click for "moving" version
Eileen Jones (hilariously) does not like There Will Be Blood:
To rub in this sentimental view of the rich and powerful as spiritually barren—cigars, mansions, private bowling alleys, and yet they cannot love!—Plainview has to acquire and reject some family members. He gets hold of an adopted son, H.W. (Dillon Freasier). At first he does seem to love the kid with an almost creepy fervor. There’s this scene where they’re both on the floor after the boy is deafened by an explosion, and Plainview is sort of pawing and mauling the kid’s head while the kid goes "Mrrrraaawww!!” I’m not quite sure what that was, other than the only preparation the audience is going to get for Plainview baying "Draaaaiiiiinnnnagggge!!" later in the film. Incoherent yelling’s a sort of motif in this movie.
Jones has great fun quoting critics on the movie's greatness: Roger Ebert calls it a "force beyond categories." Where one might differ with her is whether all the weirdness in the film is a bug or feature--evidently she wants her rapacious capitalists and religious zealots played more sensibly.
Two recent posts from Petra Cortright:
Crispin Creeper. A YouTube of a TV commercial for a 900 number for kids. You talk to a demon who tells gross jokes and plays disgusting sound effects. As for the commercial itself, if Clement Greenberg were writing "Avant Garde and Kitsch" today he'd be stymied by this. [forgot to mention this is a "freddy freaker clone," per guthrie]
This hand [5 MB .GIF] is what we should want more of in "computer art" (from her LJ page). Visually seductive, failing in intriguing, destructively random ways. It slightly recalls the architecture of Coop Himmelblau, 3D form based on abstract expressionist smasmodic gestures, yet clinging desperately to the Cartesian grid. Instead of Frank Gehry's kitschy "artistic" curves you have the found curves of a stock videogame hand (what is mostly accepted as "computer art.") The myriad of patterns within the hand's polygonal facets suggests a mise en abyme of Op art, constantly snapping back to a contoured surface. Last, there is no mystification because the program is included in the screen shots.