Bitty Ruminations #25

Posted on July 23, 2010


JUL 23 – From this interesting interview with the always awesome Tilda Swinton, surely the only great actress capable of being confused with a typographic character, a beautiful way to look at acting, through the donkey in Au Hasard Balthazar.

“He is a portal for the audience, to project whatever they need to project onto him. And he is, of course, out of the way. I think that project, to keep oneself out of the way, while at the same time bringing oneself to bear on some very simplistic spiritual level is the project in screen acting that keeps me interested in it.”

How often have you caught yourself entering the portal of a picture through a “blank” protagonist, other than in the recent and decidedly curious case of Herr Benjamin Button?

PS: Speaking of Swinton, here’s the exquisite labyrinth scene from the exquisite Orlando. Isn’t this so much more maze-like, so much more dream-like than… uh, never mind.

PPS: And because there can never be too many articles on film criticism, here’s one that came my way. Key quote:

“What real critics offer is an area of mental dissonance, of thoughtful discussion. David Edelstein was in the negative when he detracted against The Dark Knight in 2008, and angry fans (many who hadn’t seen the movie at the time of his article’s publishing) lambasted him as “a pretentious prick” and someone trying to get “hits for his site.” Very rarely did anyone discuss what he actually said in his review, which was thoughtful and well laid-out. I don’t agree with Edelstein on all his points and issues, but there is a validity to his opinion and he is entitled to it; obviously Nolan’s take on the Batman lore is not his cup of tea, and I’ll respect him for that. For one, he notes that the tone is significantly darker, sadistic even, and was probably disturbed by such; frankly, this same reason is why I extolled Nolan’s work so vicariously with my first and subsequent viewings, so arguably this is a difference in taste (and perhaps a generation difference).”

Oh, and this one too…

“When I think of criticism I’m not looking for validation – I’m looking for something that makes me think differently. To see something in a new light, to look at a topic from the perspective of a different subject area, to emphasize a metaphor or analogy or symbolism or anything – anything to get me to see in the new. Whether or not I agree with the critique is irrelevant; what matters most is that I can take something away from it, that perhaps I can even learn something from it.”