Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Trim Bin #66

- A rare, non-movie-related political moment (I promise to limit these): is anyone else feeling a tad less cynical today about living in the US of A? First, whoever you're supporting (Obama for me - duh) or what your political leanings may be, it's nice to have three front-runners who probably won't bring about the literal apocalypse. Second, for the first time in memory, people want to vote - complacency and obligation have given way to an election year of substance and urgency, perhaps, we've finally snapped out of our seven-year fatalistic trip and started believing in possibility again. Way to go, America, for finally giving a shit. Now keep it up.

- A reminder that the Muriel Awards - the pics for the year's best in film in a diverse set of categories founded last year by Paul Clark and Steven Carlson - start February 13. Last year's choices were actually stronger and more interesting than February's other, slightly higher-profile awards ceremony.

- Starting tomorrow, and continuing every first Thursday of the month, I'll be restarting the screencaps guessing game that's been dormant around these parts for well over a year. But now, there's a prize (of sorts): the first person to correctly guess the image gets to assign me a film to review. Whether its brilliant, stupid, obscure or obscene, I'll write about it (it can't be Hardbodies, though - I already wrote about that).

- As part of his 8th series, Nathaniel at Film Experience writes about Ennis Del Mar's eighth closeup in Brokeback Mountain, the post expanding into a meditation on celebrity the often jarring relationship between private and public grief (the discussion that follows in the comments is worth checking out as well).

- Oh, Juno. When my friends and loved ones talk about how Juno McGuff's story moved them, I find it impossible to pooh-pooh a movie that has clearly touched a nerve (especially not to pose Bill Chambers' pointed question, "What's the fuck is it about?"). I want to feel the Juno love, but then, as in this EW cover story, its own creators spoil it for me. I don't know what's harder to stomach - the talented but increasingly insufferable Ellen Page comparing Juno to The Catcher in the Rye, a studio exec's BS claim that box office expectations were low due to the noncommercial material (like it was directed by Stan Brakhage or something). Worst of all is the article's dismissal of Heathers and Ghost World (both of which Juno borrows from copiously) as films about "weirdos," whereas Juno McGuff is some sort of pioneer female antihero. To which I can only say, fuck me gently with a chainsaw.


Paul C. said...

I liked Juno well enough when I saw it, but like you I'm sick of all the hype. Just because there are no expensive special effects and it's being released by a mini-major doesn't make it, in EW's words, "the little movie that could." You'd think the numerous recognizable faces in the movie would clue people in, but most are content to choke down what the media feeds us.

I've said it from the get-go- Juno is the lite-rock, up-with-people version of Ghost World. The big difference is that Zwigoff doesn't try to force his "weirdos" into the same box as everyone else. In Juno, everybody gets more or less what we want them to get in the end. But Ghost World realizes that it's not nearly so simple, and that some people just won't fit into the lives that society tells us we're supposed to lead. That's why, when Enid runs out on her life at the end, it's not a victory or even an escape, but an acknowledgment of this very idea.

Also, for all the talk about The Runaways in Juno, Ghost World has actual punk in it, and doesn't congratulate itself on that fact.

And thanks for the Muriels plug. Only one more week until we start announcing.

Allen Lulu said...

"Fuck me gently with a chainsaw"? See, just as I compare you to the Pauline Kael you copy her review of Ghostbusters verbatim? For shame.

Anonymous said...

I dunno if Juno's a lot like heathers: heathers was a lot more dark and bitter than Juno. Ghost World comparison maks sense though

PIPER said...

What is it about fucking somebody with a chainsaw that makes me blush every time?

After I voted for Obama in the primaries I called my mother to talk to her about random things. She told me that I needed to take note of that day because I voted for the first African American for President. And it was funny because it hadn't even occurred to me.

The current administration has set us back so much it's nice to finally feel like we're taking some steps forward.

And I'm tired of everyone talking about how Juno is the end all be all. It's an okay movie and that's that. Wasn't a huge fan of Ghost World but Heathers is right up there for me.

Andrew Bemis said...

Yeah, I wish I could take credit for "fuck me gently with a chainsaw," but that was Daniel Waters. Surprising how frequently it works in casual conversation.

I think Juno could have used a bit of Heathers' darkness or Ghost World's authentic outsider sensibility. For all the outsider talk (and I do love the image of a drugged-up Juno naked in a fountain yelling "I am a Kraken from the sea!") we get very little evidence that Juno experiences any real alienation either before or after she gets knocked up. Her "weirdo" persona seems to be less the result of anything external than a product of her own pretensions. In a sense this rings very true, but it's never properly developed.

And yeah, how weird is it that a black guy and a woman kicked the white guy's ass? I kind of assumed/feared people would be more pragmatic.