When you think of Escape to Witch Mountain and Return from Witch Mountain, do you think of Thomas Pynchon and Thomas Mann? Then you’d better read this PopMatters article by Michael Ward. It’s the most surprising piece of autobiographically-fueled criticism I’ve come across in a while. Fun, too.
I’m not so enthused about Jonathan Rosenbaum’s year-end wrapup declaring The World the best film of the last two years. Rosenbaum’s in my pantheon of major film critics, but his what-the-fuck unpredictability sometimes verges on M. Night Shyamalan country. I admired The World and saw what it was trying to do, but thought it would have worked better as either a documentary or a Robert Altman picture (which it clearly aspired to be). Less a coherent statement or even a coherent tale than a series of tableaus illustrating a political/economic thesis; great for folks who wrote dissertations on simulacra, I guess, but in the end, more heady than artful, more ambitious than fullfilling. Good but overrated. Definitely a Village Voice movie.
That said, I am amused by the fact that when I posted this item, Rosenbaum’s web page was sponsored by Mancow.
Matt Zoller Seitz is the founder of The House Next Door.