November 20, 2006

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Peter Suderman, slamming the ridiculous guilt-orgy "Fast Food Nation," which he calls a "rambling anti-corporate gabfest":

"Fast Food Nation kicks off with a suit-clad fast food chain boss telling one of his executives to investigate a meat packing plant rumored to be allowing fecal matter to infect the beef. But the only thing that's contaminated here is director Richard Linklater's meandering, unfocused movie, which has an unmistakable whiff of Causeitis -- a compulsive inability to avoid taking up any of the many issues in the lefty activist canon...

Linklater's movie is primarily about trying to get us to think that fast food is seriously icky stuff. But it's also about (just to name several that spring to mind): illegal immigration, animal rights, the PATRIOT act, hourly wage work, biotech foods, industrial farming, sexual exploitation, employee abuse, rightwing collusion between business and government, Halliburton, eminent domain abuse, globalization, workplace safety, exercising one's passion for environmental activism, corporate financial scandal, and, erm, the spread of home-brew meth labs. It's a 2000 calorie serving of blindly flailing anti-corporate diatribes complete with all the side dish rants anyone could ever want."

Yet David Denby, in the New Yorker, says that "no one could disagree with a single notion in" "Fast Food Nation" or "Bobby." I love that certainty- "no one."

Posted by Stephen Silver at November 20, 2006 11:14 PM

"no one could disagree with a single notion in either film."

You know what? People who think in those kind of absolutes actually *frighten* me. You'd almost have to be either dangerously stupid or dangerously sinister to think like that.

Posted by: Emily at November 22, 2006 10:42 AM

I read that New Yorker review on the train ride to Sunday's Patriots game, and it seemed to me that Denby was actually mocking the "impeccably progressive attitudes" behind the two movies. His conclusion:

Both “Bobby” and “Fast Food Nation” were conceived at a moment, perhaps, when liberals were unable to tell stories, so deep was their despair. Looking at these screwed-up movies, even a conservative might say that it’s time for liberals to pull themselves together and begin their narrative anew.
Posted by: jabbett at November 28, 2006 01:23 PM
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