Thursday, December 01, 2005



I was definitely thinking that was one of the crappiest reviews ever, but I felt it came Spike come across incredibly smug. I love the Lee, but he just seemed like an ass. After reading your thoughts, I agree that the reviewer was sub-par, but Lee could have given a little slack and been less curt. One thing is clear, these two will never be BFF.


I don't disagree with you that Spike came off (and usually comes off) as smug, I just, in this instance, blame it more on the crap interview than on him. I'm neither a Spike Lee fan nor a hater, although I do think he's talented. But I think he almost always comes off as an ass in interviews. I just don't blame him this time.


Siegel's questions were often pretty hostile. I think he might have been peeved (quite rightfully) abot Lee's Holocaust comments, but to say "I don't like this film you didn't make (Barbershop), so let's blame you for it" is just silly.


for someone who thought this the "dumbest interview," you sure do go and on, and on, and on about it.


The Holocaust Doc thing wasn't exactly an uncommon view; if Best Picture had gone four out of five years (with noms in five of seven years) to a Holocaust feature, had Life is Beautiful and Pianist won top prize in addition to Schindler's... people wouldn't be shy in complaining about it.

The movies should, of course, be judged on their own merit... and numerous civil rights docs (Hoop Dreams - the sort of oversight that might have given oomph to Lee's self-victimization - aside) have won/been nominated. But for a while, there, it was your obvious Oscar Pool choice: Pick This Year's Holocaust Flick. Which doesn't only display a perception of a narrowminded Academy... it also degrades the film.

Of course, the Academy overhauled the whole doc voting procedure before the 2002 awards, so examples from then on are moot.


J -- I don't disagree with you at all. My argument was against Spike's hyperbole, and I think I say as much, but if I wasn't clear, that was my mistake. The problem is that Spike never recognizes that the criticisms people make about him are generally self-inflicted because of his own lack of caution and accuracy in making statements. But I think it's also arguable that for those five years there just happened to be a string of incredibly well-made Holocaust films, and to say any of them one solely due to their subject is unfair. And his comment was specifically about "for about 10 years" so whether you go five years before or after, he was simply wrong. But will most people who -- whether or not they like Spike -- look into it? No. Will they choose to believe him? Probably.

And "siegel" -- If this is really Lee Siegel, work on your comebacks because that one was as lame as your interview. I went on-and-on because I was offended that Slate would even publish such tripe, and I thought rather than just say the piece would crap, I would actually explain why and support it with evidence, unlike many of the inaccuracies in the questioning. Oh, and if it isn't Lee Siegel ... whatever. Good one. Or not. You are welcome to not read my "on, and on, and on."


you sound so defensive, so envious and resentful. so angry. does it bother you that siegel is a successful writer and you're not?


wait a minute.lee siegel is a national magazine award winner, the book critic for The Nation, the tv critic for the New Republic, the art critic for Slate,and he's written for magazines and papers from the new yorker and harper's and the atlantic to the new york time and l.a. times. i looked you up--you have a pathetic (suck-up) interview with a film director on a blog called Gothamist. have some respect--and dignity--when you write about your betters. you pathetic loser.


I love how people choose to come to my blog and in apparently disagreeing with my opinion feel like making some sort of personal attack on me by saying I'm not a successful writer or I'm a "pathetic loser" means anything. To take the time to leave such meaningless lame comments is way more pathetic.

Lee Siegel is not my "betters" simply because he has been doing what he's been doing for however long. There are plenty of writers and film critics who have managed to make a living, and I personally find them to be awful writers. There are others who I love. Lee Siegel being as "accomplished" as you describe him, Rick, should only mean that he should be even more embarrassed to publish such a crappy interview.

And if you really want to put me down, debate what I wrote rather than simply calling me names. I don't ever criticize Siegel personally (aside from saying he's sucking-up to Lee, and that's about the work; or the above comment which I don't actually believe to be from Siegel anyway); I don't even criticize the breadth of any of his other work, of which I am not intimately familiar. I criticized one pathetic piece of journalism (in my opinion). I would apologize for apparently offending your sensibilities, except I'm more entertained than sorry.


oh okay, i will. you haven't proved anything about siegel's interview besides insulting it. i read it. it's provocative and subtle and about as far from fawning as can be. provocative? yeah, "aaron," provocative. proof? you spent hundreds of words responding to it. anybody can lash out on a blog, pal. try getting into a respectable publication. loser.


Harrison, Are you waiting here, refreshing my page for me to comment or something? Seriously, feel absolutely free not to visit my blog. I won't mind. But I'm fascinated by your appearance with a comment within minutes of my response. Seriously, go do something else. If I'm such a loser, I'm certainly not this important.


So harrison and rick (both of whom possess an adversity to captialization and proper punctuation much like the previous poster siegel...coincidence?) believe that criticism of some holier than thou Slate critic is unacceptible. Well, by your standards, "rick," you are unqualified to criticize Aaron because he has a greater body of work than you (and it's earthlink.net, not .com, moron). On top of which, he uses proper grammar. Finally, if Aaron upsets you so much, you should probably seek your media criticism elsewhere. How pathetic is it to create three identities on a blog to flame its author?


p.s. matty rich made ("directed") a combat video game called 187 Ride or Die. maybe that typically sorry fate of many black movie directors was what siegel was getting at? i profile people for the new yorker and vanity fair. (harrison isn't my real name.) you lead people into questions by knocking them off balance. as siegel did. why don't you learn from other people isn't of insulting them? that way you won't remain a jealous mediocrity all your life.


Harrison, I'm not going to get in a pissing match with you. If you have nothing to contribute here (which you don't seem to), just feel free to stay away. I was talking about films and Matty Rich directing one video game in over a decade does not refute my point, nor was I even putting down Matty Rich. Your ability to read and comprehend seems to be as poor as your ability to refute or debate. Fine. If you have enough time to sit here refreshing this page looking for my responses, you obviously are not getting enough work from the New Yorker nor Vanity Fair. You have no idea what my background is (unless you've been reading my blog for a long time which I doubt) and you have no idea the length or breadth of my experience, professional and otherwise. Not everything is on the web, you know.

I'm also not going to respond to you further unless you have something interesting to say. I won't hold my breath.


Does the New Yorker and Vanity Fair usually accept work without capitals, "harrison"? An accomplished writer such as yourself must have a natural inclination to hit the "shift" key every now and again. And why begin your post with a "p.s."? Are you writing a letter? I'd like to read one of your "profiles". Who have you profiled? Own your claims. I can claim that I directed "Jaws". Does that make me Spielberg? Obviously MercuryX23 is not my real name, but I make no obnoxious claims that seem to be there to make flames somehow more legitimate.


you're a sad, angry person with no actual life, aren't you? well, i'm off to a REAL LITERARY PARTY. happy blogging.



rotfl I need to get to some real literary parties, too.
I can even type in capitals without my caplock.


i don't even know who this siegel person is but he really needs to regulate his loyal drones' medication a bit more carefully.


aaron do you have any stats of what won best doc for years prior to the ones you have listed? i only ask because i worked with susan steinberg here at harvard, who worked with ricky leacock and initiated the push to get the academy to change its procedures for the doc category, and part of her reasoning was to eliminate the tendency for holocaust docs to always win.


i should add--not specifically to crowd out holocaust pics, but to change the procedures for voting so that it would no longer be the case that the only people who were able to vote were a certain small group who happened to be predisposed to choosing the holocaust flicks.

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