In Defense of Michael Bay

by Benjamin Domenech on 6:04 pm August 2, 2009

Benjamin Kerstein has an excellent piece at The New Ledger on the much-maligned genius of Michael Bay:

In short, whatever Michael Bay’s sins may be, the sum of his talents definitely adds up to a kind of cinema. This cinema is what Sergio Leone referred to as “cinema cinema,” that is, cinema for its own sake, cinema in and for itself, cinema that exists for no other reason than to be cinema. Cinema as cinema is best expressed by the famous quote from Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou: “A film is like a battleground. It has love, hate, action, violence and death. In one word: emotion.”

Michael Bay’s entire cinematic language consists of nothing but love, hate, action, violence, and death, and every one of his films is self-evidently a battleground. They are pure visual pageantry, possessed of an élan that seems to be nothing less than a cry of love for cinema as cinema. And this is precisely why the critics hate him.

Some of the most eloquent writing is in defense of what some view as indefensible.

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