This is brilliant, and why I love reading your publication. I realize when I read your reviews how art films of the 80s served as the lifeline out of my less than sophisticated world, into a place more exquisite and thoughtful. But so often, the art films were as crude and weird as the world I wanted to escape, probably more so.

To go back in time and review the world with adult eyes and with the help of critics who are not invested in clever tricks to disguise their sycophantilism (sycophant + infantilism) so they may achieve status without losing access, is helpful to reconsidering the touchstones I used to help me shape a view of the world I thought would be seviceable.

Bertolucci was gross. Polanski was gross. Not just gross, but terrifying. I never could understand why no one else saw it, but I was told I was responding to their works like a rube or a priss, primarily by my male college professors or my fellow male students, that I just ended up confused.

Bertolucci ruined The Sheltering Sky, a book that I found spoke beautifully to the despair of alientation and existentialism. He ruined it by sticking his dick in it. That's how they always ruin something beautiful. It's the same mutated gene that drives men with money to want to build an outlet mall on the rim of the Grand Canyon (yes, that is a decade+ old fight here in the States): the mutated gene to dominate and ruin rather than find dominion and peace with decay.

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Excellent review! Just discovered your publication and started perusing the titles of your articles. I’m Gen X as it gets. I don’t know about the UK, but here in the States my birth year falls at the very trough of a “baby bust”-- there simply aren’t very many people my age, which makes these takes by someone who shares a cultural landscape all the more compelling.

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Ahahahahahah. I am cracking up thinking of Tobias mid-air. Here's a podcast I did about Uncle Harry. After Tobias listens to that, he might come down to earth:


I love E. Waugh's writing, and thought Brideshead was so sweet and sad. Meanwhile, his "Beloved" was hilarious, but you know, like when I read Maugham's Razor's Edge at age 20, I thought it was brilliant (another movie adaptation to add to your review list!) and then I went back at 40 and thought, Uh, hmm.

One of the reasons I used to love seeing art films was indeed for the music! It was a way to stay ahead of the curve and to force open yet a little more space for me to experience the "big" world I wanted to grab onto with my straining reach out of the tinier world where I felt so stuck.

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