With 15 National Magazine Awards since 2004 and a list of alums that includes Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, John Simon and Kurt Andersen, New York magazine certainly seems smart. But are they smarter than mumbling-character-actor turned "I'm Still Here" filmmaker Casey Affleck? No way, argues Slate's Tom Scocca. They don't even know enough to give a good review to faux documentaries where people grow beards and pretend to go crazy. Writes Scocca of New York scribe Kyle Buchanan's negative assessment of "I'm Still Here," a film Scocca says "pretty clearly succeeds as art" because, among other things, "people can't figure out how they're supposed to react":
The premise of New York magazine under Adam Moss is that all art--actually, everything in the world--is reducible to a correct reaction, including the reactions themselves. There is no story that can't be explained in a subheadline; the best stories could be subheadlines before anyone even reported them. This is why New York is hailed as the magazine of the moment. Its complaint about I'm Still Here is that it doesn't make sense as a work of kitsch.
No word yet on whether Scocca also appreciates the muppets on a much deeper level than you.
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