Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Pelecanos (and Adams)

Date: 07 Feb 2000

Hi Mark,
    I don't believe that print media should be "dictated by the demands of other media," nor by the techniques or styles of other media. In fact, I don't think it should be "dictated" by much of anything beyond its own tenets. But I'm convinced it must be responsive to its own times and that it must speak effectively to its readers.
    Your example from Down By The River is as good as any to focus on. The first time we see an event like the one you describe it helps us to understand the character. The tenth time you see it, as you often do in GP's work, it doesn't help us to understand anything except how cool we all are.
    Now as for the Quentin T. stuff. You're saying QT a "postmodernist" and therefore anything he chooses to include in his films, no matter how extraneous, redundant or unnecessary to explain the story or the characters is just another example of his hip artistry. Sorry. I ain't buying it. The same hubris that's led him on his People Magazine junket informs his films. It's all of a piece and he's boring. And, by the way, I'm not only saying character development is important, I'm saying it's essential.
    As for brand naming, who cares, so long as it is necessary to develop character or to tell the story?
    If you're saying that all of GP's, and QT's social scene redundancy is cultural commentary, I think he should save it for somebody's Op Ed page.
    To you "the debate seems more about style than craft," but all I'm talking about is craft, and I think that part of the craft problem here is an obsession by the writer with his style. GP's love of his and his characters' coolness detracts from his craftemanship.

                                    Jim Blue

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