You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Deconstructing Stiller

I hate this article. I love Ben Stiller, but this article is lamely written. Can you please tell me what “whacking 70’s and 80’s go-for-it comedies” are? That sounds to me like a writer who can’t find the right word so he just uses all of them.


Bruce LaBruce says his underground career is better left underground:

“That’s what people don’t get these days. Things that are underground, below the radar, avant-garde, or ahead of the curve are not meant to be co-opted, exploited, used up and spat out by the mainstream media. But in this ever changing world in which we’re living (wings), if something isn’t relentelessly exploited, exhausted, and ultimately dismissed, it isn’t worth anything at all. Ever since Madonna, who is counter-revolutionary, uttered the immortal sound bite, “Alternative? Isn’t that another word for unpopular?”, anyone who professes not to want to become uber-famous, not to desire to become an A-lister basking in the adoration of great swathes of unwashed proles, is merely a failed celebrity, a has-not-become, a mediocrity who can’t cut it in the fame game. How sad-making. Kind of makes you want to find a Spider Hole somewhere and crawl in.”

I agree but I think he leaves out the important factor that many people claim to want to be underground only in order to get the indie cred that will make them famous. False modesty is one sure route to superstardom. Real modesty is much more rare, and has itself been co-opted, exploited, used up and spat out by mainstream media.

Four-Word Review

I have excerpted the best line from Guy’s review of Shrek 2–it could be an avant-garde entry for the Four-Word Film Review:

“It’s like hotel furniture.”

I don’t know if you’re allowed to use contractions though.

Just Give Us the Money Shot

I forgot to mention that I saw The Day After Tomorrow this weekend. I guess it says something that I was so unmoved by it that it didn’t seem worth mentioning. Except to say that I wish Roland Emmerich would give up on trying to string together a shaky excuse for a narrative to pad his special effects. It would be better if it were just a bunch of images of disaster. That’s all we’re there to see anyway. It’s like porn directors trying to string together a narrative around the sex scenes. Waste of time. Someone who was so flabbergasted by the lameness of the narrative wanted to argue that the lameness was intentional–a comment on the lameness of Hollywood action flicks–but I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s just half-ass. Emmerich may know it’s half-ass, but I don’t think he’s trying to make any statement with that half-ass-edness. I think that’s way too generous.

And what does that title even mean? Nonsense.

Bruce LaBruce

Another laugh-out-loud moment–new blog from filmmaker Bruce LaBruce (also via Greencine):

I am sick up and fed of critics and real people complaining about the “bad acting” in my movies. It’s a porno movie, for chrissakes. With real porn actors. Get a grip. And I had them delivering lines like “Don’t you understand the fundamental dynamics of terrorist abduction?” and “In an industrial society which confuses work and productivity, the necessity of producing has always been an enemy fo the desire to create.” Actually, for porn actors, I think they did pretty good. What do you expect? Shakespeare in the park?”

And You Thought Movie Reviews Were Boring

If you must read a review of Troy, read this one and no other.

Sex in the Movies

Interesting interview with HANIF KUREISHI via Cinema Minima:

“When I was a young man, there was no sex in movies. You had to see ”Last Tango in Paris” to see sex, and it was thrilling and confusing and psychological. Now, of course, there’s too much sex. What I’m interested in is minds. With sex, you are vulnerable and crazed and disrupted. That is interesting, and you can’t get that in porno films. …

…In my work, the characters have reached the point when they hopefully meet the wrong person. It changes your life when you meet someone completely wrong. “

Foreign DVDs

Filmbrain always makes me want to see the movies he discusses but they’re never accessible on DVD. Not fair.