Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dana Stevens' Obtuse review of Charlie Kaufman and his Film, Synecdoche, New York

Apparently Ms.Stevens, in Everyone Sucks, her review of Synecdoche, New York , doesn't understand the difference between a value judgment and an objective criticism. She finds this movie "disappointing". Yet she says, "The movie's sense of temporal dislocation is profound and pervasive and very skillfully done..." Then, in the most self contradictory statement she could ever have written, "Synecdoche contains moments of beauty so aching, you find yourself mentally scrambling to fill in the movie that should have existed around them...."

Does it have beauty or not, Ms. Stevens? You rant on in your little audio log about the great things about this movie. Then you descend into how depressing it was and how down it made you feel and how you wished so much the character had something more, in terms of some kind of uplifting cliche Hollywood ending, I can only guess. How obtuse of you.

If you didn't like it, that's a matter of taste. As you say, there are beautiful aspects. That fact that the movie has you in a quandary coming to this bizarre ambivalent conclusion that's it fails in some way because Kaufman directed it, but is yet so beautiful, is absurd, ridiculous, but most of all ignorant and immature.

What if the film is supposed to make you come to some higher plain of awareness that people do trudge through their lives, secretly believing that something great will happen, that someone special will someday come along and redeem them or make them whole in some way? What if that is all the film is about? A fat dumb and happy Hollywood ending would kill it. It has to be what it is. It is genius and apparently beyond your intellectual grasp.

Sure it wasn't as cinematic as Eternal Sunshine. But that was that, and this is this. Appreciate this film for what it is. It is tremendous. I feel this film (were it not for self infatuated reviewers like yourself or for audiences with the same limited intellect) could change people to a higher level of self awareness, to motivate them into doing something real with their lives instead of just trudging onward toward death with false hopes and dreams.

And then you have the disdain and condescension to tell people to give Charlie Kaufman a hug.

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