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Paul Mazursky is Vanity Fair's New Film Critic: Do Critics Matter?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 12, 2011 at 6:55PM

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has made a smart move: he's giving veteran writer-director Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "Harry and Tonto")  an online gig as VF's film critic. Mazursky's first reviews are Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" and Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar." (See snippets below.)
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Paul Mazursky, Film Critic
Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair Paul Mazursky, Film Critic

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has made a smart move: he's giving veteran writer-director Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "Harry and Tonto")  an online gig as VF's film critic. Mazursky's first reviews are Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" and Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar." (See snippets below.)

I know Mazursky well: he's a brilliant, funny writer. Enjoy.

Here's "Melancholia":

I plan on seeing this film again. The image of the totally nude Kirsten Dunst lying on the green grass of the villa at night and staring up at the sky is incredibly moving . . . and sexy. You may have problems with the film. It may shake you out of your lethargy.
You might even get melancholia yourself, and that just might make Lars von Trier a happy man.


And "J. Edgar":

Clint Eastwood’s newest film is a serious attempt at deconstructing the strange life of J. Edgar Hoover. The script takes us back from the last days of his life to his early days when he is becoming the feared, angry, and oh-so dynamic fellow we remember him as today.
Was he gay? Was his close relationship with his deputy, Clyde Tolson (well played by Armie Hammer), ever physical? Did they make love or just hold hands? Why did Hoover never marry? Did he actually do all the daring arrests he claimed? Eastwood tries to answer all these questions. But in doing so, too often he left me puzzled.

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.