Total Oblivion

"A fast-paced, suspenseful dystopian picaresque, part Huck Finn and part bizarro-world Swiss Family Robinson..."



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Skinny Dipping

Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

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Futures, Options, and Swaps (the weblog of Alan DeNiro)

Still, still trying to figure out the mass psychosis that is known as “critical adoration of Sideways“. Any ideas? ps, if you haven’t seen it…it’s a miserable, thuggish movie, that only grows more in misery when you recollect it, and the individual funny bits fade from memory.

Someone on the IMDB boards posting something like “What am I missing with this movie?” and received this response, which speaks to the heart of the matter:

SIDEWAYS is the best film of 2004. It is the only film out there that has more soul than RAY (the movie, not the genius).

I wouldn’t say you’re a moron for not “getting it”, especially if you are eleven or twelve years old. Perhaps you just haven’t lived enough life to appreciate it? (And I’m not talking about age here, I’m talking about living a life that goes deeper than the surface.)

You thought the film was slow? Not every award should go to the Lord of the Rings. How is SIDEWAYS any slower than Lost in Translation?

You thought the characters were “unlikable”? Characters have to be likable to you for you to approve of a film? You like the babe in the movie, though, eh? You like the hottie? Now there was a character you could relate to?! But those middle aged losers? Acting like 40 year old teenagers?

Oh man. This film ought to be a litmus test for students deciding whether or not they want to be film critics. Nothing personal, but I’m not going to your website either. You kind of set yourself up as a moron.

Maybe you should see the film again?

Or…maybe you should rent 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS?

After all, neither LOST IN TRANSLATION nor 21 GRAMS are Art House films. I saw them both with stadium seating.

Also, Payne’s ELECTION was a brilliant film. Have you seen it?

Cringe inducing jokes? “Has been” from Wings.

Just the fact that you use the phrase “Has been” explains a lot as to why you didn’t “get” this “okay movie.” It’s a great film. Think before you speak.

Very Ari Fleischer-like closing there, champ.

Anyway, I think America is so culturally impoverished now that any film which makes half-assed stabs at “high” culture suddenly gets swept up as an anti-blockbuster in the critical consciousness (and critical wannabe consciousness). E.g., “It’s about wine-it must be the antidote to Shark Tale!!!” Witness the main characters’ lame “my novel redeems the fact that I stole money from my mother” moment at the end of the movie, oh, oops spoiler! The “brilliant, unpublished first novel that lets him get laid” is interchangeable for the Pinot-or-Whatever ’64 ( as if I care)-it’s like when they review poetry in the New Yorker or NYTBR. They’re not actually talking about poetry-it’s the engine of nostalgia that it represents, “living a life which goes deeper than the surface”, the primrose promise that represents an absolution for being a complete asshole. In that way, the lazy morality of Sideways is quintessentially American.

Wed, December 15 2004 » Movies/TV

3 Responses

  1. gwenda December 15 2004 @ 8:54 pm

    You’re a genius.

    (“I do what I want!”)

  2. Elad December 17 2004 @ 9:14 am

    Amen, brother alan!

  3. Marguerite June 11 2007 @ 3:59 am

    Oh, God,thank you. I didn’t get the damn movie either.

    I mean, if you want Paul Giamatti goodness, see American Splendor.

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  1. Goblin Mercantile Exchange » riddle me this February 12 2007 @ 4:56 pm

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