I wish I had time to engage Peter Lunenfeld's polemic, but work and school
are both very demanding right now. I would like to thank him, though, in
this public forum, for getting this listserve back to what I thought was
its purpose. I also want to thank him for his comments on hipbrow, for
saying (in a well thought out, even eloquent, way--sounds like there is a
paper coming) that the king is naked.
The "bleakness" of his account is, I'm afraid, entirely justified, given
the hypocrisy of the marketing. So long as Tarrentino et al. proclaim
themselves--and are believed to be--independent filmmakers, not only will
the notion of a truly independent cinema be degraded, as Lunenfeld
suggests, but the practice itself will be all the more difficult to maintain.
Now, to tickle the polemic a bit, perhaps some one could take up the issue
of Tarrentino's talent. For, although Tarrentino's pose of independence has
been seen from the beginning as pure marketing (by most people who thought
about it), Pulp Fiction was a lively film. And although it doesn't hold up
to repeated viewings (it got "old" about as fast as most pop songs do), it
was pretty tasty going down the first time; it won the competition that
week for my mainstream movie dollar.
Is the problem merely one of hypocritical discourse? the hypocrisy of
marketing? (Some one should jump in here and rail against Bravo and the
Independent Film Channel.) If we condemn the hipbrow for their dishonesty,
how much praise should the studios get for marketing normal blockbusters
simply as normal blockbusters? Do the marketing and other discourses
surrounding the hipbrow demand a special kind of attention?
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