Star Wars Seething | Letters | Chicago Reader

Star Wars Seething 

Dear editor:

[Re: Movies, January 31]

Does anybody at the Reader staff actually understand or even like Jonathan Rosenbaum? I don't get him. He reminds me of that audio/visual geek in high school--you know, the one with the clip-on keychain who kept magic tricks in his locker and bitched and moaned about how difficult it is to be alienated and smarter than your teachers.

Recently, I had one of those you've-got-to-be-kidding-me moments when Rosenbaum compared Star Wars director George Lucas with Hungarian Marxist literary historian Georg Lukacs, an intellectual exercise about as meaningful as comparing Bruno Kirby to Bruno Bettelheim. Just who is this guy communicating to and will somebody please tell him that if he clutches his laminated doctoral degree any tighter the plastic will melt?

What a humbling day it will be for Mr. Rosenbaum when he discovers that--secretly--we all know Star Wars is both the death and the birth of the American cinema; Disney is both good and evil; Twizzlers taste yummy but probably give you gas.

Speaking of comparing Geraldine Ferraro to Abel Ferrara, the last Rosenbaum-recommended flick I saw was Ferrara's The Addiction. Yoiks. Sure it had some startling images, but so does any episode of Goosebumps. For my money, this was a pretentious, adolescent, tedious, and humorless piece of 16 millimeter. No wonder why Rosenbaum called it a masterpiece.

Michael Elyanow

Screenwriting Professor

Columbia College

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