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By Film Threat Staff | October 26, 2006

We all know a newspaper has to be a little controversial to bring in readers. Heck, everyone knows that and takes it with a grain of salt. However, a recent “article” by New York Times writer Terrence Rafferty is so ridiculous, arrogant and made-up, we just had to call him on it.

Writer Guillermo Arriaga and director Alejandro González Iñárritu have been a formidable combo for the films “Amores Perros,” “21 Grams” and the upcoming “Babel.” But now they’ve decided to go their separate ways. While on the surface, it doesn’t seem like an amicable split, there’s been absolutely no public dissing from either side. No one knows what went down except those two men and those close to them. As it should be. Yet the NY Times and in particular writer Terrence Rafferty want to fill in the blanks and pull a Charles Foster Kane on the whole breakup. You provide the quotes, we’ll provide the war.

As annoying as that is, it’s Rafferty’s pompous assumption that Arriaga dumbed his writing down on “Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” because he apparently “didn’t want to overtax the technical abilities of Tommy Lee Jones, who was directing his first feature film” is just plain silly. And made up. And condescending.

Further lame speculation rears it’s ugly head when Rafferty states a major issue in “Babel” occurs because “there are sequences in “Babel” where you can sense the tenuous symbiosis of writer and director starting to fall apart — when Mr. González Iñárritu overextends scenes for, apparently, no sounder reason than to demonstrate his virtuosity, prove he’s in charge.” Wow…what insight you have Mr. Rafferty. How did you glean such insider info from viewing “Babel?” Oh wait, you’re just assuming things.

Anywho, that whole thing rankled us so we thought we’d put it out there. It rankled the films producers as well because they printed a full page ad to argue the non-merits of the NY Times piece. Props to Movie City Indie and Movie City News’s The Hot Blog for bringing this piece of poor journalism to light.

Read the NY Times “Piece” HERE>>>

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