It’s not just ‘Race 3’, even the films of Renoir, Bergman, Fellini, et al have been thoroughly trashed

Posted on June 18, 2018


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The release of Race 3 has unleashed a series of savage reviews – and deservedly so. There’s always the criticism that filmmaking is such a complex effort, involving so much Hard Work, and it’s unfair to dismiss all this in a snarky summation. But when so many crores are spent without a basic script, it’s unforgivable. That being said, is it easier to dismiss a film like Race 3, which is so obviously bad, than a film more “serious”? I spent some time with my good friend, Google, this weekend, wondering whether Race 3-review levels of snark had been heaped on the films by acclaimed international filmmakers. Here’s someone being delightfully snippy about Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game. “When you start noticing things such as the fact that not only the women, but also the men have trimmed eyebrows, you know there’s something that doesn’t work for you.”

This pronouncement comes from Jessica Elgenstierna, who writes at The Velvet Cafe. It’s not an establishment voice, you say. Then how about this dismissal of Ingmar Bergman in The New York Times, titled Scenes From an Overrated Career! The great American critic Jonathan Rosenbaum writes, “[It was strange] the way he always resonated with New York audiences. The antiseptic, upscale look of Mr. Bergman’s interiors and his mainly blond, blue-eyed cast members became a brand to be adopted and emulated. (His artfully presented traumas became so respectable they could help to sell espresso in the lobby of the Fifth Avenue Cinema.)” Let’s not get into whether or not this appraisal is right. This is more about the tone of the criticism.

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