Sunday, December 03, 2006

Annie Frisbie

1. Growing up with the Baltimore Sun. Film Critic Lou Cedrone lived in my neighborhood, and I always thought that he had the coolest job in the world, especially after he told my parents that it was okay for them to let me see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in the theater. I learned film criticism can bring you the admiration of preteens.

2. Roger Ebert’s Little Movie Glossary: A Compendium of Movie Cliches, Stereotypes, Obligatory Scenes, Hackneyed Formulas, Shopworn Conventions, and Outdated Archetypes. I can’t watch a thriller without waiting for the main character to say, “Why are you doing this to me?” I learned film criticism can be humorous.

3. Noel Carroll’s Philosophy of Horror. This book, and others by Carroll (not to mention Post-Theory, co-edited by David Bordwell) rocked my world when I was in grad school. I learned academic film criticism can actually make sense (and doesn’t have to be in French).

4. Being a source for a writer for the Village Voice. I’m on the record in a piece about nostalgia films as liking The Ice Storm for getting below the surface, and quoted (as an “aficionado”) in a piece where I say that Adam Sandler’s stupidness “makes him strangely desirable as a boyfriend, because he’d be slavishly devoted to you.” Not my finest hour. I gave this writer, the now-infamous Peter Braunstein, the idea for a story called “Miramax Hates Movies,” which the Voice wanted—but nobody from Miramax would go on the record. I learned that film criticism can make the trivial wonderful (and that some phone numbers are worth losing.)

5. The New York Press in the 90s. My Kim’s video compatriots and I eschewed the fusty old farts at the Voice for their feistier counterparts at the Press: Godfrey Cheshire, taking us in new directions, Armond White, driving us nuts, and Matt Zoller Seitz, keeping things grounded. Cheshire’s “Death of Film, Decay of Cinema” piece was one that I tore out and photocopied for everyone I knew, but it certainly wasn’t the only Press clipping that still resides in my permanent collection. I learned that film criticism can be about way more than just the movies.
By day, Annie Frisbie is Senior Editor of Zoom In Online. By night, she’s the Superfast Reader .


Blogger Annie Frisbie said...

I have to go on the record and say that I hated Punch-Drunk Love with a vehemence that could have eclipsed a thousand suns.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Wesley Dumont said...

I recently re-read Cheshire's piece, it's pretty awesome. It got me thinking about the prevalence of docs in theaters today and how the most successful ones end up as television franchises, in one way or another.

I don't know that anything got me to think more about film than reading the NY Press in the 90s.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Matt Zoller Seitz said...

Re: Punch-Drunk Love. Sorry about making that the lead photo! I suppose I can substitute a picture from The Waterboy.

Seriously, though, thanks for the shout-out. It makes me feel self-conscious and kind of old, but it's nice to know the work wasn't going out into a void.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Annie Frisbie said...

No worries about the picture--it's actually a lovely image.

Punch Drunk Love is probably the only Adam Sandler movie that you can respect yourself in the morning after seeing. The Adam Sandler love mostly came because his movies (Billy Madison & Happy Gilmore) were so great for putting on at the store and entertaining us without totally upsetting the customers (like when we'd put on something like Breaking the Waves or Cannibal Holocaust).

"But the industry, my friends--that was a revolution. Knipp High football rules!"

The 90s weren't that long ago, and I'm pretty old myself :)

12:59 PM  

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