Over the course of the semester, we’ve studied different ways to examine a work of art, as one would expect in a class called Practice of Criticism. One of those methods involves essentially studying a work in a vacuum by ‘experiencing the text’ and not looking for any deeper meaning or broader connections that may come in to play (I’m looking at you Sontag). Recently, an extremely relevant example came of why we should examine texts within the context of the real world came out this month in a Sci-Fi adaptation called Ender’s Game. The movie is based on a book which many fans of the genre consider a classic, but is unfortunately written by a vehemently homophobic and out-spoken author, Orson Scott Card. Card’s political affiliations have drawn the ire of the LGBT community which has prompted an attempted boycott of the film to spite him.
While I was looking at reviews for Ender’s Game, I stumbled onto a very interesting video review from a movie critic named MovieBob (aka Bob Chipman) who writes for the website http://www.escapistmagazine.com/. Chipman, being a bit of a movie buff (and in all fairness the closest thing to a living embodiment of this guy as you can get) decided to review the movie. Before the actual review commenced, Chipman added a disclaimer making his personal views of Orson Scott Card abundantly clear. Surprising no one, Chipman’s views apparently upset some people on the internet, prompting him to again make his views clear. For this video however, he just so happened to address several major themes that we’ve covered in class and makes an incredibly down to earth argument for why we should look out the outside context of a film or book. I’ve attached the response video, titled ‘Baggage,’ as well as the Original Review.
So, what does everybody think?