"How to be a clever film critic" is the cartoon, part of Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" series, copyrighted 1985.
And Joe Judd sent it to me.The traditional bloodshot Groening bunny is writing up a review while all around him are such notations as these:
"The Four Types of Clever Film Critics (Which Do You Aspire to Be?):
"Academic Type: Boring, unreadable.
"Serious Type: Reveals endings.
"Daily Type: Nice plot summaries.
"TV Clown: Nice sweaters."
Then there are the adverbs and adjectives used by critics - "pick one from column A and one from column B: richly, marvelously, wonderfully; haunting, touching, absorbing.
"And don't forget these handy phrases: `I loved it!' `It sizzles!' `. . .great fun. . .' and `A masterpiece!"
My personal favorite, however, is Groening's checkbox list of qualifications:
"Did you have no friends as a child?
"Do you salivate at the smell of stale popcorn?
"Do you thrill at the prospect of spending a career writing in-depth analyses of movies aimed at subliterate 15-year-olds?
"Do you mind being loathed for your clever opinions?"
Well, after all, it's the weekend after Thanksgiving. And this does, after all, remind me of how thankful I am for my job.
So why do you suppose Joe Judd sent this to me. . . ?
- LAST WEEK IN A MUSING on the difference between "Christmas films" and films about Christmas I said it was nice to have two of the latter - "Ernest Saves Christmas" and "Scrooged" - whatever their quality.
Dumb move on my part.
I had not yet seen "Scrooged," and since it will unquestionably make my upcoming "worst 10" list for 1988, I apologize to anyone who may have been motivated by those comments to spend money on that film.
How bad is it? "Scrooged" makes "Ernest Saves Christmas" seem like Oscar material.