Projecting: French New Wave, Negative Criticism, Depression, Actual Offense



Editor’s Note: Projecting features a selection of great film and television focused writing from around the internet.


Landon Palmer discusses the French New Wave and problems with contemporary cinema co-opting the label, for Film School Rejects:

But beyond the intellectual and artistic changes the French New Wave brought upon the greater cinematic landscape, no contribution of the movement is more apparent than the term New Wave itself, a term that both reinforces and confuses the French New Wave’s legacy each time it’s applied. And while “New Wave” might be a useful shorthand for recognizing significant shifts in filmmaking style and practice across the world, it’s a term whose frequent use also highlights its diminishing relevance, a remnant of a global filmmaking context that in few ways resemble today’s.

projecting-crooked eclipses

Steve Matuszak muses on the topic of negative criticism and its place in artistic culture, for Crooked Eclipses:

Why are bad reviews supposed to be so good? Toward the end of Life Itself, the documentary about Roger Ebert, when it was revealed that late in his career Ebert often developed friendships with the people whose work he was reviewing, it was implied that his criticism went soft. A. O. Scott, as I recall, concedes that Ebert’s bad reviews weren’t as cutting as they’d once been, as if that somehow meant that Ebert’s standards had slipped or his criticism was corrupted in some way.


Matt Zoller Seitz discusses his own depression and how Robin Williams’ battle offers a new appreciation of his work, for

In recent years when I’ve experienced those sorts of feelings I would think of Roger Ebert, who continued to be tremendously prolific in his later years despite undergoing cancer treatments (and surgery) that would have sapped some people of their will do anything but the basic survival activities. Since Williams’ death I’ve tended to think of him instead, partly because his death at age 63 to suicide is fresh in my mind, but also because—like a lot of people, I gather—I don’t think I truly appreciated all his accomplishments until I heard about his lifelong struggles with clinical depression.


Max Winter pushes aside the more disgusting elements of Wetlands to find what is truly offensive, for Press Play:

Wnendt takes us, with this work, on a very bumpy tour of a young woman’s maturation, sparing nothing to show us his narrator’s body, as well as her body’s functions, its wounds, and its moments of ecstasy, all equally vivid, all equally exciting. It also shows us the tormented relationships she has with her parents, with her family, with men—and the sort of violence perpetrated in those spheres. The question the film asks, quite profoundly and with such confidence that it’s hard to stay shocked at its earthiness for too long, is: why are we so offended by bodily functions, and perhaps less by the ills humans visit on each other?


About Author

Derek was the only engineer at Northeastern University taking a class on German film and turning a sociology research paper into an examination of Scorsese’s work. Still living in Boston, MA, he blatantly abuses his Netflix account, but can never seem to get his Instant Queue below 200. He continues to fight the stigma that being good at math means you are not any no good at writing. I good write, very much.