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

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by Anne Thompson
November 12, 2011 6:55 PM
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Paul Mazursky, Film Critic Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair
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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1 Comment

  • Mark Rabinowitz | November 14, 2011 7:40 PMReply

    I am not a fan of the idea. I think that working filmmakers are not necessarily the best choice to critique their peers. Not that it's impossible to do so, but in general, you don't find critics and artists overlapping.

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