By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
The Palette Of The Modern Movie Critic
When I watch Gordon Ramsey or Top Chef or some similar show on TV, it often occurs to me that as much as I enjoy cooking, my palette is just too simple for me to ever become a great chef. I can make really tasty things inside of my palette.
Filmmakers often struggle when they have expended the breadth and width of their palette and still want to work. A guy like Robert Zemeckis has a taste for endless variety and keeps using his long-honed skills in a variety of genres. Oliver Stone is still struggling to get out of the Vietnam era. He knows how to direct, but what does he have left to say?
Critics cannot reasonably afford themselves the luxury of a narrow palette. Yet, someone like Pauline Kael is remembered for the details of his palette and her inflexibility. Anthony Lane is revered for being acid-tongued and generally uninterested in films themselves aside from the platform they afford him for his witty craft. And Armond White has become nearly legendary for his gift for narrowing a film down to a strong political position that often has nothing to do with the film itself.
Like Political Correctness, Cinematic Correctness is both heroic and villainous. Hurting films, like hurting words, must somehow be both protected and destroyed by the keepers of the flame.