A wry cultural critic whose scintillating style primarily attaches to movies–though sometimes photography or literature–Lane has informed and exasperated readers of The New Yorker since 1993. Talent and the pure joy of expression leap from Lane’s pages, as he wields idioms both high and low but never dull. Yet counter to a prevailing notion among critics that erudition requires (or induces) a level of detachment, Lane is concerned that the cineastes he does reconnaissance for have someone to “root” for in the films. The word comes up more than you’d think. And he’ll watch anything. Really.
Lane’s collected criticism—that indelible mark of influence—has appeared between covers: Nobody’s Perfect: Writings from The New Yorker is a 700-plus page testament to virtuoso thinking and finally to the monotony of such a gifted mind opining about Batman and Robin. Lane is like the Harlem Globetrotters of critics: he wins every time, the decadence of his moves accounts for most of the fun, and there is always strewn confetti to take as a souvenir.