In answer to your challenge issued here, I’ve sweated a bit, but I’m ready to come clean. And, by the way, Michael Blowhard’s original post is an excellent and useful reminder that we don’t have to bend our tastes to love everything of value. I’m sure you’ve noted all the interesting responses he’s been getting in his comments section. Some definite patterns have emerged (and things have gotten more than a little heated).
For writers, I’ll play my Virginia Woolf and William Blake cards.
Painters? Picasso, Renoir, Gauguin. Several years ago I might have said Monet, but the big show that passed through Chicago a while back reminded me that his paintings are not equivalent to their bland reproductions on a million coffee cups and mouse pads. But I might still cite his series paintings–making an exception for those enormous, very late water lilies.
Among filmmakers, I’ve seen a lot of Godard movies without chomping at the bit to see any of them again (well, maybe Breathless, but just for its iconicity). Films that fall into this category are harder for me to think of than anything else. It’s a seductive medium. And, more so than with other art forms, I tend to believe that if I don’t like a film, it’s just not that good. Can you make any sense of that?
On Dickens we’ll have to agree to disagree. Maybe we’re reading different Dickens, but that man makes me laugh out loud. When he is sharp, he is very, very good, but when he’s sentimental he’s horrid. For me, the former outweighs the latter.
Whack–back into your court!