I'd like to take a moment, if I may, to talk about revivals. It's a dirty word to most critics, and an even greater number of editors. "Why should we bother reviewing an old movie?" they ask. You'd think it would be a prerequisite for the job, but the sad truth is that most critics have very little notion of film history; they're out there flying blind.

For example, a knowledge of early cinema, and especially the heavily-textured work of F.W. Murnau or Max Ophuls, may have helped most mainstream critics appreciate the beautiful work Terrence Malick turned in on The New World, while at the same time realizing that Memoirs of a Geisha and Brokeback Mountain were really only so much postcard posturing.

categories Cinematical