“He’s a monster, a sexual predator, and the most sensitive and civilized fellow you’d ever meet.” And “our disorientation [about these disparate qualities] is the strongest evidence of the filmmaker’s mastery.” So says N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott, very succinctly, in his Critics’ Pick essay about James Mason‘s Humbert Humbert in Stanley Kubrick‘s Lolita (’62).
The Times web guys being who they are and always have been, they haven’t put this latest Critics’ Picks up on YouTube yet (although all of them end up on YouTube sooner or later). Nor do they allow embedding of Scott’s video essays off their own site. They do this deliberately to anger and frustrate people like myself.
One of my fondest Manhattan fantasies is that I meet up with one of these web guys at a party somewhere, and I get to unload all of my years of frustration — the countless times I’ve been excited and/or felt inspired by one of Scott’s essays but unable to post it on HE due to the Times‘ extremely annoying policies about timely YouTube sharing and embed codes. Almost the entire web world gets it these days — the number of sites that refuse to offer embed codes is less than miniscule now — and still the N.Y. Times techies won’t budge/re-think/adapt. They’re like Japanese soldiers refusing to come out of caves and surrender after the end of World War II.