Critic Names Star Wars Prequel as World's Best Modern Art

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Critic Names Star Wars Prequel as World's Best Modern Art

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According to Camille Paglia, Revenge of the Sith is the best thing anyone has ever made in thirty years.

Art is by necessity an incredibly subjective medium. Two people can watch the same movie or read the same book and enjoy the work (or despise it) very differently. Trouble is, this is the internet, where movies like the Star Wars prequels are uniformly drawn and quartered thanks to high expectations, uninspired characters, and those damn midi-chlorians. We're slowly accepting the idea that maybe the prequels aren't as bad as we remember. But when an art critic calls Revenge of the Sith the greatest work of art our generation has ever produced, that's a much harder pill to swallow. Yet it's exactly what Camille Paglia has argued in a book on art history titled Glittering Images.

"Yes, the long finale of Revenge of the Sith has more inherent artistic value, emotional power, and global impact than anything by the artists you name," Paglia says in an interview for Vice. "It's because the art world has flat-lined and become an echo chamber of received opinion and toxic over-praise. It's like the emperor's new clothes-people are too intimidated to admit what they secretly think or what they might think with their blinders off."

I'm not entirely sure if that statement is meant to elevate Revenge of the Sith or bring low contemporary art, but it's pretty clear Paglia greatly respects Lucas's work. Each chapter of Glittering Images highlights a seminal work of art from human history, and Paglia chose Episode III's climatic lightsaber duel to represent contemporary filmmaking. "I had considered using Japanese anime for the digital art chapter of the book," she says in the same interview, "but it lacked the overwhelming operatic power and yes, seriousness of Lucas' Revenge of the Sith."

Paglia is already a controversial figure in the art community thanks to statements such as these. In the past, she's argued that literally every work of Western art and culture contains sexual meanings, and that The Real Housewives of New Jersey surpasses The Sopranos in terms of artistic quality. "The Sopranos was porn for the genteel Manhattan upper-middle-class, gazing uncomprehending across the river at the bridge-and-tunnel crowd," Paglia says. "I've been working for nearly 30 years in Philadelphia, which shares a proletarian ethnic Italian culture with New Jersey. The Real Housewives of New Jersey really captures it. I could never watch The Sopranos for more than two minutes because it was so distorted with condescending, ham-handed fakery."

While I personally believe that Revenge of the Sith was the strongest of the prequels, I'd be hard pressed to say it stands above every other work of art made in the past three decades. Paglia is still certainly entitled to her opinion, but it won't surprise me much if the rest of geekdom joins together to express its contrary belief. Here's an idea: in the interest of generating discussion, let's just forgo the usual raging Amazon-bomb routine and instead suggest alternatives. What do you think the greatest work of art produced in our generation is?

The answer, by the way, is obviously Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Source: Vice, via IGN

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What a joke. It's obviously Transformers 2. It had everything: Megan Fox, Shia laBoeuf, and giant robots. What more could you want?

(in before Twilight)

I don't think anyone else around here knows how to spell Die Hard.

''Yes, the long finale of Revenge of the Sith has more inherent artistic value, emotional power, and global impact than anything by the artists you name''
The finale of the movie or the movie as a finale to the prequel.

Global impact means nothing. If the Nazi's won the war their Nazi patriotic movies would of also had a global impact.

Everything that built up to the end battle in revenge of the sith made little sense.
Anakin's journey to the dark side was lame - Padme's pregnancy was the best they could come up with...I was expecting exploration into ideologies between jedi and sith and him slowly turning...instead he just goes off on a tangent kills some sand people and moans a bit.

Oh you accidently helped me kill Windu, now you must kill children 'younglings'
The battle was way too long

"According to Camille Padliga, Revenge of the Sith is the best thing anyone has ever made in thirty years."
Haha, no...no it is not.

Okay, I'll admit, I don't hate the prequels, the fights and music in them kicks so much ass, but it is nowhere near being the "Best" thing made in 30 years, even if it is an opinion.

Personally, Anakin going to the darkside was poorly done...

In the prequel trilogy's defense, the acting and campiness in the originals was just as bad. *ducks for cover*

On topic, as much as I like Star Wars, I can't quite agree with it being the best thing ever. Then again, modern art and the standards associated with it are pretty damn weird.

Revenge of the Sith is the most spectacular of all the Star Wars films. And the fight at the end is indeed the most impressive thing in the Star Wars film series so far.

Nah.

Revenge of the Sith comes close, but I'd say it's pipped at the post by the revelatory experience known as The Expendables.

There's no way this is a simple overly dramatic attention grab. No way at all.

Its obvious that this isnt praise for lucas's work but rather a damning of the state of modern art. Note she refers to artists as if referring to painters, sculptors and the like. If I was an artist I'd be feeling pretty low right about now considering someone just said a piece of commercial effluence is better then the work I was producing.

This shouldn't be news, this is just one woman's opinion that she's written in her own book. I have a degree in film studies and books like this a written to prove a point about a film, not to insult anyone who thinks differently. If she's focussing mainly on the artistry of the lightsaber duels and the melodrama, she could have a point. Its something to take on board, not an opinion that must be corrected.

I really hope people don't Amazon-bomb this book, that would just be sad for everyone involved.

This is easily the best way to get some attention.

I would post the "not sure if trolling" image, but I don't want to imply that she could be stupid for having an opinion.

Well she did say Modern Art, so she may have a point.

TizzytheTormentor:

Personally, Anakin going to the darkside was poorly done...

You know you're character is poorly written when the fucking Cinema Snob can do a more convincing heel-turn in 12 minutes of real time than your's could over 14 years :P

Anyway, we all know that Mass Effect 3 is the best piece of art that our generation has produced.

I think we all just found out who has horrible taste.

In before Plinkett.

Quite seriously, I like the Star Wars prequels a lot but there is no way that Episode III is the best modern art ever, to couch it in Internet slang "obvious troll is obvious".

Fanghawk:
Palia says in an interview for Vice.

There's your problem.

That rag is a hive of pseudo-intellectualism, political bias, and bad research. It's one of the most pitiful publications out of there: they grab interviews with everyone and anyone to try to portray themselves as edgy and open. They're just a bunch of godamn hipsters.

I agree with the art critic that the long final lightsaber duel represents modern filmmaking. It's a hyper-choreographed, inconsequential CGI-fest interspersed with a handful of awful and bizarre one-liners standing in for dialogue. I'll admit that it's technically impressive and, no doubt, many an artist worked many a man-hour on it, but it's devoid of all meaning and purpose.

Fanghawk:
Critic Names Star Wars Prequel as World's Best Modern Art

Thank you Camille Padliga. It only took 7 years for a respected critic to say the very thing I've been saying since 2005, but at finally we have someone with some actual sense here.

Yet another reason I ignore art critics. The are so crazy I would be better off asking the homeless guy under my interstate exit bridge. Bob wears the tin foil hat and talks to the people from Quialrk 5 all the time, but he makes more sense than her.

"The pie eats their eyes and the moon is turnip to the KING!! KNOW THEM WHEN THEY COUNT THE MEATLOAF!!!!!!!!"

Sage wisdom Bob, sage wisdom.

Veylon:
but it's devoid of all meaning and purpose.

Believe it or not, I guess that's the current definition of art, they just forgot to let people know about it.

See my post? A perfect example of art! ;p

Wait wait wait... she has a problem with "ham-handed fakery," but thinks Revenge of the Sith is the best piece of art in the last thirty years?

Come on, if you're going to be absurd, at least be consistent about it.

So there's a Michael Patcher in the film world?

It's just not exactly an arc when he goes from slaughtering women and children in one movie to slaughtering children in the next movie. When was Anakin good again? The emperor's plan also relied on stupidity from everyone involved. The films are not terrible but they squander most of their ideas. The ideas are meaningless without proper execution and that is mostly fumbled. Course if you wanted a movie of flashy style over substance and execution to epitomize the average movie these days star wars 3 was probably a good choice.

saleem:
Its obvious that this isnt praise for lucas's work but rather a damning of the state of modern art. Note she refers to artists as if referring to painters, sculptors and the like. If I was an artist I'd be feeling pretty low right about now considering someone just said a piece of commercial effluence is better then the work I was producing.

I think you hit the nail on the head there. Well, that combined with a genuine belief that modern art is filled with garbage that thinks it's meaningful. Though if I was a sculptor or painter, I'd probably be looking at her and saying she's cracked. As a writer I'm more inclined look at a lot of writing in pop culture and say, "yeah, more or less, who actually reads/watches/plays this shit?"

Everyone sing it with me now!

Though this is a great way to insult every artist of the past 30 years, quite impressive really.

Obviously she is an idiot, so her comments are easy for me to ignore. However, I'm greatly offended by the author of this artical (Marshall Lemon) stating that "We're slowly accepting the idea that maybe the prequels aren't as bad as we remember". Sorry friend, but "I could try spinning! That's a good trick!" nor any of the other brainless trash within those three pieces of human waste has brightened in my eyes in the last several years. George Lucas had those out of wedlock with ingenuity or good sense, and I could only support abortion for any of them, no matter what term they're in.

Simple. The greatest work of art produced in our time is Timesplitters.

Does she hate sand too? I bet sand killed her younglings a long, long time ago

Well this is going to escalate quickly.

I loved Episode 3 but I'm not so sure about "best piece of art in the last 30 years".

And I care not for labels such as artistic. It all seems pointless when the whole art thing is subjective anyway.

Veylon:
I agree with the art critic that the long final lightsaber duel represents modern filmmaking. It's a hyper-choreographed, inconsequential CGI-fest interspersed with a handful of awful and bizarre one-liners standing in for dialogue. I'll admit that it's technically impressive and, no doubt, many an artist worked many a man-hour on it, but it's devoid of all meaning and purpose.

I'd have to disagree. It was there to show that the dark sides corruption on Anakin was stronger than his friendship with Obi-Wan. The lightsaber fight itself was to show their ability in perspective of each other (which is something a hell of a lot of people wanted) and the CGI was bonus.

DVS BSTrD:
Well she did say Modern Art, so she may have a point.

Well if there is one thing in this world than Revenge of the Sith is better than, it would be modern art.

I'm going to the public library (where they lend free books BTW) and I'm reading it.
The thing is better make a damn good point.

josemlopes:
Does she hate sand too? I bet sand killed her younglings a long, long time ago

she probably doesn't realize it because it happened in a galaxy far, far away.

OT: and here come black eye to every person interested in Modern art.

Bhaalspawn:

Thank you Camille Padliga. It only took 7 years for a respected critic to say the very thing I've been saying since 2005, but at finally we have someone with some actual sense here.

She's so respected the first result when you google her name is this story. And two "Are you sure you spelled the right thing?" corrections.

OT: Attention seeker makes comment trying to garner attention. News at 11.

Edit: The first two link to this story on this site. The only other 4 results link to this same story on different sites.

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