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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Get around, get around, you don't get around »

August 11, 2007



[T]he film cannot find a way to dramatize the actual creative process...

George Eliot on Herbert Spencer, quoted today:

Spencer, Herbert, an original and profound philosophical writer, especially known by his great work XXX which gave a new impulse to psychology and has mainly contributed to the present advanced position of that science, compared with that which it had attained in the middle of the last century. The life of the philosopher, like that of the great Kant, offers little material for the narrator. Born in the year 1820 &c.

Robert Nagle

I'm not really addressing your excellent points, but I wanted to add that biopics of artists are a way for mediums of popular culture to make "archaic forms" palatable to mainstream audiences. Amadeus & Shakespeare in Love are the most successful examples that comes to mind, but both bend the truth quite a bit and seem a bit silly to those who know about the subject.

Still, these biopics are gateway drugs to the harder stuff.

I'm undecided about whether biopics verge on "literary reductionism" (making everything explainable by examining the biography) or have the effect of stressing the magical qualities of artistic inspiration. I guess it boils down to whether the audience wants to be flattered or entranced.

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