Archive for March 26, 2009

Representative Types of Jew

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , on March 26, 2009 by dcairns

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Over at The Auteurs’ Notebook, my column The Forgotten attempts to get to grips with a particularly slippery Nazi propaganda effort, the loathesome hymn to anti-Semitism that is JUD SUSS. You’ll want to look away. But you won’t.

As usual, leave any comments over there.

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Mommy Nearest

Posted in FILM, literature with tags , , , , , , on March 26, 2009 by dcairns

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The Guardian is my newspaper of choice, so it always pains me slightly when their film coverage goes wrong. Their monthly film mag has yet to find a way to fill its pages with interesting stuff of the kind Guardian readers might like (I think there were two very good pieces in the latest issue, the rest, meh, as I believe they say in America) and here’s a piece by Hadley Freeman that ran a couple of days ago. Link.

Freeman is the paper’s witty deputy fashion editor, and a good writer. Not being a film reviewer shouldn’t prevent her from having her say. Her article focuses on what has long been recognised as a dreadful mix of sexism and ageism in Hollywood, using the particular angle of movies that cast actresses as the mothers or older lovers of actors who are nearly as old as the actresses. Leaving aside the fact that the article misses the famous example of Jessie Royce Landis playing Cary Grant’s mum in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, and the fact that, running out of examples, Freeman is forced to vamp furiously for several paragraphs, dragging in older-woman narratives like THE GRADUATE (where Anne Bancroft was only five years older than Dustin Hoffman), actors who play opposite much younger women, and actors who date much younger women in real life. Almost as if there wasn’t much to say.

But the real howler comes when Freeman condemns BACK TO THE FUTURE for casting Lea Thompson as Michael J Fox’s mom. I think a basic familiarity with a movie should be required if you’re going to write about it, and one might assume that almost everyone in the UK of walking-and-talking age has seen Robert Zemeckis’s time travel comedy, which is about time travel, and stars Michael J Fox as a time-traveller who travels back in time and meets his mother as a teenager

Wait, Lea Thompson was 24? Maybe time for a piece about how older actors are robbing teenagers of roles. Hold the presses.

Oh, and Freeman evidently hasn’t seen GIANT either. Or has and just doesn’t care.