Andrew Klavan defends a criticism he made a while back on Quentin Tarantino’s film Inglorious Basterds from LA Times critic Patrick Goldstein. In it, he emphasizes the trend in post-modern culture and art to embrace new trends and break away from convention and tradition, even if there is no artistic or cultural value in the breakaway. Shock value and shallowness are becoming more important to modern media forms than substance and empathy.
[S]acking the Pantheon doesn’t turn barbarians into gods. Post modern artistic techniques take some legitimacy from the zeitgeist but if in the end they don’t serve the human project, however it’s conceived, they’re empty and they fail. Art is about subject as well as technique. As Inglorious Basterds shows, movie-geek Tarantino has no sense at all of the depth of human suffering or the glory of human dignity and that’s what makes him a shallow artist, his finely wrought techniques ultimately meaningless trickery.