But he may have hated it (I have that book as well) but it doesn't mean he thinks it is one of the worst movies. There are lots of movies that he doesn't like but can admire the technical aspects of it. He hates the spirit of the film, but I have never heard him say nor write that it is one of the worst films. That was my initial point.
You are correct I am culpable for erroneously claiming Ebert still maintains
"Blue Velvet" is one of the worst films ever made as I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie
is now over a decade old and Ebert has admitted he's found merit in Lynch's film since its 1986 debut though one doesn't get the sense he will ever surrender his One Star Rating. I thought it stood to reason that since Ebert's omnibus included "I Spit on Your Grave" (1978) -- which he dubiously labeled the worst film ever made -- that the purpose of the book as outlined in the introduction was to supply his audience with a collection of films that offended him on multiple levels and could hardly be defended. In essence: the worst films ever made. Example: In 1984, Ebert gave "Police Academy" a Zero Star Rating but it nor any of its sequels for that matter can be found in I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie
. I initially felt their inclusion would be a bit cheap until I discovered a review of "Friday the 13th Part 2."
Also you do not have to hate women to have scenes of misogyny. Sometimes it is just ignorance, sometimes it is planned. That is why I included the link discussing what Rossellini thought on her nude walk scene which upset her very much. I think that is a scene of humilitation.
The definition of misogyny is the hatred of women (i.e. I don't believe Lynch hates women though I think we can agree it is beyond reproach that he purposely humiliated Rossellini).
I think the worst offender I have seen lately has been Takashi Miike, but I haven't watched all the newer horror films.
Though Miike is prone to revisiting the same half-a-dozen or so themes in the bulk of filmography he's eclectic enough to often avoid the labels audiences with very limited knowledge of his work try to place on him. Some have gone so far as to label him a misanthrope while others mistakenly hail "Audition" as the work of a feminist.
Ebert has done some backtracking or changing from everyting from Blade Runner (going from *** stars to inclusion in Great Movies), stating he was completely wrong with his initial Once Upon a Time in the West review, putting Godfather II into Great Movies after initial *** review and more.
Right and with the exception of his negative review of "Once Upon a Time in the West" I was aware of these examples. I suppose what I meant apropo of "Last House on the Left" were films he once enjoyed quite a great deal but can no longer defend. I do know in the last decade or so he's promised to take another look at "Fight Club," "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," and "Napoleon Dynamite" after panning all three comedies in the face of cult popularity.
I enjoy reading Pauline Kael, but I really don't her seriously as a critic. Her statement that she only would watch a film once annoyed me a bit. Sometimes she takes favorite or does the opposite and it becomes personal with her like when she would pan anything Clint Eastwood would do or praise anything from Peckinpah. Ebert does quote Kael a lot though.
Pauline Kael understood the psychology and sociology of film perhaps more than any other critic I've ever read. Her detractors inside and outside of the industry were often outraged when she caustically slit the throats of sacred cows but I found she made me do something few if any of her peers were capable of: reconsider my position based on her critique. Frustratingly, she's often rejected by the kids on the newsgroups for giving "Star Wars" (1977) a mediocre review -- which a good 25% of critics did when it was released -- slapping her with an A for adultery as the bitch who dared step out
on Generation X's "Citizen Kane."