Andrew Sarris. Pauline Kael. Sarris vs. Kael. Blah blah blah. Why does it seem like everytime anyone bothers to ask what-is-it? questions about popular film criticism, it always goes back to those two, and an anemic old feud that's been tired for about 25 years? Once again Rockcritics has published a fantastic new interview (we linked to their chat with Janet Maslin awhile back), this time with David Edelstein (most recently film critic for NPR and Slate), and once again the brunt of the chat seems devoted to Edelstein's relationship to that dodgy old either/or. He was something of a Paulette, but he put in his time "under a desk [with] the rats" at the Village Voice, where "everyone hated her." A whole section of this interview is devoted to the suppossed career suicide Edelstein committed amongst New York cineastes for being associated with Kael. My question is: why are we still talking about this? Consider this an open letter to anyone who considers themselves seriously involved in criticism: how boring are we as a class if the Paulettes vs. the Sarrisites is the gossipyiest thing we've managed to come up with? We need new film critic martyrs, new feuds - and no, Armond White vs. the Slate Movie Club doesn't count.
categories Cinematical