Shut Up, Addison Del Marco

Addison Del Marcos’s article gives the false sense of hope that a piece of theoretical substance could appear on the pages of The American Conservative. But two sentences into the piece and this initial optimism evaporates into instant disappointment.

Del Marco begins his “critique” of cinema with a disclaimer: he never goes to the movies nor is he a fan of the medium- as if to caution, if not, declare his unreliable opinion that will proceed. He admits, however, that his parents influenced him to appreciate the medium, as if we are to presume that their expertise is somehow conferred upon Del Marco through some furtive system of cinephilic inheritance. But like a stubborn son, he watches movies-and begins his critique of it- with a myopic pre-conception about an art form that relies deeply on an open perspective. Ironic, I know.

His title betrays the illusion that he will engage the theoretical discourse among film scholars over the death of cinema. Like fatalists such as Guy Debord who laments, “le cinema est mort,” or Jean-Luc Goddard who claims, “fin de cinema” in the conclusion of his film, Weekend, or Antoine Lumiere’s grievance that “cinema is an invention without a future.” Does he even know these scholars and filmmakers, let alone that this debate exists? And if he did, his non-existent reference to them demonstrate reckless authorship, if not incompetence.

Although minimal elements of this debate are peppered sparingly throughout his article, this generous observation is only given in the spirit of Christmas. His piece is not about the death of cinema as it purports, but a mere whiny complaint about his dissatisfaction with Hollywood’s cliché plot lines.

To believe that Hollywood is the cinema is not only pathetically foolish, but reveals his unsophisticated understanding of film. But as should’ve been expected, such sophisticated enterprise of the mind should not be expected from those like Del Marco: conservatives who purport a certain level of authority over a subject they frankly, know nothing about.

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