Friday, February 22, 2013

David Walsh on the Oscar Contenders

Earlier this month I mentioned David Walsh's review of Django Unchained, and his remarks on Zero Dark Thirty. Interestingly, just two days before the Academy Awards ceremony, he has produced a follow-up to these reviews in which he extends his analysis of the weaknesses of those films, and also why they have attracted such enthusiasm among the "psuedo-left" (in comparison with, for instance, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln), noting that this
well-heeled social layer, conditioned by decades of academic anti-Marxism, identity politics and self-absorption, rejects the notion of progress, the appeal of reason, the ability to learn anything from history, the impact of ideas on the population, mass mobilizations and centralized force. It responds strongly to irrationality, mythologizing, the "carnivalesque," petty bourgeois individualism, racialism, gender politics, vulgarity and social backwardness.
This is as succinct and forceful a description of the politics of postmodernism, and the way in which it manifests itself in the taste for a certain kind of "dark and gritty" storytelling, as I have seen in some time.

You can read Walsh's full remarks here.

Also of interest to those interested in this line of cultural criticism: David Walsh's review of the recent film Not Fade Away, in which he debunks the romanticizing of the 1960s as a "golden age in which everything seemed possible and revolution was in the air."

The Politics of Dark and Gritty Storytelling
2/14/13
David Walsh Reviews Django Unchained
2/7/13
Skyfall and the Oscars
1/12/13
David Walsh on The Life of Pi
12/20/12
My Posts on Postmodernism
11/21/12

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