John Hofsess: “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love ‘Barry Lyndon’”

I tried to textshot and tweet this 1976 article, but frankly there’s so much in it I couldn’t decide which part. I had the same trouble picking a quote here. A necessary read if you’re interested in art, criticism, or film.

When 2001 opened in 1968, it was greeted with derisive snorts from practically every major critic except Penelope Gilliatt. “A monumentally unimaginative movie,” wrote Pauline Kael. “A major disappointment,” said Stanley Kauffmann. “Incredibly boring,” commented Renata Adler. “A regrettable failure,” wrote John Simon, shrugging it off as “a shaggy God’s story.” “A disaster,” said Andrew Sarris.

Bearing in mind the cold critical reception accorded 2001, I once asked Kubrick– shortly before the London opening of “A Clockwork Orange”–if he had ever learned anything about his work from reading film criticism. His response was a fast, firm “No.”

“To see a film once and write a review is an absurdity,” he said. “Yet very few critics ever see a film twice or write about films from a leisurely, thoughtful perspective. The reviews that distinguish most critics, unfortunately, are those slambang pans which are easy to write and fun to write and absolutely useless. There’s not much in a critic showing off how clever he is at writing silly, supercilious gags about something he hates.”

Via Daring Fireball