Features September 7, 2010 By Alex Shephard

Detective Hank Havenhurst (Willem Dafoe) and Brad McCullum (Michael Shannon) in

Detective Hank Havenhurst (Willem Dafoe) and Brad McCullum (Michael Shannon) in My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?

As of now, of course, the most famous 3-D movie is Avatar
I admire the achievements, the technical achievements, but the film is an abomination because of its New Age schlock and bullshit. When I see them sitting in some sort of collective meditation or yoga or collective yoga class, it just makes me cringe. I want to be somewhere else, far away from the cinema. But that’s my personal take — I see that there are some truly great achievements in the film.

You dedicated Encounters at the End of the World to Roger Ebert, and he’s also written very warmly about you and your work. What is your relationship with him?
I think the biggest level is my admiration for him as a good soldier of cinema: such a trooper, such a man who doesn’t give up. He’s been afflicted by illness for quite a few years now, and he’s undeterred and unflinching. If there’s a good soldier of cinema, it’s him. Strangely enough, long before all this, he kept pointing out that I was a good soldier of cinema. I deeply admire the man.
We’re facing a shift from serious discourse about cinema into pure celebrity news. Discourse about cinema and criticism of cinema — good or bad, it doesn’t matter — is shifting and it’s fading and it’s dwindling. Emerging on the other side is pure celebrity news. Because of that, a man like Roger Ebert should be weighed in gold.

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