Over at Twitter, @Superman64 asked me…
What do you think about @ebertchicago ‘s last tweet about you?
I think Roger Tweeted an article that put words in my mouth.
Paragraph four: “In a series of posts on his Twitter.com page, he writes, “I gotta say that every day I hate film theory & film students & critics more & more”"
Lovely. Only, I did not, in fact, write that. At all. I was quoting @coked_up_jesus, a Tweeter who asked me a question. I quoted his query, as I always do, then gave my responses. FilmRot.com was kind enough to actually collect the supposedly scathing critical attack that resulted in blogger after blogger crying for the death of my heart.
I was painted as ‘out to destroy film criticism’ last week. As you can see, that’s not what I said at all; said, instead, that I’d like to give a new batch a try at the gig. The idea seemed fair, as many of the same bloggers calling for my head have been calling for me to move over and give other filmmakers MY job for years now. When I applied the same suggestion: critical meltdown.
NEVER critique a critic, folks: they get very sensitive; as sensitive as filmmakers, it would seem.
But, as regards Roger: clearly, he felt I was in need of a public spanking. Fair enough: I’ll take it from the mighty Ebert (which sounds far more erotic than it is). I’ve been watching Eborsisk love on film since the PBS COMING ATTRACTIONS/SNEAK PREVIEWS days, before the birth of AT THE MOVIES (God rest its soul). He’s been in my life for so long, he’s kinda like a Dad. Despite his Tweet, I’ve always been, and remain, a booster.
What sucks, though, is that as much as I’ve read Roger’s stuff over the years, it would’ve been nice if he showed me the same courtesy and a) read my actual Tweets on the subject, and b) emailed me if he had an issue. And I’m not talking about having an issue with COP OUT: I got no beef with a lifer/legend who wants to smack my flick around (besides – it’s not like I haven’t gotten bad reviews from Roger before: he panned both MALLRATS and CLERKS II).
What disappointed me was this is a guy I respected enough to hop planes to Chicago for when he first fell ill, so I could fill in on his show. Multiple times, too. And I took worlds of shit from a lot of the same bloggers who’re currently outraged at the temerity of my Tweets, as well as from my representatives (agent, lawyer, publicist), who were all like “You’re a filmmaker! You can’t sit in for ‘the Enemy’!” But I threw caution to the wind and did it anyway; because it was for Roger.
A little benefit-of-the-doubt from a guy I thought of as a friend would’ve been nice, is all I’m saying.