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May 13, 2009


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It was mine...when I was 9.

James Keepnews

"...film criticism requires nothing more than an interesting sensibility." -- Well, at least Podhoretz fils is honest about why even HE thinks he sucks.

The "de-professionalization" of film criticism would be perfectly fine by me if I felt that there were more interesting sensibilities at work online. So, I don't. And I can't think of how little I would know about cinema in general, mise-en-scene, montage and other French terms, but for the passionate, informed sensibilities that drove the best film criticism by Hoberman, the truly snobbish Stanley Kauffman, Kael, etc.

And it's inside dope made further moot by the dustbin of history now that Mondo Kim's has closed, but except for the occasional new-ish counter clerk (who probably felt they had a reputation to uphold), 9 times out of 10 the people who worked at Mondo Kim's were not only cool and approachable, but in the case of one of their supervisors, incredibly generous to me -- don't wanna sic Freddy Wiseman on this past employee by outing him, but this one individual provided me with a copy of Titicut Follies which I'd never seen anywhere else before, free of charge. And even when they weren't duping off unavailable cinematic masterpieces for me, said clerks were pretty open to discussing equally obscure cinema, from Robert Kramer to early Herzog to Glen and Randa (just remembering some of my more memorable discussions), &c., &c.. Of course, now that it's closed, there's really no video comparable store in the NYC "greater metropolitan area" with as astonishingly good a collection, much less the commensurate erudition by its employees. I know others had worse experiences but it could also be that they smelled the snotty vibe (something of an occupational hazard for the Conde Nast employee, in my experience) coming off of Kamp and committed pre-emptive strikes every time.

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