Huh. Maybe I AM Ignorant.

May 8, 2008

So, I’m reading a review of Speed Racer in the local alt-rag, LA Weekly, and it occurs to me I have no fucking clue what the reviewer is talking about.  A lot of made up words, obscure references & excessively showy language to basically say that he didn’t recommend the film.  This paragraph in particular was awesome:

The futuristic, multihued skyscrapers seem a figment of Kenny Scharf’s imagination[I DON’T KNOW WHO THAT IS]; the glazed female leads might be Jeff Koons sculptures [I’VE HEARD OF HIM.  IS HE A SCULPTOR?  I DON’T GET THIS REFERENCE.  DOES HE GLAZE HIS SCULPTURES A LOT?] sporting Takashi Murakami [WHO?] accessories. And that’s just the “Sunday Styles” stuff. Once the various gizmobiles accelerate to warp speed on roller-coaster racetracks seemingly conceived by Dr. Seuss [YES!!!!], the screen reconstitutes as a Bridgett Riley vortex [SHE MAKES VORTEXES, I ASSUME] or a mad geometric abstraction of Kenneth Noland [NOPE, SORRY.] racing stripes.

Thanks, J. Hoberman of the L.A. Weekly.  I never knew how little I knew until you came along.  I will say this for you – after diligent analysis, I was able to discern whether you liked the movie or not:

But love, hate or ignore it, The Matrix proposed a social mythology. (Just ask Slavoj Zizek. [SERIOUSLY NOW, WHAT THE FUCK?]) Speed Racer is simply a mishmash that, among other things, intermittently parodies the earlier film’s pretensions.

You go to hell, J. Hoberman.  You go straight to hell.



  1. I guess Mr. Hoberman is trying to weasel his way into writing for the gallery reviews page. His examples are rather spot-on, but still… know your audience buddy! If you’re curious to see who the artists are that he’s talking about try artnet.com.

    Also, I found it ammusing that the guy shamelessly art world name-dropping also refers to the Matrix’s “pretentions.”

  2. “If you’re curious to see who the artists are that he’s talking about try artnet.com.”

    Actually, the only thing I was curious about was whether Speed Racer was a good movie. It’s why I was reading the movie reviews page instead of browsing artnet.com, which is where I go when I want to read about artists I haven’t heard of.

  3. I think the high-brow bastards at Pitchfork Media should join Mr. Hoberman for some ass-pounding in hell. I get ridiculously irritated with record reviews that devote 93% of the text to pompous word smithing that is irrelevant to the album. Those muppets definitely try to make a man feel inferior.

  4. Mr. K is spot on…I laughed when he brought up the pretensions of the Matrix while sounding like a name dropping douche wearing a beret.

    Here’s my review of Speed Racer (purely based on the trailer): Much like your housekeeper’s mohow cousin who wasn’t fast enough to make it over the border and is still stuck in TJ, Speed Racer sucks donkey cock like a pro.

  5. I couldn’t stand the cartoon when I was a kid, so I don’t need to know anything about the movie.

  6. Oh man, I hope that you are all wrong about this. I was a huge fan and have said for years what cool feature film Speed Racer would make. I am a little disappointed by the cartoonish effects in the trailer, but like to think with the right accutraments (sp?) it could be fun. Everyone hated, I Am Legend, I watched it on DVD the other night and loved it. But then I watched the “theatrical version” which had the worst ending and see why people didn’t like it. I read the book before seeing the movie which might have helped sway my opinion.

    When is World War Z coming out!?!? ANyone seen any trailers?

  7. J. Hoberman, J. Hoberman, J. Hoberman

    Seems like the kind of guy that would have a Google Blog alert on his own name.

    Enjoy reading “your” review HOBERMAN!

  8. Sadly, WWZ is still a ways away from release. The imdb page hasn’t had any updates in a while.

  9. Dear Mr. Jonson:

    As the editor of the film section at the L.A. Weekly, please accept my sincere apologies. You read a review in our pages that contained the names of some artists you’d never heard of before (God forbid), which clearly means they must not be worth knowing. Never mind that Kenny Scarf is a Hollywood local, or that Takashi Murakami was the subject of a Weekly cover story (and a retrospective at a major Los Angeles museum) a scant six months ago. Above all, never mind that all the art and design references cited by J. Hoberman in his SPEED RACER review are almost certainly intentional on the part of the Wachowski brothers, who are very smart guys and who filled their MATRIX movies with references to Jean Baudrillard and a host of other contemporary philosophers and thinkers. But perhaps you think that art is one thing and movies something else, which would really shoot to shit the Italian film thoretician Ricciotto Canudo’s famous idea of cinema as “the seventh art,” by which he meant the synthesis of architecture, sculpture, painting, music, dance, theater and literature.

    Since “J. Hoberman” is another name with which you are clearly unfamiliar, allow me to add that he is the author of several acclaimed volumes of published criticism and has been the subject of several tributes on both coasts this year commemorating his 30th anniversary at The Village Voice (our sister paper in New York, where he is based). Among his many other credentials, he was among the first major critics to give serious attention to the work of David Lynch and George Romero, in his book MIDNIGHT MOVIES.

    Since you further claim to have merely wanted to know whether SPEED RACER “was a good movie” or not, allow me to mention yet one more name that is surely alien to you–that of the great American film critic Manny Farber, who once told an interviewer, “The last thing I want to know is whether you liked [the movie] or not — the problems of writing are after that.” Of course, Mr. Farber was lucky enough to be writing at a time (the 1960s and ’70s) before letter grades and star ratings had reduced much film criticism to the level of consumer reporting, and before the internet came along to give a voice to the culturally illiterate.

  10. Jonsonblog: Come for the comedy, stay for the long-winded lectures by overly sensitive douchebag film editors at FREE weekly newspapers.

  11. Wow… after the Stephen Hunter comment, this is my favorite random “I was ego surfing & I found your blog” screed.

    My apologies to you as well, Scott Foundas, and to esteemed author J. Hoberman as well, if my silly post about overly self-important reviews of lowbrow culture (it’s Speed Racer, not Manon of the Spring) struck a nerve.

  12. I am very small.

  13. Mr. Jonson:

    I think you’ve converted me; I will now be a regular reader of your blog. Like you when you read the Weekly, I learn a lot when I come here. For example, today I’ve learned that SPEED RACER is “lowbrow culture” (because, I assume, it’s based on a cartoon), whereas MANON OF THE SPRING is, by contrast, “highbrow culture” (presumably because it’s based on a classic French novel and, you know, has those funny little words on the bottom of the screen).

    Deduction: Anything based on a cartoon/comic book/old TV show isn’t worth taking (or writing about) seriously, whereas anything that comes from that rarefied world of “Literature” is automatically worthy of serious discussion, even if (like MANON OF THE SPRING in particular) it is a direly conventional, old-fashioned Masterpiece Theater-ish movie of the sort even my grandmother might have found tedious.

    How is it, I wonder, that one of the most important and influential cinematic movements in the history of movies–the French New Wave–grew out of some young French hipsters’ love of American B-movies, pulp novels, comic books, etc., since, as I have learned here, none of those things are of any serious value.

    Can you please tell me when it is exactly that you were arrested and given a life sentence by the thought police?

  14. Trying to debate that Speed Racer isn’t lowbrow culture may be a bit of a rhetorical dead end. One of the main characters is a monkey named chim-chim.

    Still, thanks for your visit, Scott, I’m always delighted to have a new reader!

  15. Touché

  16. Wholy balls what FUN! Maybe you two should start your own podcast or something?

  17. AWESOME! – Simply awesome. Scott needs to go back through the archives!

    I do wonder how he came across this. Was it a google alert for LA Weekly or spooge covered pancakes?

  18. Maybe Scott could get Jonathan Gold to do a review of the special “coconut syrup” pancakes?

  19. Some people have asked me if this really is Scott Foundas of the LA Weekly or if it’s me joking around. I swar it’s not me, and as far as I can tell, it’s him, although to be honest I’m pretty sure the comment originally attributed to his penis was not really made by the aforementioned junk.

  20. “I’m pretty sure the comment originally attributed to his penis was not really made by the aforementioned junk.”

    Actually, it was. I gave him a call and told him to chime in.

  21. Seriously, call him. I see a sitcom in the making a la modern-day Odd Couple.

  22. While not as small as Foundas’ post-modern phalus, I am substantially more complex. Think: Valentin meets aged gruyere with the resonance of pre-colonial syphilis.

  23. YES THANK YOU. That Speed Racer review was when I officially said fuck you J. Hoberman and your pretentious ref-ref-referencing. I know this is way after Speed Racer (I just got mad reading his old review of American Beauty and googled anti-Hoberman sentiment to appease my anger). I cannot stand this pretentious crap! I’m a smart guy, and I hoped this kind of douchebaggery was left in the campus bars of my long-ago college years, Good Will Hunting-style (oh I’m stupid, I should’ve referenced some turgid Godard crap)… You wanna be infuriated: read his top ten lists: one Stan Brakhage jerkfest after another!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: