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November 28, 2017

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Brian

Marvelous. Thank you!

That Fuzzy Bastard

Ten years ago, when a relative of mine was working at a fairly fancy college, we discussed how bizarrely square the kids seemed. They would all call their parents on a daily basis, "just to chat". They never defied school authorities, except to demand that the authorities be on their side. They worship "appropriate behavior" and "niceness", which of course leads to fanatical viciousness to anyone they deem outside their circle. I kinda figured that this is exactly the art that generation would produce.

titch

Having to wait months over in Norway before these two will premiere. What are your best films of 2017 Glenn?

Andrew Del Monte

Great blog and I'm always happy when you take a cynical look at popular opinion (I first came across this site when I read your Wolf of Wall Street blogs).

There are a couple ideas put forth here that I find curious, though... First being that because "Call Me By Your Name" is about a gay romance it's obligated to include graphic sex in order for it to be credibly sincere about its subject matter. If we were watching a straight romance I don't think anyone would complain that there wasn't enough graphic sex. Anyway, I understand there's an imbalance of depictions of lesbian sex (a lot) and gay sex (none) in modern movies so I get why people would be disappointed. BTW, this is speaking as a straight guy who dragged his friends to see Bruce La Bruce's "Super 8 1/2" on the big screen at TIFF Lightbox.

Also, if I'm reading this right you're kind of putting forth a definition of "queer" that excludes a happy relationship between a queer person and their family. I may be getting the terms "queer" and "gay" mixed up but most of the gay people I've known have had loving relationships with their parents, by their accounts. And rather than a dark sign of our reactionary times, couldn't we take a story about a gay teenager who's totally embraced and supported by his family as an attempt to normalize "queerness" and push it into the mainstream? In other words, couldn't we see this as a progressive, rather than reactionary story?

Anyway love the blog, hope you don't shut it down too soon, look forward to the year-end roundup.

Simon Crowe

Great post, but I think you're being somewhat harsh towards Lady Bird. I'd say that Lady Bird (the character) learns to see her mother as something more than a delivery system for her needs while at the same time making choices that very much define her as a person her mother might have reservations about. The ending of the film - particularly the shots of Ronan and Metcalf driving that Gerwig cuts together - connects the two women in a place and time but it's never implied that LB's future is determined by her parents or by her hometown.

bemo

Well-considered as allways.

And q: How does one mail you a private one? I have a question. :-)

George

Did Lady Bird receive any bad reviews? I saw a couple of mixed reviews, but the rest were all-out raves. There seems to be a lot of groupthink in criticism today, and I'm afraid the internet has encouraged the marching in lockstep.

This also applies to pop music criticism, where albums by major stars such as Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Jay-Z get virtually unanimous praise. Film critic Owen Gleiberman, who has complained about this trend, asked: "Were there any bad reviews for Beyonce's 'Lemonade'? I didn't see any." Neither did I.

blank-misgivings

Great to read a real critical review of 'call me'. I wouldn't say though that the film de-queers it's material. I'd say it's the apotheosis of the 'twinks coming of age' soft porn that one can find in copious quantities on youtube.It does nothing to deconstruct that genre of nostalgia-fantasy it just has higher production values. Watching the film I couldn't help wondering what Eric Rohmer would have done with that material if he hadn't been a reactionary catholic. Three narcissistic intellectuals (father and the two lovers) in a rural idyll, full of false confidence in their self knowledge, the youngest at least capable of moving beyond that false confidence into creative self doubt. The actual film offers the opposite in its conclusion a creepy, voyeuristic speech by the father which we are supposed to take as a guide to life.

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