I am open to criticism (though not personally so ffffffffffffffffff.u.) and more so, believe a critics role in the culture is important. Its not simply about trashing any new ‘Transformers’ movie that comes out, but also to shine a light, to share a passion, to explain, convince. It is a cultures role to say ‘Man…things aren’t as cool as they used to be’. It is a critics job to say ‘This is something that couldn’t have been created at any other time. This is something infused with the weight of these days and the color of these nights. This is ours. Drink deeply’.
Which is not to say critics are foolproof. Which explains why I own a Death Cab For Cutie record. Which explains ‘Clockwork Orange’ is a classic. Which explains why it’s easy to condescend to the band Boston, despite the fact they are all driving solid gold hovercrafts and laughing at us. Critics have a heart, and that leads them to create beauty, a cultural touchstone within the context of a review (Lester Bangs’s review of ‘Astral Weeks’). And critics have a head, which could lead into trouble via ego driven rants against anything trending popular. …but at least it’s interesting trouble. I would rather argue about art than talk calmly about anything else.
I have drawn from critics, let their picks be my picks: I would say more often than not, I agree. I have been turned onto great works via a well turned phrase. I have loved some movies or records DEEPER after seeing how over all reviled they were by the ‘Critical Press’.
Everybody’s a critic. Except in the case of the internet, where the phrase should be updated to ‘Everybody’s A Dick.’
Case in point, being a part of this world, I have Netflix streaming. Which is awesome (though I do feel sad for all those ‘Red Box’s, already turning up on Craigslist used sections) and mainly critic proof. Tooling around one afternoon, I came across a movie called ‘S&Man’ (pronounced ‘Sandman’). It had an odd description, tantalizing in it’s way:
‘Exploring the parallels between film making and voyeurism, director J.T. Petty aims his camera at the world of underground horror films, interviewing scream queens and scholars and finding one auteur whose snuff series seems all too convincing. This thought-provoking documentary constantly compels viewers to question whether the grisly images they’re watching are the real deal or elaborate fakes — and whether Petty himself has ulterior motives.’
And I was in. Voyeruism? Documentary? Screen Queens and Scholars? Yeah, that’s Jason bait. So I watched it.
I loved it. I was amazed I never heard of it. I wont go into to details (though wont use the word ‘spoilers’ cause Im an adult) but if you like underground horror, drunk directors, edgy concepts, the myth of snuff (hopefully a myth, cause fuck…) see this. And I was excited. I went online believing I just found something of this time (ok, 2006) , something that only could have been created now, today. I found something….relevant. So I hit IMDB.
” Petty’s film devolves into a transparent and uninformative gimmick”. “Poorly done on all fronts, with little nudity to make it more interesting.” “Watch out for those clever inserts of stock footage to cover up a lot of jump cuts which are indicated by the dubious audio pasting.” (authors note: WTF?).
In conclusion, if you have the stomach (as its a bit rough), see this movie. And more so, don’t believe everything you read (except this).