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Kino Korner September 6, 2002
 
Spielberg Needs A Stalker
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
 
 

Last issue, I introduced what I thought was a simple binary key which would cover the entire range of viewer reactions to each film. Keep it simple. 1-3 American flags designated thumbs-up; 1-3 bin Ladens meant thumbs down, indicating films that suck so badly they had a strong chance of recruiting suicide bombers when shown in theaters in the Muslim world. A special Ted Bundy icon was added for chick flix which, when shown in American theaters, would likely create at least one new serial killer (and hundreds of misogynists) during each showing due to the film's eXtreme vileness (why is vileness considered socially acceptable, and violence isn't?). The Ted Bundy icon promises to make a lot of appearances assuming I keep this kino thing up, since a chick flick that doesn't inspire murderous impulses in its male viewers is as rare as... a real-live woman who doesn't inspire murderous impulses in her male counterpart. It doesn't happen.

This back-2-school terror issue, I'm sorry to say, I'll have to introduce yet another icon. It's a kill-the-director icon, and it means that, yep, the director has committed a crime so horrible that he deserves to be stalked, murdered and in some cases even tortured or mutilated. That means we're up to four icons now. Sorry for getting so complicated on you. I'm doing my best here to keep this page as U-Sir Friendly as possible, working closely with the eXile software engineers in the U-Sir Friendly design campus in the basement of the Rasputin sex club. In case you didn't know, that's where our office is. In the back of Rasputin. The best overall razvlekatelny tsentr of its kind in Moscow. A friend recently out from New York who took full advantage of Rasputin's semi-secret VIP pleasure room recently upheld, in the strongest language, this legal opinion.

But enough of my shameless pluggin'. It's time to get down to the film review of the week. MINORITY REPORT, the new movie by Steven Spielberg. I wish I didn't have to review this. In part that's because I haven't slept in three days. It made morning here a real psychedelic treat. The peat bog fires sent over their Van Halen stage show smoke early this morning, blowing in as the sun first appeared, then later receding as the sun pulled above the rooftops. It was so smoky you couldn't see fifty feet ahead of you. The smoke even lingered in our offices, reducing visibility between Rudnitsky and me as we slouched over our desks. I started to see patterns in the smoke: first snow (I asked Rudnitsky if it was snowing out; he responded with a first confused then concerned should-I-call-skory-pomosch glance), then ash flakes, then long tattered satin curtain strips that moved away as you moved towards them. That was interesting, and it cost nothing except the suicidal mood swings that awit me this weekend.

Minority Report, unlike Moscow's fires, is a complete disgrace. No, it's criminal, it's a desecration of Philip K. Dick's sacred imagination, the richest imagination that any American writer ever had and ever will have. God's chosen imagination.

No director could possibly be less existentially equipped to handle even the simplest Philip K. Dick throwaway story than a healthy, happy, successful golden retriever like Steven Spielberg. This was evident in last year's cringe-a-minute disaster AI, in which Spielberg bought his way into Stanley Kubrick's exalted director's seat, much as the 'N Sync guy is trying to buy his way into Yuri Gagarin's space suit.

The Beigeists loved AI because it apparently explored deep themes that neither Spielberg, nor presumably they, have dared to explored before. Spielberg had often been sneered at by the culturally crippled Beigeocracy for "wasting" his talents on shallow thrillers like Jurassic Park (which is easily his best movie since Jaws). Wasting his talents on Jurassic Park? Are you nuts?! That T. Rex scene was worth a fleet of battleships! Third Worlders everywhere, when they recovered from the horror, must have felt a kind of Aztecean awe towards a culture that could produce such a kick-ass, gory, technological leap as Spielberg did. I'd be willing to bet that it affected world diplomacy in favor of the American Empire, that one scene. Then there are the Beigeists, the salon.com movie reviewers, the English majors whose happiest memories were getting A's on their Joyce papers. What the Beigeists wanted was for Spielberg to get more "serious," as they themselves pretend to be. (God, give me shallow over the Beigeists any day! Then again, no, don't give me either.) And like an idiot, Spielberg is listening to them. They're the only ones who don't suck up to him in print, only in person. Beigeists are easy to conquer: all they ask is that you acknowledge their existence. Spielberg affirms their importance by taking on less commercial but ostensibly "weightier" films like AI and Minority Report; the Beigeists respond with formulaic praise for his "maturity"; and the rest of us, the ones who just like a good film or a good mind-fuck, are left to rot.


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Ames
Browse author
Email Mark Ames at editor@exile.ru.
 
 
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