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Oct 28

Spectacularily Pretentious

Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2007 in On the box, Rantings

While still giving Baino’s meme serious consideration (I can’t wait to pass this doozy on, you’ll curse me from a height, you lucky unsuspecting few…) I thought I’d just go off on a bit of a rant.  Don’t mind me.

I adore watching films.  It’s one of my favourite past-times, and I’d consider myself having a pretty open mind.  The carpet at the shelves of my local video-store is threadbare from me pacing up and down.  There is however, one genre which I hate with a passion, and that is experimentative film.  Basically, if you’re looking at the dust cover and you see ‘WINNER – Cannes film festival’ or ‘NOMINATED – Sun-dance film festival’ emblazoned at the top, you’re guaranteed it’ll be a great waste of your hard-earned bucks.

Take Gus Van Sant’s ‘Elephant’, a film about the Columbine high-school shootings, or ‘Last days’, about the legend that was Kurt Kobain.  Both have the potential to be enthralling films, but they really aren’t.  Mostly you’re watching some half-assed acting (heavily abusing the ‘smell the fart’ technique) and very long and boring shots of people not doing anything at all really.  It makes me want to pull my eyeballs out with a rusty six-inch nail.  There are people out there who love this tripe, and I just don’t get it.  They use words like ‘Directorial Triumph’ and ‘Infuriating Impenatribility’, when ‘Pure Shite’ would clearly suffice.

I brought back a film yesterday named ‘Inland Empire’, directed by David Lynch of ‘Mullholland Drive’ fame, though I didn’t notice that when I rented it.


Me: “Can I have my money back?  I couldn’t watch this.”

Video rental man: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.  It must be scratched.”

Me: “No no, it’s fine.  I just couldn’t bear wasting any more than fifteen minutes of my life watching it.  It’s crap.  It made me want to kill myself.”

Video rental man: “Ummm, really can’t help you there I’m afraid.”

You see films like ‘Sin City’ are surrealist in my view, but a fifteen minute long black and white shoot of a girl with a mascara streaked face staring at a dead TV screen and imagining people with rabbit heads on a stage doing nothing but spouting irrelevant statements is just a gratuitous glimpse into some oddball’s crazy mind.  Films like these should be restricted in availability only to those who use words like ‘Soupçon’ on a daily basis.

I watched those first few minutes of the film anxiously reassuring TAT that the madness would stop shortly and an interesting plot would ensue.  Less like watching a car-crash, more like watching maggots on a dead rat.  We felt a horrified boredom, an awareness that we had been duped, and above all, fury that such crud finds it’s way to the shelves of XtraVision. 

Yes, I’m shackled with the need to be entertained.  I want blood, explosions, unrequited love, conspiracy theories, back-stabbing, a twisted plot and mind-blowing music.  It’s not my fault I’m spoiled that way. 

Atmospheric genius? Avant-garde? An exercise in voyeurism?


Spare me.

Bring on the comments

  1. Robert says:

    Last movie I watched was Downfall. Even though it is subtitled it is an incredible portrayal of the last. The acting in that was truly outstanding.

    Before that was Superbad. Heh. Brilliant mindless fun :)

  2. Robert says:

    That should have read “an incredible portrayal of the last days of the Third Reich”.

    That’s what I get for typing with one hand and tucking into a snackbox with the other!

  3. K8 says:

    Downfall was a great film, even though I’m not usually a fan of histerical politics. How misunderstood poor old Hitler was!

  4. Plot, Lynch, surely you jest! Lynch films are all about the mood they evoke, or alternatively making you feel like you have taken hallucinogenic substances without the risk of physiological effects. On most of these faffy films I’m right there with you, but for some reason I enjoy most of Lynch’s films, though Mulholland drive was disappointing. Blue Velvet is the best really, mainly due to some excellent Denis Hopper moments: “Heineken, Fuck that shit, Pabst Blue Label!”.

  5. Medbh says:

    Mr. M calls that “film school shite” when it’s all just vanity and showing off on film so hard in order to be deep.
    Lynch is obsessed with women’s suffering. I used to think it was a critique of the patriarchy but now I see it’s scopophilic and he gets off on it.
    You know the worst of the experimental crap? Harmony Korrine or however you spell his name. Utterly unwatchable.

  6. Baino says:

    Ahh Lynch . . always read the cover my girl! Eraserhead did my head in and I’ve never liked Denis Hopper thanks to Blue Velvet but I am partial to the odd ‘art house’ film. I actually liked Elephant, Gus van Sant does it for me and don’t even get me started on Peter Greenway . . . Although I’m not adverse to a bit of Arnie or the odd musical.

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