Yesterday New Yorker critic Richard Brody posted the following comparison between Barbie and 2001: A Space Odyssey (which Barbie briefly spoofed, of course, by aping the “Dawn of Man” sequence):

This is primarily a political tweet, of course. Brody is giving Barbie director Greta Gerwig a sympathetc fistbump after she was snubbed for a Best Director Oscar nomination last Tuesday.

I also think Brody likes to throw around eccentric, extreme opinions. Does he really, actually think Barbie is a “better” film than Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 mastepiece? Maybe, but I doubt it. I think he mainly wants the congnoscenti and the wokerati to consider that he might be the Albert Einstein of film critics…that he’s seeing things on a white-light, laser-beam level no one else has quite managed…that he’s some kind of Rasputin-like genius.

I understand that sometimes the best writing happens when you don’t think it through that much in advance. Just go with it, jump off a cliff and see where it all lands. But once you get into the afore-mentioned Rasputin provocation game (not a fact but a perception on my part) what you write becomes more performative than persuasive.