“As for There Will Be Blood, about which you will be reading much more in the pages of the L.A. Weekly over the coming weeks, I will say only this: There are great films (like No Country For Old Men) and then there are films that send shock waves through the very landscape of cinema, that instantly stake a claim on a place in the canon.

“Often, such vanguard works fail to be fully understood or appreciated at the moment they first appear, as some of the initial reviews that greeted Psycho, 2001 and Bonnie and Clyde attest. There Will Be Blood belongs in their company, and I consider myself fortunate to belong to a group with the foresight to recognize it in its own moment.” — from L.A. Weekly critic Scott Foundas‘s 12.9 rant against certain interpretations voiced by myself, Variety‘s Anne Thompson and Kris Tapley and The Envelope‘s Tom O’Neil about last Sunday’s Los Angeles Film Critic Association voting.

Hey, how come Foundas didn’t rap David Poland‘s knuckles also? Variety critic Robert Koehler complained last Monday that the MCN know-it-all wrote a LAFCA-voting interpretation that was along the same lines as what Thompson and I had penned.

There Will Be Blood is certainly a seismic piece of work that’s been generating temblors and aftershocks, but it’s also something of a sick puppy. It embodies “diseased greatness” (and yes, I realize this is the third or fourth time I’m used this term since coining it last month), but surely Foundas and Koehler understand there are groundwater reasons why a critic like Time‘s Richard Corliss would call it an “audience punisher.” A woman friend wrote the other day to confess that she “hated it and felt trapped in my seat…I just wanted to leave immediately after and never sit through it again. Which I guess translates into Best Film of 2007…lol!”