The most underrated and overrated cultural events of the year

by on December 20, 2007 at 5:15 pm in The Arts | Permalink

From Prospect (UK), here is a long list, my picks were:

Overrated
Hollywood movies. US ticket sales recovered this year, but to what end? This was a year for microculture, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The bigger visual productions of the year won’t much stand the test of time. On the bright side, television drama continues to rise in quality.

Underrated
The iPhone. The world really did change on 29th June 2007. We now have handheld personal computers and personal entertainment centres, yet they are no larger than a thin pack of cards. And no, I’m not a techie, a gadget freak or an Apple lover. The device itself is beautiful as well.

Going meta on you again, the most frequently cited overrated event was the movie version of Atonement, then the new Philip Roth book (the latter received one pick for underrated as well).  Receiving one or more underrated picks were (I think) the new Hugh Brogan book on Tocqueville (which is excellent), the new Adam Thirlwell novel (no US edition yet), and Nicola Barker’s Darkman.

Tyler Cowen December 20, 2007 at 5:19 pm

I might add that US ticket sales now look worse than when I originally wrote this.

angus December 20, 2007 at 8:42 pm

My God! Whatever happened to Paul Thomas Anderson?? Hard Eight and Boogie Nights were a blast but it’s been straight downhill since. This latest “tarted up costume drama” (judging from the trailer) seems like the bottom of the barrel for him.

Anonymous December 20, 2007 at 11:07 pm

What about the Efficient Cultural Market Hypothesis?

DT December 21, 2007 at 12:38 am

I am an Apple fan, an iPhone owner, gadget freak, and techie, and I don’t even think the iPhone was revolutionary.

What Apple does best is taking technology that exists and making it really usable and friendly.

There are blackberry phones that do everything that the iPhone does, they just arent nearly as much fun to use.

Aaron Brown December 21, 2007 at 12:37 pm

> Nicola Barker’s Darkman

Should be “Darkmans” with an “s”, and the link is broken.

Katie December 21, 2007 at 3:44 pm

I loved Atonement, the book and the movie, which I thought was a remarkably faithful adaptation. The only major changes occurred in the last section, and this was not to change the substance of the story so much as to avoid use of voiceover narration. I think people tend to be excessively hard in judging adaptations of beloved books.

Also, on what planet was the iphone underrated? It was everywhere when it came out, and everyone I know wants one.

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