Monday, March 29, 2010

Should film critics become professionally celibate?

The above concerns LOS ANGELES TIMES film critic Kenneth Turan and his relationship with actress Zoe Kazan (REVOLUTIONARY ROAD) plus Kazan's parents writer/director Nicholas (son of Elia) Kazan and writer/one-time director Robin Swicord. Besides proving that West Los Angeles suburb Pacific Palisades, CA must be like a small town, Turan's article is illuminating for his I-won't-recuse-myself-from-championing-Zoe's-new-movie candor.

This kind of forthright yes-I-have-friends-who-make-movies opinionating hasn't been seen too often. Andrew Sarris was one exception--he was forthright about his friendship with filmmaker Robert Benton (STILL OF THE NIGHT, NOBODY'S FOOL, THE HUMAN STAIN) in the pages of THE NEW YORK OBSERVER.

Pauline Kael's I'll-write-about-you-but-I'll-keep-my-relationship-with-you-private attitude towards Sam Peckinpah, Paul Schrader, Warren Beatty and Robert Altman has been the norm with regards to the practice of film criticism.

And I haven't even brought up the topic of critics who allegedly hustle screenplays to actors/filmmakers.

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