Tuesday, August 15, 2006

David Denby Defends "World Trade Center" From Its Far-Right Praise

This is another take on it, kayinmaine. (She decided to avoid the movie after eharing how much the far right loved it.) I can't blame her, but I'd hate to give them ANY power over anything, even something as mild as what movies I see. "Those are conservative themes," writes Denby for the New Yorker on "WTC," "much praised for their appearance in this movie by the kind of right-wingers who have long hated Oliver Stone. Some of the euphoria—Cal Thomas, a columnist and a commentator at Fox News, calls the movie “one of the greatest pro-American, pro-family, pro-faith, pro-male, flag-waving God Bless America films you will ever see”—is not only inane, it’s enough to turn you off moviegoing altogether. Can “World Trade Center” really be that bad? No, the ideologues laying hands on the movie won’t sink it. Stone bulls his way into our emotions with his usual force but with greater clarity, sanity, and measure than in the past, and he is better at violent spectacle and at capturing the stages of dying than any other director. This square movie, at its best, is very powerful." By the way, Denby is a good example of a critic that still matters. They never kept people away from bad popular junk but they can champion new filmmakers and new movies like the very good "Half Nelson."

3 comments:

sftom said...

I don't want to see it simply because I think it's too soon. I don't care about right v. left, but making profit off of this tragedy feels slimy. Perhaps in 10-15 years it would feel less slimy, I don't know.

Reel Fanatic said...

Denby is indeed one of the critics that I swear by (and there aren't many) ... I think Stone's movie simply stripped all the politics, allowing Thomas and anyone else to take from it whatever they choose to .. Personally, I thought it was a near-masterpiece

Michael in New York said...

Interestingly, the movie did much better in NYC than other parts of the country so clearly they at least wanted to see it. I can understand your feelings sftom -- I for one could never bring myself to join any guests who wanted to go downtown and look at the WTC site -- I just didn't want to treat it like a tourist attraction. I like Denby too, reel; but I still haven't seen the movie because I found the 20 minute preview (basically the first 20 m of the film) unconvincing. But I'll definitely see it soon.