Posts Tagged ‘the godfather’

Paul Shirley Doesn’t Like The Beatles

Et tu, Paul?

Listen Mr. Shirley, we like you here at NPI. We like sports. We like books. We like people who write good books about playing sports. You even tweeted at Tim. But if forced to choose between you and the Beatles, well, we’re gonna have to go with the Beatles.

Now, I have no problem with unconventional stances; in fact, I like them a lot. And I have no qualms with someone’s personal tastes. It’s also true that people who don’t like the Beatles are unfairly maligned (you guys should form a support group with people who don’t think The Godfather is that great and people who think Shakespeare is overrated).

 

Some of what you say is certainly true: “[T]he mythology that surrounds the Beatles has overwhelmed rational humans’ ability to judge the band by its music.” There is no denying that when you are brought up and essentially conditioned to think something is good, that is going to affect your judgment of that thing, whether your judgment is positive or negative. Continue reading

The Point of No Reproach

I am, in general, a big fan of criticism, iconoclasm and contrarianism. I use some variation of the phrase “thinking critically” pretty much everyday. Whenever conventional wisdom forms about a certain subject, I instinctively take the opposite point of view.

Some people view these characteristics as flaws, but I consider them a point of pride.

In spite of this inclination towards criticism, there a few subjects on which I am downright dogmatic.

I noticed this most recently while reading Infinite Summer, the online book club for David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, probably my favorite novel of all-time. There was a discussion of the novel’s inclusion of endnotes and whether or not this aligned with the book’s themes, or was simply a stylistic pretense. My gut instinct, however, was to dismiss those who were anti-endnotes as morons who couldn’t possibly understand the book. Continue reading

Symposium: …and CUT.

First off, I am offended at your two’s vocabulary. If you were an experienced film writer such as myself, you’d know never to use the word “movie.”

I don’t mean to caricature John’s argument, but I’m sure it’s what he’ll claim afterward. It seems to me that John is arguing that a film’s quality is entirely dependent on the response it evokes not in its collective audience, but in the individual member of that audience. Hence, “Calling a movie ‘great’…is ALWAYS a subjective judgment. If you enjoy a movie, then you think it’s a good movie.”

John’s myopic take on film quality, in which each individual acts as the arbiter of overall quality, essentially makes any and all comments about film both conceivable and credible.

Continue reading