Today’s heroes are:
Joss Whedon – for being one of the best out there at mixing highbrow and lowbrow. Who else directs Shakespeare in his home in black and white after filming one of the biggest, most spectacular blockbusters of all time? You could argue that many filmmakers and novelist do this, the need to follow the big with the small, etc. But they often don’t do it well. De Lillo followed up the best novel of the last century, Underworld, with Cosmopolis, which was pretty flat (although looking forward to see Cronenberg’s take on it). Donna Tartt was supposed to write a short novella after her overblown second novel, The Little Friend, that never even came out (although now apparently a third novel is coming out). Whedon, however, succeeds in pulling off both with equal panache. A true example of the hybrid mentality. Here is an interesting podcast interview with him, by the way, where he shows how much Buffy et al are inspired by his mother.