Part of the latter is due to my previous ignorance of Feuillade's work. I lack the commonplaces that come so readily to discussions of Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton or D.W. Griffith. But part is due to the films themselves.
Feuillade’s movies don’t hit the viewer over the head with technical gimcrackery, and they don’t monger the sorts of symbols that lend themselves easily to sophomore-level “analysis.” They're just well-written, and they tell good, atmospheric stories, and it’s a lot harder to talk about how writing makes a movie than it is to see Christ symbolism in every crossed set of window mullions.
Good god, and it’s not just sophomores who talk that way. A few months ago, I squirmed in my seat as a film professor breathlessly informed an audience gathered for Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt that the film’s runaway protagonist and his niece are both named Charlie!!! and that this is significant!!!
Anyone who has taken a film course can talk about Orson Welles’ deep focus or D.W. Griffith’s use of close-ups. But anyone who thinks that those devices are what make their movies great is missing the point.
OK, readers and viewers, what's responsible for the great volume of superficial blather about movies — or films? Who are the worst offenders?
© Peter Rozovsky 2010