News: true stories not actually true stories

I have been reading a lot of backlash about Iran’s backlash against the film Argo that won some award at the Oscars. Without wanting to, god forbid, jump on the bandwagoon, I would just like to point out that any vaguely politically-aware individual (or indeed comic book fan) would be aware from the very instant the film began, in the description of the Iranian revolution, that there was some considerable air-brushing of history at work in Ben Affleck’s latest adventures in celluloid.

Interestingly, other political films such as Lincoln did not suffer so terribly at the hand of critics. Putting aside that Affleck has still a considerable measure to travel before Ben-Lo is an insignificant daub on the pages of history, and that Daniel Day Lewis Can Do No Wrong (the man can fix your shoes, for god’s sake), and the fact that this film is a film about film by filmmakers patting filmmakers on the back, there is still a lot to complain about, about the film and about his directing talents.

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Noone is planting turnips at this time of night

Virginia Woolf said in The Common Reader: If such criticism is the reverse of final, if it is initiatory and inspiring rather than conclusive and complete, there is something to be said for the critic who starts the reader on a journey and fires him with a phrase to shoot off on adventures of his own.

Dissections. Matthew Collings, Matthew Collings. Some of my best friends are Matthew Collings, so I thought I would reach my hand into the past and issue a botched dissection of the man himself. The art critic from the nineties, and of course, the goofier half of Flight of the Conchords. I do not hate the man who taught me and inspired me so much about art and how to think about art, who showed me lovely lovely art on my television set (before we had the internet at our whimsical disposal) and explained to me what they mean and what I should think about them. These were the days before I realised that TV, like books, also wanted to explain art to me at secret times of the night. Continue reading