Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I don't want virtue to exist anywhere



Two posts, excellent and vaguely connected by rage against the smugness of virtue: The Impostume, highly eloquent on the subject of Mike Leigh's apparently appalling Happy Go Lucky; and ex-Fangirl Aloof from Inspiration feels ill amidst the self-congratulation of a cathedral of health in New York.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HGL has only just arrived here in Germany, so I haven't seen it yet; but it's simply grotesque to suggest that there's any kind of affinity whatsoever between Mike Leigh and M. Amis. On the strength of Leigh's previous work (nearly all of which I have made a point of seeing) I'd suggest that the Impostume has probably badly misread this film. His (it can only be a bloke) remarks on men & women in Leigh's work are crass and myopic. High Hopes, just for example, is one of the great British films of the last century, and this too he caricatures in the retelling. And has he even seen Bleak Moments, Meantime or Nuts in May?

PS Having said all that (and it is the main thing to be said, which is why I'm making this a postscript), I do agree that Leigh has slackened off *slightly* in his old age. Ray Carney was more-or-less right when he said that Leigh did his very best work before Naked.

http://people.bu.edu/rcarney/aboutrc/leighcrit.shtml


- warszawa

3:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is from Caveh Zahedi's review of Careny's book on Leigh. It seems relevant to the character "Poppy" and the Impostume's reaction to it:

"In Leigh's films, characters are not transparent one-dimensional subjects who know exactly what they think and want and simply proceed to go about getting it. **They are opaque to themselves as well as to the viewer. They are deluded about who they really are, and have a difficult time (as do we all) separating their fantasies about themselves from the truth about themselves. And their actions are not only frequently at odds with their own conscious goals, but their goals are multivalent, contradictory, and not fully conscious.** In other words, the model of the human subject that Leigh's films propose is one that is much closer to the truth, one in which we can actually recognize ourselves, assuming, of course, that we have the courage to look at ourselves squarely, which most moviegoers (and one must remember that most moviegoers are teenage boys) seem unwilling to do. But not Mike Leigh. His gaze is unflinching, and his characters resemble us like few characters in the history of cinema."

http://people.bu.edu/rcarney/aboutrc/leighcrit.shtml

- Of course, I can't pass judgment on Happy-Go-Lucky without having seen it, and I will do so as soon as I find the bloody time. But the Impostume didn't hesitate to launch an all-out attack on Leigh while plainly misunderstanding practically all of his previous work, and it does annoy me to see such a feeble tirade being bigged-up on blogs such as this one and IT, for which I generally have a lot of respect.

- w.

4:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ in agreement

a lot of the points are decent ones but he's picked the wrong target..

it struck me as odd that the film was bigged up/down by critics are being a feel good summer hit as well when it felt to me like some of his most vindictive, spiteful work yet :)

6:58 pm  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

I've not seen Happy Go Lucky either, but I find all these affronted comments a bit bizarre (as is the Caveh Zahedi quote upthread, which singles out a literary convention common in thousands of films and books as if it's worthy of special applause). I thought the contention at the Impostume (as per his earlier post on Naked) was that Leigh is essentially a faintly misanthropic, brutal director, and in his best work he gives rein to this impulse rather than to incessant showcases of heroic-but-flawed-battlers (there are one or two exceptions to this - I'm fond of Meantime and Topsy-Turvy).

E.g, the savagery of Abigail's Party, for all its rank snobbery, makes for a far more powerful and affecting work than the sentimentalism of Life is Sweet or High Hopes. I'm not convinced that Leigh (or those strangely always incredibly similar 'improvisations' conjured up by his actors) can create any kind of female character that doesn't fit the reality-principle parameters Carl accuses him of. OK, at best the 'yoof' caricature Jane Horrocks plays in Life is Sweet, who is of course in pointed contrast to Alison Steadman's head-screwed-on mum, or similarly the miserable Goth in Naked, who the director severely punishes for her lack of earthiness. Also, Impostume wrote fairly pithily but, I thought, accurately over the films post-Naked, which show a pretty undeniable loss of nerve. But really, this conversation should be happening at his blog...

2:48 am  
Blogger Help Wanted said...

Help Wanted: I apologize for Presenting it before you because I have no way. Please help me God will help you. http://ashekhw.zoomshare.com/ I, Ashek E. Alahi, age 45; am a service holder of a private organization is suffering for a Testicle Tumor for a long time. A Tumor developed in my Testicle. Now it is increasing and present weight almost 400 grams and size like a Tennis Ball and I feel difficult in my regular work moreover it may develop Cancer. Doctor advises me to operation the Tumor immediately otherwise Tumor will turn to Cancer.
http://ashekhw.zoomshare.com/

4:19 am  
Blogger dinoibo said...

Sesli sohbet Sesli chat
Seslisohbet Seslichat
Sesli sohbet siteleri Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli Chat
Sohbet Sesli siteler
Sohbet siteleri Chat siteleri
Sohbet merkezi chat merkezi
Sesli merkezi sesli Sohbet merkezi
Sesli chat merkezi Sohbetmerkezi
Sesli Sohbet Sesli Chat
SesliSohbet Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli sohbet siteleri SesliChat
Sesli Sesli siteler
Seslimuhabbet sesli muhabbet
sesli sohbet sesli chat siteleri
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslisohbet seslichat
seslikent sesli kent
sesli sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli chat sesli chat siteleri
seslisohbet seslichat

7:15 pm  
Blogger DiSCo said...

Really trustworthy blog. sesli Please keep updating with great posts like this one. sesli sohbet I have booked marked your site and am about to email it

to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading.. sesli chat

8:19 pm  
Blogger ekle paylas said...

nice blog Thanks for sharing. voicesohbet was really very nice.
sesli chat siteleri sesli sohbet
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslichat seslisohbet
sesli siteleri chat siteleri
sohbet siteleri sesli siteler
voice sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli sohbet seslisohbet
sohbet siteleri sesli chat siteleri
seslichat sesli chat
herkesburda herkes burda
sohbetmerkezi sohbetmerkezi

11:29 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home