Well, this was all done over e-mail, so I can quite easily provide some context...
my friend wrote:
The movie didn't speak to me, and frankly, for the author of the essay to imply that if it does not illicit an intense emotional response that you're devoid of feeling or connection to humanity, is pretentious. It places them on an authoritative pedestal arguing for objectivity in a realm it does not belong. That rubbed me the wrong way. I can appreciate a respected piece of art but not want to hang it on my wall, which is how I felt with this movie. It seemed too abstract for me to connect and the delivery didn't inspire enthusiasm, I wasn't engaged or involved enough. I can respect that there may be disagreement, and I think that is healthy.
If you're referring to this sentence where you think the author is being pretentious, I'd have to disagree: "And this is a literal reaction to those who found no joy in the move; if the imagery didn't elicit some kind of response, well godspeed." I don't think he is – in fact, I'm sure he's not – saying whoever doesn't deeply connect with this film is shallow or vapid. He's only saying that there are many beautiful and sublime moments within the film, and that someone who didn't see any of that may be a little too hardened, to put it euphemistically. This is most definitely not an indictment of your personal feelings, as you have repeatedly stated you did find such moments of beauty, and I don't think it's even that controversial an argument.
my friend wrote:
To begin with, I disagree with your assessment of his comment, but maybe it's a matter of personal opinion. I wouldn't say I found joy in the movie, although I also wouldn't say that I found no joy in the movie. I suppose it seems abrasive and touched a chord with me. None-the-less, it's relatively unimportant.
Take it how you will, then