Yesterday, Devin Faraci of the movie website C.H.U.D. posted the following to his Twitter, I can't believe Cinematical is running an Oscar story shit-talking Roger Corman! That hurts.
So I found the offending article, Hints About 2010 Oscars Emerge: No More Five-Person Presenting by Eric D. Snider, right there at the top. It says, "Corman, who has directed more than 50 films and produced nearly 400 (!), has never been nominated for an Oscar, probably because all of his movies are terrible"
Now, I'm the author of the post Roger Corman, my idol, so obviously I'm not the one who would take this well.
But really, if you said that all of the New Concorde movies are "terrible", I'd think you were kinda wrong, but I'd understand the point, the vast majority are certainly not good. Not a whole lot I'd make any effort to defend.
Since we're lumping in his work as a director and his work as a producer at New World Pictures, however, it's just flat out wrong and shows a jaw dropping level of ignorance for a site about movies.
Seriously? House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum, Bucket of Blood, The Intruder, X - The Man with the X-Ray Eyes The Trip, Not of This Earth? All of these are terrible?
Hell, I forgot to even get around to the delights of the movies he produced, such a Targets by Peter Bogdanovich and Death Race 2000 by Paul Bartel! Among many, many others. Entertaining, somewhat subversive efforts that genuinely gave an opportunity to moviemakers who would go on to other magnificent things.
I, and I'm assuming others, suggested we would stop reading Cinematical. People I know who were previously unaware of the site, became aware of them only as a site where casual ignorance was bounced around for snark's sake, kind of a pompous AICN, which actually acquitted itself remarkably well with Roger Corman Won An Oscar The Other Night... by Mr. Beaks.
Chris Stangl of The Exploding Kinetoscope, Greg Ferrara of Cinema Styles and Peter Nellhaus of Coffee, Coffee and More Coffee posted excellent, reasoned comments to the post, largely to the echoes of equally lazy and ignorant references to things like Carnosaur 3.
The backlash clearly led Faraci to follow-up with Hey, Cinematical is a good site I really enjoy reading. A couple of uninformed opinions shouldn't make you slander the whole gang. and In fact, Cinematical has some of the most diverse and interesting voices on the movie web today.
Todd Gilchrist wrote, "you guys are aware that a lot of different people write for cinematical, right? i mean, do you assume that because devin feels one way about a movie that everyone on chud does?"
To which I replied, "I am quite aware, but then I've not read anything that ignorant and offensive to me as a movie fan on CHUD."
And he said, "regardless, it's reductive to assume that an entire site is unworthy because of one person's opinion. there are a lot of great, great writers on cinematical, and i'm not counting myself among them; but if you disagree then leave a comment on the article and engage the writer, don't penalize the rest of us who didn't write the thing you disagree with."
I agreed that I understand and respect what Faraci and Gilchrist are saying, I really do. And I'm considering that viewpoint.
But, I also said, "... there's a principle in there that's still weighing on me. I know that different people work in the kitchen of the restaurants I eat at, but there's only so bad a meal I can eat at before I'll think twice about eating there again.
"Partly just as a snap judgment, given a choice of two places, I'm more likely to pick the place that didn't serve a bad meal the last time I went there. On a deeper level, if the meal was bad enough, I'm challenged to trust the management that would hire a cook that bad and a little wary to offer my support to a place that employs him. But that may be easier for me, as Cinematical was always just a Denny's to me. I'm still considering on it, though."
I also haven't shaken the feeling that I wasn't just served a metaphorical burnt meal, but a shit sandwich.
This morning the site has two follow-ups, the equally lazy and only slightly less ignorant Why Roger Corman Doesn't Deserve an Oscar as well as Here's Why Roger Corman Deserves That Honorary Oscar the opposing view by Scott Weinberg.
Is this becoming the interesting debate that should have there to start out with? Not really. Snider's still hiding behind opinion as fact without even an attempt at supporting his positions. Frankly, I'm challenged to believe that a site that continues to hold up his writing is demonstrating a desire to hold intelligent informed debate, discussion, review or criticism.
Certainly the reply didn't show nearly as much concise, reasoned and informed judgments as the comments by the individuals listed above. I think there is a standard to which a site should be held.
And frankly by the same dubious logic that Snider used against Corman, that his lesser works should be averaged against his better works, I think Snider's writing may take the average of Cinematical down below my reading threshold.
But let's leave this on a joyous note. Here's the video, 2009 Governors Awards – Jonathan Demme Presents Oscar Statuette to Roger Corman, provided to me by Tim Lucas, editor of Video Watchdog and host of the Roger Corman Blog-A-Thon.
That is what is all about!
Congratulations, Roger! Well earned!