Visions of Paradise

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stephen Whitty, movie critic

Dave Langford runs a feature in Ansible entitled “How They See Us,” which gives tidbits of derogatory opinions of genre science fiction from people steeped in so-called literature. But not everybody has that same attitude. Stephen Whitty is the movie reviewer for the Newark Star-Ledger, who tends to champion the literary side of movies. But in his review of Never Let Me Go, based on the best-selling literary novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, he made two comments I found particularly interesting. First…

I don’t know writer Kazuo Ishigura’s feelings about science fiction, but his “Never Let Me Go” is a bit of speculative fantasy whose ideas and characters pale next to those of far less acclaimed authors.

Then he ended his review with…

Ishiguro is a fine writer … but science fiction doesn’t need his intervention. Because, in the end, there is no division between “literary” works and “genre” entertainment. There are only stories—well or badly told.

Recently, Whitty began his column selecting his favorite movies of the year as follows...

“Ninety percent of everything is crap.” Credit that inelegant but absolutely defensible observation to Theodore Sturgeon, a smart sci-fi writer who regularly beat those odds in his own work. Tired of being told that most of his genre was garbage, he finally famous replied that most of everything was garbage.

He was a talented man though (and old-time Trekkers can credit him for one of the best episodes, “Amok Time”), and he sure knew how to do percentages.

It’s nice to know that at least one movie reviewer, who probably gets to see more bad science fiction on film than most people, is still open-minded enough and apparently knowledgeable enough to appreciate sf for what it is and not for what they imagine it is!


  • This post about Hollywood films was no doubt helpful, so thanks. I found another site where you can get information and reviews for all the hollywood films.

    By Blogger Saurabh Utneja, At 1:38 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home