I saw Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine’s perverse exploitation art film, with five bears and a couple hundred teen-agers who thought they were seeing a Tarentino-fied Where the Boys Are. That said, I doubt any of those kids have ever heard of Where the Boys Are, the 1960 film starring George Hamilton and Yvette Mimieux, but they definitely know the genre: college girls go to Florida on spring break and hilarity ensues. It’s not the kids’ fault they were wrong. The trailer for Spring Breakers makes it seem to exist in that somewhat beloved genre, just with added guns and a sleazy white rapper played by James Franco. The gays I went to see Spring Breakers with knew that they were going to see something else; we knew that Harmony Korine wrote Kids and wrote and directed Gummo, two of the most perversely exploitative art films of the 1990s. We were actually hoping to be horrified by the wrongness of the movie, and the kids in theater were simply surprised by how horrifying, pornographic, disturbing, and weirdly funny Spring Breakers is. To say that the movie is bad is true, but that’s too straightforward. It’s too effective – too deliberately funny, titillating, and discomfiting – to be just be bad. It’s also a little bit brilliant. Continue…
At the screening of Bridesmaids that I attended with my husband, during the few lulls between thunderous guffaws we could hear the young blonde woman sitting next to Rob commenting on the plot to her mother: “What a bitch!” “Aw, he’s so cute!” “That would never happen!” As we walked out, she said, “If my best girlfriend ruined my shower, she would not be invited to my wedding. That was so unrealistic!”
I wanted to say two things to this girl, but civility prevented me.
First, I would have pointed out that Bridesmaids is a broad comedy in which things that would never happen do happen all of the time. Don’t ponder the psychology or the physics; just laugh!
Second, I would have said, “Talking during a movie is rude. You’re exactly the kind of bobble-headed dingbat Kristen Wiig would have hated.”
Read the rest on the LGBT Weekly website, or, if you’re local, in the actual print edition, found at your local gay-friendly business.
“Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted.”
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMqlaezGJP0]At last! I finally saw “Southland Tales,” Richard Kelly’s much-maligned, barely released, long-awaited follow-up to “Donnie Darko” (which is one of my favorite movies ever). I had been a bit desperate to see the movie, but, alas, it wasn’t even released in San Diego during the week or so that 18 theaters were allowed to show it. So, I spent a weekend or two back in December trying to BitTorrent pirated versions, hoping someone had stuck an Academy screener DVD on the Interweb. But, alas, all that was available was a pretty shitty shot-in-the-theater-with-a-handicam version. (I guess there weren’t any Academy screeners. Natch.) Still, I downloaded it. And watched about 15 minutes. And I couldn’t stand how bad the video quality was. It was like watching a 20-year-old VHS tape during an earthquake. So, I chucked the file and waited. I was wasting some time (procrastinating like a mo-fo) on Netflix, and I saw that the DVD was coming out on the 18th. I had it in my mailbox on the 19th. How many ways I can say that I love Netflix? Anyhoo, after I finally finished writing my first qual paper (Woohoo! And more on that later…) I set about to watch the film that made all of $227,365 and Richard Roeper called “one of the most confusing, ridiculous, pretentious and disastrous cinematic train wrecks I’ve ever seen.” (For more critics trying to out-nasty each other, check out the Rotten Tomatoes site here.)
I think this would be a perfect moment to cite, in a Fisk-y but not really Fisk-y way, the wonderful essay by Joe Queenen in last week’s Guardian about what really makes a truly terrible movie:
To qualify as one of the worst films of all time, several strict requirements must be met.
Agreed. Too many people will simply state, as Queenen complains, that such-and-such is one of the all-time worst movies without thinking deeply about what really makes some awful.
For starters, a truly awful movie must have started out with some expectation of not being awful. That is why making a horrific, cheapo motion picture that stars Hilton or Jessica Simpson is not really much of an accomplishment. Did anyone seriously expect a film called The Hottie and The Nottie not to suck?
Totes! That’s why, say, “Bad Love,” a Jenny McCarthy vehicle for Chrissake, which scored all those Razzies a couple years ago, doesn’t count for me. Neither, really, does “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” which was God-awful, but I don’t think anyone expected it to be any much better than the first movie, which was pretty near-God-awful. But, yes, after making “Donnie Darko,” Richard Kelly was expected to make another truly great film. He had a cast of thousands, and he had a lot of money, and he had heaps and heaps of ambition. It seems as if he wanted to make something like a cross between “Nashville” and “Dr. Strangelove,” which is pretty ambitious.
My column’s up. It’s about “Palindromes”:
It’s not that abortion is funny. But naming your fetus Henrietta, aborting it, and then renaming yourself Henrietta—now, that’s funny.
Please read it. Thanks.