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Peter saw his first movie when he was just a little boy, and has never gotten over that experience.

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Film Critic Glenn Kenny on David Foster Wallace

Posted April 09, 2009

Film Critic Glenn Kenny on David Foster Wallace Image

The House Next Door posted a fascinating interview between Jeremiah Kipp and critic Glenn Kenny on working with the late David Foster Wallace. The piece reveals a fascinating relationship between an editor of pop culture and a serious writer with a complicated relationship to it. When Kenny was at Premiere he had opportunity/honor of editing several pieces that Wallace wrote: his visit to the set of David Lynch’s Lost Highway, a piece on Terminator 2 and a look at the Adult Video News Awards. When Kenny is asked about Wallace’s sense of films, he responds:

It wasn’t his main concern—literature to him was the alpha and the omega. But he liked films an awful lot. When he was in college, like any person going to a reasonably good school, he was able to see a good number of films there. He enjoyed the Bresson films, but on the whole, he usually wasn’t interested in foreign films—he was more drawn to American films as pop culture. They reflected his concerns, which have to do with the condition of being American, particularly during his writing after 9/11. I spent most of my youth as a cinephile almost shunning American film. It wasn’t until I was a little more mature, despite my readings of Andrew Sarris, that I started taking American film all that seriously. For him, it was always about that—about things like Psycho, real touchstones in the development of cinema itself and that represented seismic shifts in the overall culture.