It was interesting to read Nancy Franklin’s article, primarily because of how critical she was of Simon’s portrayal of warfare in Generation Kill. For me it will always be difficult to imagine Simon’s work outside of the urban setting of drug trades, systematic racism, poverty, cops and corruption. This makes Simon’s work with Generation Kill already stand out as odd for reasons I can’t identify, but one thing is clear, his voice is still present in this work. Franklin is critical of, “David Simon’s Generation Kill” in a way that speaks not to Simon’s directorial styles, but rather his choice of story-line. Franklin seems to be arguing that Simon had no real need to depict this story in the first place, because it ends up no more different than any of the other “war-is-hell dramas.” Perhaps I’m a Simon loyalist and I’m looking for ways to rationalize anyone’s criticism of his work, but it seems to me that Franklin has more of a fundamental issue with warfare documentation than Simon’s work.
Hopefully I’m not painfully behind in coming to this realization, and if I’m not , then prepare yourselves: David Simon is the ultimate auteur. I know we’ve debunked this notion of the author being the critical component of a films work and meaning, BUT there’s no denying that Simon’s work has a consistent and recognizable voice and style in his works. Even within Generation Kill, which we (and Franklin) can debate as inaccurate and a story that’s already been told, Simon still makes the poignant social commentary on contemporary U.S. society that we have grown accustomed to. Watching Simon tackle ideas of citizenry and hierarchy in this complex context of warfare is not much different than watching him grapple with issues of the streets and corruption, because both shows are about survival amidst the violence of humans, ideas, politics and ourselves.
So Mr. Simon I’m looking forward to your work on post-Katrina New Orleans and keep on keeping on.