Required Reading: Art and Commerce as Frenemies

By  · Published on May 13th, 2014

Universal Pictures

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere.

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“The Paradox of Art as Work” – A.O. Scott wrestles with art and commerce and the greater view that creation is somehow difficult yet frivolous. As someone who makes a comfortable salary writing about how Spider-Man could have fought better, I’ll be forwarding this along to my mother along with a copy of my tax return.

“The idea that everyone can be an artist – making stuff that can be shared, traded or sold to a self-selecting audience of fellow creators – sits awkwardly alongside the self-contradictory dream that everyone can be a star.”

“Three on a Match is one of the darker, more depressing Pre-Code pictures” – Vanessa Buttino at Verite profiles the 1932 story where Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak and Bette Davis team up for an adventure in humanity featuring drugs, gambling and an old superstition about match use.

“The prescient analog nightmare of Videodrome” – Scott Tobias at The Dissolve looks aggressively at the bright future of television. Soon we’ll all have one!

“For those weaned on exploitation films – and surely Cronenberg can be counted among them – there’s a special allure to Videodrome, tied to Max’s pursuit of the weird and wild, and a lot of free time spent alone in a darkened living room. Beyond any plot details, the film’s basic iconography is extremely seductive: The television as an elastic, pink-skinned receptor that actively responds to the viewer; the videocassette as an undulating beast, alive with dark possibility; an immersive experience beyond compare. Cronenberg turns this scenario into a nightmare, but give it another turn, and it sounds a little like fantasy, doesn’t it? The fun irony of Videodrome is that it’s the kind of movie Max Renn, and the Max Renns of the world, would find appealing. It’s an out-there sex-and-gorefest that goes beyond the limits of what’s expected or deemed socially acceptable. “

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector [email protected] | Writing short stories at Adventitious.