I want to get Max Landis out of the way because talking about Max Landis at all is an activity less preferable than pouring boiling gravy into my ears. Max Landis is trash. He’s a trash person and a trash movie person. He’s also, and here I’m sub-blogging everyone, not the story of Shadow in the Cloud, a movie he wrote and was unceremoniously booted from after sexual assault allegations were made against him; his script was given rewrites by Roseanne Liang, who also serves as the movie’s director. Since Shadow in the Cloud‘s release, Landis’ name, not Liang’s, has been the subject of the day, and while I understand having Feelings about reviewing a film with any association to this little bastard, I do not understand what cause is served by completely ignoring that yes, in fact, Liang is the film’s ultimate author, not Landis, and that erasing her name from the conversation is in this case an awful transgression.
People tend to trip over their feet in the rush to do “the right thing” when it comes to performing social justice online, including me, so I’m sympathetic. But every bit of impotent outrage I’ve seen sputtered over Twitter about this film fails to, or willfully neglects to, reckon with the fact of Landis’ credit and Liang’s role as filmmaker. I don’t really care who likes the movie or not; liking the movie is irrelevant to the work needed for that reckoning. Personally, I find that inside baseball stuff interesting in how it informs the movie*, but nobody else finds it interesting, and so I’m on an island.
Anyways. I dug the movie. Maybe give it a try. Moretz is great. You can read my full review over at Paste Magazine.
*Which, I should note, I watched knowing nothing of Landis’ involvement. That was a nice little post-screening surprise that briefly made me want to barf everywhere.