Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes, 2/24

A good one by the New Yorker’s Richard Brody (from a post on the critical reception of “Shutter Island”):

A critic invoking reality is like a politician invoking God—if insincere, it’s demagogy; if sincere, it’s dogmatism. (I’m sure that I’ve relied on that critical crutch at times, too.) Reality is as much a psychological and an emotional construct as it is a social, political, or material one. In movies, it’s often evoked as persuasively by special effects as by documentary-style photography. Indeed, Edelstein, in the same article, praises Jacques Audiard’s direction of “A Prophet (Un Prophète)” in those terms: “Audiard’s camera is extraordinarily intimate: The boundaries disappear between the real and the surreal.” He could have said, more accurately, “between the physical and the mental,” but the word “real” has an implicit political point—it’s a normative term that suggests the virtues of authenticity and truth. Actually, “Shutter Island” is instantly a part of reality, even if no such island, no such asylum, and no such characters as those depicted in the movie exist. A movie isn’t a mere reflection of reality but, more important, an expansion of it, [my emphasis] and that’s what lots of viewers are seeking and getting from this one.

Word up. I’m much more interested in seeing “Shutter Island” after having kept tabs on the critical melee it has inspired. (The film’s trailer is, for me, like garlic to a vampire).



One Response to “Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes, 2/24”

  1. Anthony Says:


    Probably old news to you, but I think this project is pretty interesting. I bet we can get access through UW.

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