Hear, Hear… James Agee on Film
I would like to use this column about moving pictures as to honor and discriminate the subject through interesting and serving you who are reading it. Whether I am qualified to do this is an open question to which I can give none of the answers. (…) As an amateur, then, I must as well as I can simultaneously recognize my own ignorance and feel no apology for what my eyes tell me as I watch any given screen, where the proof is caught irrelevant to excuse, and available in proportion to the eye which sees it, and the mind which uses it. – James Agee, “The Nation,” December 26, 1942
If you’re not reading James Agee’s film criticism, you should be. The man was a true wordsmith and a keen mind. He brings all the poetic power of the English language and sharp observations to bear on a medium that he obviously loved very much. As someone who writes about film, I can only hope to be a fraction as relevant as James Agee always was.The above quote, from Agee’s first film column for “The Nation,” is a good a mission statement for a film blogger as any.