a little wit for good luck.”
Maybe, if Vanity Fair readers ask nicely, Mazursky will dedicate a future column or two to reviews of his past movies. I’d love to hear his critical judgment on The Pickle.
As the Occupy protests continue to grow nationwide, Steve Appleford highlights veteran cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler filming and interviewing the protesters at Occupy L.A. in the tent city around L.A. City Hall for a story in The L.A. Times.
Wexler, 89, knows his way around protests as the director of the counter-culture classic Medium Cool, set in the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
With documentary filmmakers Alan Barker and Joan Churchill accompanying Wexler for their own documentary, it’s impressive watching the veteran cameraman bring added credibility to the Occupy movement.
“Things were going on around the country – certainly in New York and even here – for a number of weeks before the conventional media paid any attention,” Wexler tells The L.A. Times. “I wanted to go down there and find out what was happening.”
The Brooklyn Museum prepares for the opening of the exhibition HIDE/SEEK, including David Wojnarowicz’s controversial video piece A Fire in My Belly, which the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery pulled from the exhibition December 2010 after protests from the Catholic League, The People for the American Way and Republican members of Congress.
Criticism continues to grow from conservative groups asking Brooklyn Museum administrators to pull Wojnarowicz’s piece before its November 18 opening.
What do you think? Will A Fire in My Belly stay or go from Brooklyn’s installation of HIDE/SEEK? I’m happily predicting stay.