Comments for Think About Your Movies

Piece image

This piece belongs to the series "10 in Their 20s"

Produced by Betty Smith

Other pieces by Vermont Public

Summary: A young man's lament on art versus entertainment.

Caption: PRX default User image

Review of Think About Your Movies

I'm sure there are some youth out there who would really dig this, even though I didn't.

Caption: PRX default User image

Review of Think About Your Movies

Smug, superior, and yet surprisingly simple-minded, Mindell is oblivious to the fact that much of the best criticism being written about movies and TV makes much finer distinctions between trash and treasure than he is capable of (see Tom Carson's reviews for Esquire and, now, GQ). Mindell's thoughtless blanket dismissal of the usual suspects (Friends and David Spade movies) is more of the preaching to the choir that public radio could do without.

I know No. 7 on the list of Reviewing Terms says I shouldn't review something I don't want to hear on the radio, but what sense does that make? How will you distinguish between something competent but uninspiring and something that, like Mindell's piece, should be avoided at all costs? I suggest you amend these terms. If you can't take negative criticism, you've no business soliciting comment.

User image

Review of Think About Your Movies

In this commentary/essay against bad movies, the essayist expands his thoughts to culture in general and television in particular, why art doesn't satisfy most people, and why South Park is more artsy than just about any other television show. The narrator makes the point that if you don't have to think about it at all, it's not art. And, he says, the worst films and television shows are biggest hits.

This goes back to what my R/TV professor told me in one mass media class: popular movies and shows are popular because they appeal to the most people. This is obvious. But the reason they appeal to the most people is that they are middle-of-the-road. It is just like that vanilla party guest who won't be trapped in a stand, neither pro or anti, nor, as it turns out, is he interesting. To be interesting, you need to actually say something, not just exist for a laugh track or to be the show most people watch.

The personal perspective is from a video store clerk, those that I imagine have seen so many movies -- it's almost a job requirement after all -- that they are sick of vanilla and probably pity the rest of us that aren't yet.

This piece is well-thought-out and makes good points without being too stuck up about art. I think most PR listeners can identify and will agree with this essay.