Commonplace

“American criticism doesn’t take cognizance of the crossover of arts, and American painting doesn’t take cognizance of it either. It’s always very provincial. I don’t get why other critics don’t pay more attention to what’s going on in the other arts, because I think the Godard-Straub-Herzog-Fassbinder moviemakers do; the styles are so pertinent. The kind of photography you see at any point is that way because of what’s being written in novels and painted in pictures. Like the crossover from Hopper into writers like McCoy and Cain, the film noir movies—scripters like Furthman and Mainwaring—all over the place at the same moment. You couldn’t have had that kind of imagery that directors and screenwriters were trying for, unless it were the most important thing for painters to be doing. It’s as if there were a law in film criticism that you’re not supposed to get involved in the other art forms.”

—Manny Farber, in a 1977 interview with Richard Thompson

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
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