No Such Thing as a Pure Introduction

A basic definition of a critic: someone who shares responses to art.

As a tradesman in the field, I try to be mindful of everything that might influence my response, including factors that exist outside a specific piece of art. 

For example: Hong Sang-soo’s prolificacy.

The man writes AND directs basically one movie per year, sometimes even more. Now, it’s a fallacy to believe that longer gestation periods will result in more considered art; improv can feel more thoroughly thought-through and meticulously constructed than the product of a Kubrick-length artistic process.

And yet, can we really divorce ourselves from this Kubrick mythos? From the notion that greatness requires ever-greater quantities of time, effort, contemplation, etc.? 

When I sit down for a new Sang-soo (his latest: Introduction, now in theaters), it’s impossible to forget how quickly he works. As such, when one of his movies leaves me cold, I find myself crediting the deficiencies to the volume of his output.

Which is hypocritical! Because when I love one of his movies, I have no way of knowing if his means of creation was any different than on his other movies!

Which goes to show: our pre-existing knowledge surrounding the art and the artists can affect how we engage with that art, perhaps even unfairly, and usually subconsciously.

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