Whacking Permalink Archive
13 December 2004
Greenaway is, quite simply, one of the the world's worst filmmakers, a cinematic equivalent of Jean Baudrillard: a man who's shallow pseudo-intellectual works people pretend to understand and enjoy in order to prove how clever they are.
Give the man credit, his films are visually beautiful (watching Prospero's Books with the sound off is a feast for lovers of cinematography and production design). They are also pointless, stupid and mind-bogglingly boring.
I dare any sane adult to sit through The Pillow Book without the aid of hard alcohol: An Asian woman likes her lovers to write calligraphy on her body. There's apparently some really important point being made about identity and textuality. And there's lots of fancy overlapping film frames and on-screen cursive text. I was so stimulated I switched over to the Home Shopping channel.
Worse than the man's films though, is the experience of watching him talk about himself, an activity he uses to inform the ignorant savages out there just how clever and innovative his films are, and how he is taking cinema beyond the boring, mundane stuff like telling stories and entertaining people.
Oooh, I'm getting a mental stiffy here.
Still, the literate posturing of Greenaway and his ilk can't hide the fact that no amount of new technologies will make up for a movie that is little more than fraud-art.
Scorcese is just "re-making Griffith movies"? Scorcese has more talent in his faecal matter than this self-absorbed windbag will have in his entire miserable career. Greenaway does the intellectual pose of "well, I could make regular great movies if I wanted to, but I choose not to". Bullshit. I challenge Greenaway's fans to cite one scene - one - of his that can match the Travis Bickle "you talking to me?" scene in Taxi Driver. Just a stationary camera and a guy talking to himself in the mirror made one of the most riveting movie moments of all time. For all his wannabe intellectualism and art-house wank, Greenaway can only dream of movie-making of that calibre.
Greenaway is no more an artist than Zsa Zsa Gabor. He and his tiresome supporters suffer from archetypal wank-art disease: that something has artistic merit purely by virtue of being different, or shocking, or disgusting. Why are Greenaway's movies any more artistic than a performance artist shitting on stage and eating it, or a comedian walking offstage and kicking an audience member in the balls?
He has no narrative skills, no ability to make us feel for a character, no ability to make us feel excitement, or laughter. These things require a skilled director. Showing an endless sequence of pretty pictures and letting us know how many obscure books you've read doesn't count.
isn't art, it's masturbation.
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