The Second Tear Makes Kitsch

From the end of Manohla Dargis' review of Australia in the NYT:
A maximalist, Mr. Luhrmann doesn’t simply want to rouse your laughter and tears: he wants to rouse you out of a sensory-overloaded stupor with jolts of passion and fabulous visions. That may make him sound a wee bit Brechtian, but he’s really just an old-fashioned movie man, the kind who never lets good taste get in the way of rip-roaring entertainment. The usual line about kitsch is that it’s an affront, a cheapening of the culture, a danger. “Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession,” Milan Kundera wrote. “The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch.”

True, but it doesn’t make the second tear any less wet.
And there's much more to be written about kitsch and movies, but I was reminded of what I wrote about my last set of NYT reviews:
What's interesting is the way in which both men strike this note of regret: Scott, in wishing for a smoother cosmopolitan, Lane's wish to return to an adolescent reverie.
Dargis, to my mind, takes a softer tone.


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