The Museum of Modern Art’s month-long "Baseball and American Culture" series kicks off today with "Bang the Drum Slowly" â€” as you’d expect from a MoMA series, it’s skews towards the self-important, canon-approved flicks, which is really too bad, because few sports lend themselves as well to awesome, formulaic silliness as baseball. Where else are the seasons dense enough to accommodate all sorts of hijinks before allowing for the inevitable pennant win? Yes, yes, "The Natural," "Field of Dreams," "Bull Durham"…none of them make us tear up quite like "Rookie of the Year" (the glove belonged to his mom! the whole time!).
Oh, come back, we’re done.
Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times:
What’s striking about "The Natural" and "Field of Dreams" is how insistent they are on apotheosizing the national pastime, on treating the game as the stuff of a national mythology. They’re less about baseball than they are about an idea of baseball, about a sport that is no longer itself but a theater in which the great American drama of aspiration is acted out over and over again â€” in soft focus and slow motion, to the accompaniment of music triumphal enough to make Wagner (Richard, not Honus) blush.