Just how much do you need to know with Adam Nayman

Adam Nayman is a film critic, lecturer, and author. In an interview he posted with the maker of the film The Empty Man (which I loved), Adam presses the director on other films he was reminded of or felt was referenced. The interview raised some questions for me about my approach to starting a new strategy assignment. How much do you need to know, to feel like you understand? How much information is too much? What is reasonable. This conversation stays rooted in film, but the bread crumbs to other types of thought work are certainly there.

Find Adam Nayman at Twitter: https://twitter.com/brofromanother?lang=en and The Ringer.

The Strategy Inside Everything is the podcast for people who think for a living. If you have an idea, a question or you want to push back on something you hear in this episode, go to https://thatsnotaninsight.com and leave a message or a voicemail for me. The best and most interesting messages will be added to future episodes. And I can’t wait to hear from you. Music for The Strategy Inside Everything is by Sawsquarenoise. Host Adam Pierno is an author, speaker and strategy consultant. Learn more at adampierno.com.

Listen here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/just-how-much-do-you-need-to-know-with-adam-nayman/id1269432601?i=1000554859373

Transcript below:

Adam Pierno 0:03
All right, welcome back to another episode of The Strategy Inside Everything. We are going to talk film. And we’re going to talk film criticism and we’re going to talk about what you need to know when you’re watching a film and how much it is should be expected on the part of the audience. Today, my guest is the critic, lecturer and author and former season ticket holder for the Toronto Raptors in Toronto. Adam Nayman, thank you for joining us. He is also the author of several books his newest is David Fincher: Mind Games. Adam, thank you so much for joining me.

Adam Nayman 0:46
Thank you very much for having me. I’m only no longer a season ticket holder because since winning a title it’s not affordable raptor games in person, but I’m still watching us watching watching every night from my couch, still a loyal fan at least.

Adam Pierno 0:59

Adam Nayman:
We talked before the show about your Phoenix Suns so you know if you have any local listenership? I think you guys are buckling in for a long, long, long, long playoff run, I hope. Yeah,

Adam Pierno 1:14
fingers crossed, fingers crossed or close last year. You know, I have been reading your writing on films for some time. And I had heard you on a podcast, we were just talking about talking about a specific movie and that cult movies, and I was curious about how the type of background work you do translates to other kinds of thought work, you know, as someone’s doing research on a project that someone’s putting together. Competitive Intelligence, What all do you need to know, before we dive into that, I thought maybe you could give a background on kind of how you got to where you are, and just how many movies you watch in a given week.

Adam Nayman 1:56
I mean, I’m, I’m in my early 40s. And I’ve been freelancing and writing about films in various capacities since the turn of the millennium for about 20 years, right. And that’s all interwoven around, partially comes out of doing an undergraduate degree in Film Studies at U of T. But also I was writing professionally, in between going back to get an MA, that all winds around doing teaching, not PhD teaching, it’s a it’s an adjunct instruction, but it’s been very consistent both at U of T. and Ryerson, where there isn’t a formal research component to my work, and it’s not tenure track. But then I’m also and I say this with respect on the off chance anyone from U of T arrives listening and publishing way more than tenured profs are there because I’m writing full books on cinema. And there are books that have a research component, theory component and academic component while also being evaluative criticism. And to some extent journalistic criticism with a with an energy component. These a lot of different disciplines and skill sets and in film studies academically, there’s a certain bristling tension between, you know, theory and evaluation between academia and journalism, and trying to navigate in between all these different things. It’s not just something I try and do. It’s just what I’ve done now for a long time. Hopefully, you know, the jack of all trades, master of none analogy doesn’t apply. And it’s not like mediocre academia and mediocre writing but what it what but one of the reasons I’m so interested to come on this podcast and to talk to you is because criticism, writing about film writing, historically, writing analytically writing, theoretically, writing evaluative ly, has so much to do with habits of viewing and frames of reference. And a really nebulous set of qualifications that can simultaneously seem really obvious, and really rigid, and on the other hand, are so wildly subjective, that they frustrate people. And I tend to be split between people who tell me that they wish they had a job like mine and people who think that there shouldn’t be a job like mine, and usually with the same level of vigor.

Adam Pierno 4:23
Well, I think the man that’s that’s a hard thing to hear, there shouldn’t be a job like, like the one you’re doing. You know, I think part of the reason that criticism is still so valuable, is because we do need that frame we do need more context for criticism is, unfortunately for you know, had been boiled down to what can fit into underneath characters and oftentimes just hey, that sucks. But But true criticism is the analysis and how something fits into a broader picture or pastiche of of where this thing fits into culture in general.

Adam Nayman 5:02
Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s a quote from the film critic Manny Farber. And this tends to be thrown around a lot. And I’m throwing it now. Right. And it should say that it’s divested of its context. It’s not meant to be the culmination of an argument that you know, pharma, it’s just part of a larger unit pharmacy, you know, in film criticism. Evaluation is what he’s interested in the least. And taste is what he’s interested in the least you know, the care less many Farber great film, but whether someone likes or doesn’t like movie, there’s also a school of film criticism, though, post that, where the liking or not liking the movie isn’t a point that’s arrived at or isn’t something that’s implicit in the analysis of form, and theme and content. You know, it’s all people kind of want to hear. That’s the algorithmic form of criticism, where you go to an aggregator and see X percentage of people liked it, or gave it this out of 100. I mean, even the math of Siskel and Ebert was part of that this idea of kind of thumbs up or thumbs down.

Adam Pierno 6:05
Yeah, it’s really simplifying,

Adam Nayman 6:08
simplifying, but also, you know, there’s different different readerships and fewer chips and constituencies who are going to hew more to one than the other? I mean, I have learned in my life, I am a fairly well socialized, normal, you know, person, I’ve managed to secure myself, you know, like, a life partner, and I have children, like I’m a functioning person. I’ve also still learned that sometimes at a party when someone’s like, you know, what do you think of the movie and you start coming into an exegesis about, you know, social realism or something people like, I don’t carry it was a good, right. And you wonder, you know, who does the foul play with there? And it’s not a question to fault. It’s a question of, What does someone wants to hear? Are they prepared to meet you? Where were they, you know, the way that you talk about movies? I mean, this is gonna seem like a bit of a digression here. I am imposing a frame of reference on your show. But there’s a film that came out in late 2020. I don’t know if you saw it called. I’m thinking of ending things.

Adam Pierno 7:06
Yes. Yeah. So yeah, I watched it. And I watched it. I had to watch it a few times to I think I know where you’re going with this. It’s like, do I need to know do I have to read this book? Well, we

Adam Nayman 7:15
will. So that actually is funny, because I wasn’t even gonna say that wasn’t gonna say, you know, have you read the, the Ian Reed novel is that in I’m thinking of adding things which is for your listeners to essentially seems to be about a long car drive in the snow between this kind of shy, young man and this girl who he’s dating and it’s very odd to figure out whose point of view it’s from it. Is it this about a woman who’s being dragged along to meet these guys. We were family. There’s this but a guy who’s finally bringing up the nerve to bring a girlfriend home. And here they’re talking in the car, long passage where she starts talking about a film by John Cassavetes called A Woman Under the Influence. Yeah, here’s the here’s the thing. You wouldn’t know that she’s talking about that film if you didn’t know the film, and then know that Jenna rowland’s is the start because she’s making reference to Gina Roland spiker surname. What you also wouldn’t know is that she is directly quoted word for word Pauline Kayla’s review of that film. She is reading about four paragraphs of kills review. That’s something she’s doing it Jessie Buckley, a brilliant actress, Australian actress. She’s doing an imitation of Pauline Kael. And there’s a throwaway shot in that movie maybe two seconds long, where you see that the Jesse Plemons character has a copy of kales book for keeps on his childhood bookshelf. And that’s because when the film shows its cards, this female character and all the other characters are our shades and facets of his personality. Now, that’s not in the source novel. I’m friends with the author of I’m thinking of ending things we in read also Raptors fan and Ontarian. That’s all Charlie Kaufman putting in this weird digression about film criticism, this weird impersonation of Pauline Kael, he’s doing it, I think, because he has a real issue with kales way of analyzing the Woman Under the Influence, which is a film of a mental illness as is I’m thinking of anything, right? And I’ve even gotten to my point, my point being, every layer, every layer, I’ve read the source novel, which still did not prepare me for the digression. I’ve read the kale review, which is I’m in a super small percentage of people that’s going to immediately recognize that if you never says, Hey, I here’s what Pauline Kael thinks of A Woman Under the Influence. She’s just saying, you’re like, it’s her thoughts. And here’s my point. I put this in my piece on the film because I wrote about I’m thinking about things. More than anything. It’s like, boy does film criticism sound dumb when read aloud? People don’t talk about movies that way.

Adam Pierno 9:48
Right? It’s jarring in the film, and although I didn’t know all that you just said to me I was just just a viewer. Yeah, I thought this is weird. Dialogue like The rest of this is very you know interpersonal people in a car she’s gonna break up with him where’s this going?

Adam Nayman 10:07
And and and so all of a sudden the scene plays about the same place four or five different ways not because of the choices that are being made, you know, even by the the actors and the director that simply score five different ways to four or five different people with four or five different levels of relationship to that text, because the other level on top of all this is that the novel Kaufmann wrote, not even read the coffin wrote and kind, which has nothing to do with anything new that came in at the same time, is a novel about a film critic, and has endless references in it to kale and other film critics for 700 pages. And you can see Kaufman, who’s gotten his share of rave reviews and bad reviews, clearly has film criticism and analysis, and the thought process of film writing on the brain where he’s inhabiting this miserable caricature of a film critic who is based by the way on Richard Brody of the New Yorker who hates Kaufman’s work. It’s really petty, vindictive thing that he’s doing with this Brody ish, you know, film critic. Now, does this make me a better viewer of this movie? I mean, no, but it’s a kind of a deal viewer the movie because of the stuffs there. I’m there to pick up on it. And none of that’s finished my thought. None of that means that some hypothetical person I needed a party, they say I’m thinking of anything’s is on Netflix. If I started telling them everything I just said to you out loud, and I’m not a podcast guest. It’s not my byline. And unless they’re a person exactly like me, who knows this already. They’re going to talk to somebody else. But then if they say, Oh, I thought it was bad and boring. And I don’t get it. I have learned now in my 40s, to think that that’s fine. And live and let live. I’ll tell you something else. They’re not right. Bear in this fatal to an opinion, that is absolutely valid, and totally uninteresting. Yeah. To totally uninteresting valid opinion. That was boring. They’re just talking about nothing. Well, they’re not.

Adam Pierno 12:12
Do you think you enjoyed that? So I had none of that context? Yeah, sure. Do you think you enjoyed that film more than I did?

Adam Nayman 12:19
I see this is a good, it’s a good question. I I don’t think so. And I also been one of the reasons that in this hypothetical experiment, I just sounded kind of mean, right? So their opinion is an interesting,

Adam Pierno 12:30
no, I knew what you meant. I knew he meant it’s a rabbit hole.

Adam Nayman 12:33
But it’s a rabbit hole. But it’s also like, there’s a difference between an aggressive denial that these things have context and like a curiosity, or at least an acknowledgement that there is that even if it’s not something that’s immediately apparent to somebody or, or if they don’t care, I don’t think I enjoyed it more than you, I think that in writing about it, you know, my job is to meet it at the level that I don’t want to see the level that it’s at, I want to meet it at the level that I’m at. And that might prove to be a bit of a, I don’t know, a bit of a guide, or a bit of a spur of curiosity to a certain reader. And equally valid criticism of that movie. Much more interesting to me than someone saying I don’t care would be someone saying something like, and this is because I just write in film criticism in my head. Now, the way some people think in numbers is always you know, this is an insular, narcissistic movie that speaks to an insular narcissistic community. And you don’t have to get the references to know that it’s dropping them. And a dropping of a reference isn’t the same thing as relating to anything like experience or emotion and this movie blows. Review, you know, probably pretty decent little capsule, and also not inaccurate, either as opinion or as evaluation.

Adam Pierno 13:50
Yeah. And I’m trying not to just geek out and talk film with you because I want to, yeah, no, it’s fine. I want to move along this idea. Do you get assignments for what you write about? Or you do kind of have free rein to write about what you what’s interesting to you sometimes. I

Adam Nayman 14:07
mean, sometimes. I’ve had I’ve written in so many different contexts for so many Republicans for so long. I use the analogy of the trench, or what I write about is narrow, but it’s unbelievably deep. Yeah. Right. You know, and sometimes you’re writing the shallow level of the trenches. And then as you’re writing way down at the bottom, and, you know, sometimes you’re in your own trench. I mean, you know, the most notable thing I ever did in terms of carving out a reputation for myself was writing a book on showgirls, because now anytime anything ever happens with showgirls or Paul Verhoeven or like, nudity on film or anytime a really terrible movie gets made, there’s some editor, someone who’s like, yeah, what do you think this is? He wrote a book on showgirls

Adam Pierno 14:49
giving you you’re the authority on that weird.

Adam Nayman 14:53
unbelievably stupid, although Yeah, sjogrens Brilliant.

Adam Pierno 14:57
Ivan’s got merit. He did some really interesting things. He’s my

Adam Nayman 15:00
guy. He’s the greatest color. So yeah, sometimes assignments are self selecting, sometimes you suggest something and people say no, sometimes you are assigned to write on stuff. I mean, the original role that I had, which has now largely vanished. And a lot of people were very nostalgic feelings about it was I was a stringer for an all weekly in print, which basically meant, I wasn’t the staff critic, but anything that the staff could have didn’t want to do, or that fell beyond their purview, or he didn’t have you know, enough time to cover it. You know, I’d get sent to all the horror movies, I get sent to all the family movies, I’d cover documentary festivals. And then when I showed that I was good at that, I would start putting in requests every couple months. This is back in the days where like, you know, movies actually opened and played theatrically. And it wasn’t either $200 million movie or nothing,

Adam Pierno 15:48
right? It wasn’t legendary that we have now. Yeah, you start

Adam Nayman 15:51
carving out a certain taste and both from my home publication I weekly in Toronto, and then for other places who read my work and liked it. And you know, then it starts getting interesting when you’re like, Well, you know, I would like to write on this, you know, cure us to be retrospective at at cinema tech Ontario, where, you know, I really do like Will Ferrell and I want to review his new movie and try and say something, you know, funny about it, or whatever else. And so then it doesn’t just become a selecting assignment. Sometimes assignments kind of select you because you’re notable for writing about a particular kind of movie. But I mean, I think I have way less need now both financially, or just interested in how releases work. I’m very rarely told by anybody this is playing Go right about, you know, it doesn’t work that way anymore.

Adam Pierno 16:39
So you don’t get hardly ever get those assignments. Well, I

Adam Nayman 16:43
mean, sometimes if there’s just, I want to work so you know, depends, but I don’t even I don’t think that I’m a street reviewer anymore because they with the ringer which I don’t sing their praises for employing me the way they do because not a staff writer. They’re on the Freelancer I’m not in New York or LA. I’m in Toronto, a very loyal editors there. They’ve never really hired a full time film critic since I started but I’m not a staffer, right? I mean, on the one hand, people like, oh, must be boring to review, say the new Batman movie, which I’m about to write about. Yeah, but I mean, I’m writing like 18 1900 words on it. And that’s not really a straight review.

Adam Pierno 17:18
Right? To explore, yeah. And I’m

Adam Nayman 17:21
about to make a comparison that is meant to be ridiculous, but it’s like that is the amount that Pauline Kael used to write a bit of film in the New Yorker. When you read a review of Bonnie and Clyde, as you can write a Roger Ebert like review of Bonnie and Clyde notated 667 reads like there’s a well acted movie, it captured my attention. It’ll make my 10 vessels, you know, trading a 3000 word polemic. And there are some films, whether it’s for ringer, or reverse shot or cinema scope, where I’ve gotten a write, like, you know, a book chapter length piece on it. And then sometimes that gets expanded into an actual book chapter like when I wrote The Fincher book, that piece on zodiac, which is one of my favorite things that I wrote for rare. The book chapter is really about 80% of that material. And that, by the way, sorry, I was only able to write that alone on Zodiac because it’s in the context of an anniversary piece, right? No one really knows what the seven is going to read or write a piece that’s about like Charles Ives and modernist classical music and all this stuff that is 1,000% what is actually in zody yet, David Fincher is no dummy. You know, that score and David Shire score and Zodiac is quoting Charles Ives, the unanswered question all over it. That’s intent that goes into the making of a movie. That’s not me splurging all over Zodiac that’s in the film. But that’s not going to be what people are writing about on first contact. They’re gonna write about Zodiac. Is that a new movie from director? Seven? It’s kind of long. I don’t know. Do you want to give Zodiac? Three? Let’s give it three stars. Yeah, you know, 10 years later, 15 years into writing a book. You can be like action, astonishing artistic achievement. And here’s, here’s why.

Adam Pierno 19:05
But let’s say let’s say the new Zodiac movie comes out. I mean, Batman is tough because there’s so much ponent comparison.

Adam Nayman 19:13
wants to be the new Batman by the way. I’m still under embargo. But I don’t know when your thing’s going to air wants to be Zodiac. Yeah. I will say that this new Batman movie called Danna was basically playing the zodiac. This is just a coincidence that we brought these two things up, but Sorry, go on.

Adam Pierno 19:27
Maybe it isn’t. Maybe Maybe you brought them both up for that reason. But how much? What do you do walking into the theater or the screening room before you review? You know, let’s just take a new film from a director who’s got a catalogue of four or five pictures, you know, there’s some history there but you don’t know exactly what you’re getting into. How much work do you do before you watch the film so you are appropriately ready to go.

Adam Nayman 19:56
See the nature of my viewing habits is that in a lot of cases As the work has been done in real time, because I’ve always gone to everything, right? Doesn’t mean I see everything. I mean, I’m woefully under viewed in some places. And if someone was like, can you go in to sit and write something on, you know, Republic, serials of the 1930s or 40s. Those are things that I’ve read about seeing a little bit on, but it’s not, you know, it’s not like efficient water for me, but I see a lot of stuff. So watching careers in real time, I have always gone and sought out genres and filmmakers, actors and curiosities from the past so that they resurface either in their original form or via reference or illusion, I’m kind of aware of them. For example, new Batman, I have seen Cloverfield and 16 Cloverfield Lane or whatever it was called. And both Planet of the Apes movies and the left the right in Let The Right One and remake all which are directly by Matt Reeves have seen the yards, which is a James Gray movie that he co wrote, I have not sought those movies out because I’m reviewing Batman. I also have seen Batman returned when I was 12, which means I had one level of relationship to it. And the Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan when I was 27, which means I have a level of relationship to it. And my little five year old daughter is now watching the 60s Batman, so I have a different level of relationship to it. And so these things are all folding in and coming into the theater with me with this three hour, you know, Batman movie? And it’s a hard question because I’m someone might be listening to this, or you might be ready to ask, you know, how much of criticism isn’t reference? I mean, you know, what about the thing on its own terms. And I think that it’s much rarer now that you need things that exist solely on their own terms, than things that are to some extent informed or generated or created out of extant whatever. But man, what exists on its own terms. Everything is archetype, and narrative and tropes and structure. And, I mean, you could actually, instead of this whole podcast, I want us to talk for as long as you want. I’m having fun, you could reduce this, you could reduce this whole podcast, to the single best tweet I’ve ever seen a bit of film criticism, which is recent, which is, you know, tweets that are sort of structures like you know, a dialogue a guy talking Yeah, it says in square brackets, meaning that it’s describing the speaker. The tweet is like, guy who’s only ever seen the movie, The Boss Baby watching another tweet says this movie is giving real Boss Baby vibes. That is honestly the best tweet about film criticism that I’ve ever seen. Yeah.

Adam Pierno 22:38
If because what you just mentioned was, you’ve seen, you didn’t say all have Matt Reeves catalog, but a lot. A lot of his films that he’s worked with, that are very close. Yeah, you didn’t even mention patents. And really, like you didn’t mention, what’s the what’s it called the lighthouse? Oh, sure. And I’ve seen all that too. Yeah, I know you have and and do you need to have seen all that stuff? To better appreciate? Batman Nevermind 700 900 issues of Detective Comics? Yeah. That, you know, it’s like, what is the minimum that you could do? And you know, if you just wanted to see a film that’s on Netflix, it’s just a square that’s showing to you, you don’t know anything else about it? Is that the same level of understanding and enjoyment? Or do you does it take 10 years for you to say, Oh, I’ve been thinking about the score of that, like you said, with Zodiac.

Adam Nayman 23:29
But most people when they’re watching stuff, are not bound either by financial incentive, for a guiding sense of purpose, to describe their experience, if they describe their experience, they describe it to a partner or to a friend or to a cat, when they think about it themselves. And that’s not to say that there’s not all kinds of, of, you know, there’s all kinds of ways that people can live with and discuss and love movies, you know, families that they pass on, household are going to tell your friends, you got to see this or whatever else. I think everybody goes through a version of the process that we’re describing, which is, you know, they like romantic comedy. So that’s why they watch that square on Netflix, you know, or, I used to be a video store clerk in the late 90s 2000s. In Toronto, I love finding out not just like, what people were like and what they thought of the movie they rented. But just like, you know, what are they drawn to? Are they drawn to stars? Are they drawn to box are, you know, are they going to go home and jerk off to what they’re watching? I mean, these are all real things, you know, but in terms of then sharing that experience with others? Well, if you’re sharing it formally, there’s some sense now you have a responsibility to yourself to the work and to who you’re sharing it with. I do not think that the parameters of that responsibility are objective in any way. I don’t think you’re gonna find people who agree on them, and taste which can draw asked people like that, right? Someone says to me, the 1978 invasion of Body Snatchers by Philip Kaufman is a bad movie. I will probably say to them, I do not wish you good luck in your life. I hope that you are here. You’re moron.

Adam Pierno 25:21
I mean, I don’t definitely on its own merit, you would say that because that movie as a standalone piece, you consider good, nevermind what you’re about to say next, which is the influence it’s had on future films,

Adam Nayman 25:35
right. But what I need is someone to say that they probably wouldn’t. Whereas if someone were to say, you know, well, I’m, you know, one of my favorite movies is Body Snatchers. They could have, you know, like, children trapped in their basement. I don’t know that about them. But they say they like that movie. I’m like, usually like a person. We should we should we should get coffee, you know, what I mean? Is taste binds us to people instantly, because we like to same with sports teams. You know, same with singers or for politics. You know, I think that sometimes you can be drawn to taste to the point where analysis and argument either becomes secondary or boringly, doesn’t come into it. And I find, you know, it always sounds so corny when you say this, but I need it. And I have friends who are living proof to this. Unfortunately, my very best friend, one of my best friends who passed away a couple of years ago, he was testament to this while he was alive. He’s an older critic and Kevin courier who’s 25 years older than me passed away. But he was a great colleague of mine for 20 years since I was very young. And love disagreeing with people. Yeah. It’s so much more interesting than saying some version of great because when because you can both come out of the movie and love something with someone is great, right? I mean, sharing that as fun, but persuading and being persuaded trying to see through somebody’s eyes, someone perceptive. Someone lucid trying to see through their eyes what they’re seeing in a particular film. It’s not what I see. I love that. I honestly do. And I don’t get argumentative. I don’t get nasty. I get interested. You know, as long as I feel like I’m being heard out to the same level as long as the other person’s interested. In me, it is a shitty conversation where you listen to someone for an hour. Well, here’s how I say like, I don’t see it that way. Then you sort of go well, fuck off.

Adam Pierno 27:29
At that point, there’s no give and take. So it’s not really a conversation.

Adam Nayman 27:35
You haven’t taken streaming and beyond that, finding writers who even if you’re not talking to them, make you test your responses. You know, this is another you want to talk about rabbit holes. This is like an 8 Million Mile rabbit hole. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Armand white. You know, everyone becomes kind of familiar with Armand these days, because the way the internet works, but he’s an iconic classic film critic for a long time. I’ve read I reviewed a book of his and actually he interacted with me on Twitter with 20 years ago. I never thought would it happen because I mostly read our midwife because I thought that he was awful. And I still think he’s kind of awful. But he’s also be as honest as I can here. But Armand, I mean, he’s a weird, crypto, crypto, reactionary, you know, Trumpy kind of guy. But he understands film history, vocabulary. statics etiology, he doesn’t fall for hype. He hates a lot of the filmmakers who I love and I read him all the time. All the time because it I’m testing my tastes to have someone smart

Adam Pierno 28:40
and you’re you’re able to separate their understanding of film from what you may think about other aspects of their life. Or or

Adam Nayman 28:47
or I or just you know, it’s just interesting to see how in a profession that’s largely left liberal and largely progressive these days what whether that means a frigging thing or not. Right terms of what how you evaluate art or whether the political valence of art matters I’m increasingly tired of this idea that art we’re artists need to tow you know, an acceptable unacceptable line because acceptable shades into benign and benign shades into innocuous so easily. This is not me arguing for Leni Riefenstahl. Nor am I signing any petitions for Roman Polanski but I am saying that a Marvel movie that lines up 15 female superheroes in Erode offset the fact that they collaborate with the US military on every movie, I don’t buy it, you know, I don’t buy that surface diversity surface tolerance stuff. So Armand, for instance, is a critic who his his bullshit detector is, is anything that you think you know, things you know, smells of fake, fake leftism or fake liberalism. And actually it’s a good thing to root out seek out in movies because movies are, are are lousy with it these days. I have to at the end of the day, I’m deeply disturbed sometimes by the conclusions he draws about certain about certain movies. But I liked that I can be kind of disturbed by them, but recognize that they have a certain cogent certain coherence. It just doesn’t have to be my cogent or my coherence. No direct no filmmaker, for instance, has called out that kind of quasi fascistic imagery and David Fincher his work the way that our minutes and Armin signaled how incredibly condescending the racial politics of Benjamin Button are. And he’s right. You know, he, he doesn’t write about a director like Fincher and says, you know, the guy’s a, you know, you know, controlling and, and precise and technically proficient and that’s the end of the conversation. He said, Okay, so the guy has all of those things, what’s actually in the movies, and I don’t see what’s in the movies quite the same way that he does. But I appreciate that he’s using it as a jumping off point as opposed to an endpoint. Because you know, tourists criticism, which for your listeners may really burrowing into a particular director, or burrowing into films through a particular director, I think people too often will just use the fact that there’s a discernible style, as just all they want to say like I found it, there it is. Yeah. As opposed to saying something about it.

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