What a sad little man. The namedropping is cloyingly thick in this week's column, "Personalizing the Mythic." For some reason, Black attended the Toronto International Film Festival instead of sending his film critics there and decided to write a whole column about how he's "friends" with Jonathan Demme and John Sayles under the thin guise of recommending their latest films. In the first paragraph, he writes, "This year, even though any number of exciting films were being screened, for a variety of reasons, I only saw a bare handful. Two of the best of them (both by friends), Man from Plains and Honeydripper, are not only great movies that people should be excited about; both also have direct connections to Austin."
Both by friends? What a twat. That really makes me puke. Also, saying that two films out of a handful were the best is not really a colossal recommendation.
He continues in the pathetic, weaselly tones of someone who thinks that standing next to famous people makes him more interesting than, and superior to, a cabdriver or a cook or any non-famous human being.
"Characterizing these films as two of the best at Toronto actually underplays my enthusiasm. Friends were involved in making both films, as I've noted - but I have lots of friends who are filmmakers, so I'm very conscious about trying very hard not to confuse my critical sensibilities with the polluting effects of personal affection. These unique and powerful films blew me away."
I think what really blew you away was the hot air coming out of your mouth, carrying your corpulent husk all over Stupid Town and Jerkville. He goes into hysterics every time a John Sayles and/or Jonathan Demme film is released, piling up the adjectives and effusive gush. I like most of Jonathan Demme's films myself, and I think John Sayles is occasionally interesting, but what is the point of wetting yourself every time they release a film? What good does it do? And why does he have to mention Jonathan Demme in one out of three columns? And please have an editor look over your columns, I beg you. Using "very" twice in one sentence is very, very amateurish and very sloppy. Very. My blog isn't exactly slop-free, but I'm not dropping it off at every kiosk in town.
Here is the tortured Louis Black paragraph of the week (drinking game version). Take a tequila shot every time an adjective appears in this paragraph about Demme's new Jimmy Carter documentary. Call 911:
"Carter's continually understated decency is what absolutely electrifies the screen, especially when considered in the context of the overcharged partisanship of most others involved in this discussion [conflict in the Middle East]. Add in the insane, irrational, myopic nationalism championed by the current administration, and Man from Plains seems like a brilliant haiku rising above a mass of Edwardian English poetry. In fact, the biggest presence in the film is that of President Bush, though he is hardly ever mentioned. Carter's intelligent, deeply felt, and morally centered concerns serve as the most resoundingly deep and meaningful rebukes of this administration's intuitive, happily ignorant, inherently racist, unbelievably naive, self-righteous world-view. This film is so unbelievably loud and ringingly resonant because it is so quiet."