Notable film and media links (July 30, 2009)
GP: "One of the many ways that the film changed form over the years is that eight years ago, film criticism still seemed a viable profession. Even then, obviously I want more people to read criticism and take it seriously, so that’s always been an objective, but I had no idea then that everybody in America was going to lose their job; by now, there are over fifty critics who are “made redundant” as you say over here — we say “fired” in the States. So the movie has an urgency that it didn’t have when it was conceived. I guess dramatically that helps the film. Or melodramatically. But it’s not a happy melodrama, because I’d rather critics were employed and doing well."
"[Grant's] in-on-the-joke sincerity, his not-quite-throwaway lines, the bits of physical business — the dancing way in which he kicks a door in Holiday or his graceful glide across the terrace as the gendarmes approach at the beginning of To Catch a Thief — serve less to glorify him than to flatter the intelligence of the women who can’t do without him.
That might be the best reason to watch Grant today. Kael noted in 1975, during his lifetime, that it was impossible to imagine Grant in the macho action and crime films that were beginning to dominate Hollywood. It’s equally impossible to imagine him in the soggy, misogynistic, stealth-macho geekfests that pass for romantic comedy now. Watching him is to be reminded of a time when intelligence, grace and self-containment were their own rewards. The 21st century, so far, hasn’t deserved him."