Daily Archives: October 26, 2017

More Vidal (Review of MYRON)

I wrote this book review for The Village Voice shortly after I moved to London from Paris in 1974 (which helps to explain how I could cite the English paperback of Myra Breckinridge), so I was more than likely a little miffed when the Voice noted at the end of the piece, “Jonathan Rosenbaum is a film critic presently living in Paris.” Although I think this review suffers a bit from the Voice‘s overheated smart-alecky manner during this period, which I was only too willing to adopt (and which makes some of my gripes potentially open to the charge of the pot calling the kettle black), I was reminded of both this review and Myra Breckinridge/Myron while recently reading Vidal’s somewhat similar 1978 novel Kalki, which has a similarly formidable heroine-narrator with a comparably ambiguous relation to gender. — J.R. [4/3/09]

More Vidal

By Jonathan Rosenbaum

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Myron

Gore Vidal

Random House, $6.95
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Myra Breckenridge was a stunt: a clever gay trick pulled on a straight  audience — or, if one prefers, a bisexual prank pulled on a unisexual audience — with kibitzers and spectators welcome on either side of the ironies, different jokes for different folks.… Read more »

All the Pretty Carnage

If memory serves, this review provoked more hate mail than anything else I ever wrote for the Reader, very  little of which engaged with my actual argument. It ran in the November 8, 2007 issue, a little less than four months before I retired from the paper. — J.R.

No Country for Old Men |  Written and Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen

November 8, 2007

By Jonathan Rosenbaum

The first thing we demand of a wall is that it shall stand up. If it stands up, it is a good wall, and the question of what purpose it serves is separable from that. And yet even the best wall in the world deserves to be pulled down if it surrounds a concentration camp. —George Orwell

I tend to get flustered when people ask me what I look for in movies, so I’m wary of theorizing too much about what other people want from them. Moviegoers generally seem to fall into one of two categories: those looking for experiences similar to ones they’ve already had and those looking for experiences that are new. Though I’m usually among the latter, I’m sometimes curious about why people return to certain pleasures, especially when I don’t share their taste.… Read more »