A windy Slate essay, in 90 seconds

We glad critic Armond White wrote his essay on the American Eccentrics of film, in Slate today.

Tied to the release of Wes Anderson‘s new short film / commercial for American Express at TriBeCa, it asks the important question,

“Is it the mediated response to such current events as the Middle East (David O. Russell‘s Three Kings), social fragmentation (P.T. Anderson‘s Magnolia), and family chaos (Wes Anderson‘s The Royal Tenenbaums, Sofia Coppola‘s Lost in Translation) that saps their energies? Is there some Generation X malaise that stifles productivity? Or are these guys just being precious?”

(At right, David, will you please put down that spliff, get off the sofa and write something? I’m talking to you Mr. Russell!”

White never quite gets around to establishing the answer (a fault of online journals like Slate, which seem to spend more time asking interesting questions than answering them) but he does offer some stern words for their lackadaisical work ethic:

“It seems that the Eccentrics’ own egotistical indolence has resulted in self-imposed limits to their skills—at the very least it deprives the world of more of their unique cultural prognostications. If they are ever to truly change film culture, their maneuvers have to increase.”

The answer would be great to explore via reporting. Hey! That gives me an idea!