Veterans critics are doing their own thing all over the place these days. Last week brought the launch of The Dissolve; now, Peter Keough, of the dearly departed Boston Phoenix, and Henry Sheehan, whose past outlets include the L.A. Reader and the Orange County Register, are trading cross-country posts at Critics a Go Go.
Although Keough’s now writing for the Boston Globe and Sheehan reviews for radio on Los Angeles’ KPCC, their Critics a Go-Go posts recall the free-form film writing of the alt-weekly’s heyday. Here’s Keough, working his way into the summer’s blockbusters:
“Pacific Rim” looked a lot like Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel’s avant garde documentary about a fish trawler, “Leviathan,” though with a $180 million budget. Or like “Transformers,” though with irony, wit, subtlety, and a twisted sense of the absurd. I don’t think Michael Bay would have, say, the poetic eye to show a tiny girl in blue cowering in the ruins of Tokyo as seen from the point of view of a robot as tall as a skyscraper. Spielberg maybe, though the girl in red in “Schindler’s List” loses points for self-conscious artiness and manipulation.
Keep reading and you’ll see Sheehan delving into the Irish Gothic roots of Neil Jordan’s Byzantium, Keough riffing on Fritz Lang and Charlie Chaplin, and more of the omnivorous perspective that seasoned critics bring to the table.