A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Slant(ed) Indeed

The Slant Magazine website bills itself as follows:
Slant Magazine is a non-commercial entertainment website featuring reviews, editorials, and critiques of a wide array of new and classic music and film. We are dedicated to offering a slightly different perspective on the state of entertainment with an intelligent and open-minded slant. For questions regarding content submissions, please contact us. For advertising inquiries, check out our media kit.
A slightly different perspective, you say? Well, hard to argue with that. Here's a snip from a review of United 93 appearing in said Slant Magazine:
Would that the film's sins were purely stylistic, it would be so much easier to dismiss. Yet while the stench of death and dread permeates every frame of United 93, it is nowhere near as strong as the stink of synergy. Certainly this isn't the first Hollywood production done in by the competing corporate and personal interests that funded it (consider the unspoken implications—both commercial and propagandistic—of the film's last-minute title change from Flight 93 to United 93), but it is the only one I've come across where the families of those onboard gave it their full-on approval. Not all the families, of course. All evidence suggests that the terrorists' relatives were left entirely out of the creative process, an action which goes a way toward revealing the film's hagiographic bias (how easy it then becomes to turn victims into heroes and adversaries into monsters) and points up the general ridiculousness of involving the families in the first place (too many cooks spoiling an already rancid broth).
I will grant you that anybody that thinks we should have consulted the families of terrorists who attempted to attack our capitol has a "slightly different perspective" than most of us. Well, actually, maybe not. Slightly doesn't really begin to capture the difference in the perspective, does it? More like a "perspective from way over on that grassy gnoll to the far left" I would say.

Following this line of thought, if anybody makes a movie about war in Afghanistan and receives input from the families of soldiers or the families of regular Afghanis, they must also receive input from the families of the Taliban regime. Otherwise the filmmaker would reveal his or her "hagiographic bias." If you make a film about the incredible abuses (rape rooms, death sqauds, etc.) under Saddam's Baathist rule in Iraq and receive input from the families of those persecuted by Saddam, his sons, or any of the various thugs in that regime, you must also receive input from the families of those thugs.

What a twit.

Oh, and a pretentious twit-- as they so often are. Here's the biographical bit that the reviewer wanted posted on the Slant Magazine website:

Keith Uhlich
Keith's writing has appeared in CultureDose and Senses of Cinema, in addition to the print publication Show Business Weekly. Currently working in several capacities at Oxford University Press, Keith’s raison d’être is no less than the search for cinematic sublimity in a world where chaos runs bare-ass naked through the landscape of human cognition. An NYU grad, he is also the unacknowledged cause of the 1977 New York City blackout.

Bugrit, but pretentious twits bother me.

Oh, and if Slant Magazine actually wanted to present a different perspective with an open-minded slant, wouldn't it make sense to get a few contributors that aren't NYU grads with open and unabashed liberal biases? I guess they are just presenting a different perspective from all those conservative, Oklahoma-based critics we all get our reviews from.


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