Friday, October 05, 2007

A Conversation I Had Has Been Bothering Me

I don't believe I've ever discussed in this space the utter distaste I have for Miranda July, particularly because of her movie "Me and You and Everyone We Know". I commented to someone the reason I dislike it so much is because, in lieu of actual character development, people in the movie make awkwardly declarative statements to let us know exactly how they feel about something and how this is blown up into a major capital-p philosophy of life. For instance, John Hawkes reverently saying, "People think that foot pain is a fact of life, but life is actually better than that" or this other guy saying "I would love to believe in a universe where you wake up and don't have to to go to work and you step outside and meet two beautiful 18-year-old sister who are also girlfriends and are also very nice people."

It's the story of people exalting commonplace shit because their lives are so bereft of meaning. Also on the dishonorable role for the movie is the scene where a family forgets that a bag of goldfish they've purchased is sitting on top of their car, and everyone who watches them pull out of the parking lot it dredged into this crippling fear of disaster. If the car stops the ensuing deceleration and acceleration will toss the bag off the car. An old man says, I'm paraphrasing, "The best thing for that fish is for that car to go on forever."

I mentioned to someone that these are my reasons for hating this movie. The person said he didn't understand my criticism, that it was strange because I apparently thing movies should "have characters" who "develop" over time. I'm kinda dumbstruck by this. The person also said that what he knows about the movie suggests to him it is not the kind of movie that accommodates character development anyway. And that this is not a problem. Also mentioned many movies he likes don't feature character development or even human characters. My first thought was, you have shitty taste. My second thought was, I thought Milo and Otis was only okay. And I was five. Facetiously, I could say that by this guy's standards, The Day After Tomorrow was a rousing success: spectacle with characters who don't express anything recognizably human. I could also facetiously say this guy must have fucking loved March of the Penguins. Which is okay. But I find his response to be like an avant garde music critic who doesn't care for "sounds" that "express things."

I would also like to point out at this juncture, apropos of nothing, that Lars Von Trier is a twat bag. He's never been to America but directed a series of stinging critiques about our hypocrisy, vis a vis our history of slavery. Which is about as relevant as fucking "Crash" pointing out that some of us are racist and prejudiced and sometimes this comes back to bite us in the ass. This infuriates the shit out of me. If an American made a movie about the fact that a European country like France is the most backward, xenophobic fucking country in the Western world, he or she would be shouted down on the world stage. But pointing out something painfully obvious like "America seems to have had some racial and judicial incongruities" as any kind of revelation is fatuous, especially since we have our own liberal guilt factory in Hollywood. We are inundated with our history of hypocrisy, especially those of us who would see a Von Trier movie. We don't need any fuckin' help from someone who's never been here.


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