"Theraflu is a hell of a drug." No codeine, but it gets the job done.
To say a film is self-indulgent is to stamp it with the very reason why it works as art. It has heart, it tries to put itself out there, and it takes a moment to say something and pull away from plot just for one moment.
I really like what you said here. Not enough films do this.
I could just repost my last post, which you dismissed for whatever reason.
I didn't reply to that first post because I didn't find much to reply to. No harm, no foul.
But let's dig, no? I'll just say right now that this isn't a hostile post, as I've learned that I come off as so in disagreements.
I find your post biased and unreasonable:
Haha. Sorry. That made me laugh. First, what opinion isn't biased? Second, I don't see how I'm being unreasonable in basing my opinions
. It's amusing to read that you say you aren't being hostile, because I would've perceived that as hostile if it wasn't the case.
1. I am from Bellbrook Ohio. Which is next to Xenia. Which is where the film is based, although not where the film was filmed. And Korine never went to Xenia last I heard. Still, I know how well he did capture the spirit of a dilapidated town, which was quite well. You are right to say so. But you seem to be praising the film for capturing the reality of the situation when it doesn't say anything at all about its characters. We know as much about them as you know about two girls stumbling down the street, which, you know, you couldn't write one sentence on without making an assumption as to their mindset.
In this case, Korine's vast brushstrokes are not dedicated to just one or two characters, though we are given an entrance to the world through the eyes of Bunny Boy, Solomon, and Tummler. The point is not deep characterization. The point is the feeling of nihilism conveyed through these people who are more archetypal than characteristic of anything too specific. The film finds ideas that fit "here," "here," and "here" because it doesn't get too
specific. Its detached, bird's eye view works because that is its goal.
Then, and I don't understand this at all, you state the indulgence of art, but you give manipulation over only to Hollywood. Are you fucking kidding me that all films aren't manipulative? If Korine isn't trying to be anything more, why the bunny suit in the first place? Why the scene in which the bunny gets shot. Why the scene with the man in the car. Why the prostitution scene. Why these scenes ono?
Why any scene?
You're now questioning that bird's eye view that works so well now just to question it. One of Korine's goals is to get to a point where he can make a film where he captures reality nonstop. Cinema verite at its purest for, without any subjectivity. Just what happened, and that's it. He's talked in the past about wanting to make a film with all hidden cameras. Just film experiences and string them together into some sort of narrative, if at all possible. So why any scene indeed. Simple: because, to quote the painting in Claudia's apartment, "it did happen."
I agree he loves his characters, and indeed that the film is slice-of-life, but completely disagree that all artifice has been stripped away and that the film the not manipulative, which would be to say that it is without objective. There's a fuck of a lot more to these people than the silly 'shocking' things they do.
The objective is simply to show you this life. These things. That they do happen. And it does so without commentary, so as to let the viewer draw his/her own conclusions.
2. "First, KIDS is shit, that isn't the issue. Gummo is a good film because it's real." Why dismiss one and then praise the other for the same reason the former connects with so many people. Your friend who lived in a trailer home and saw a lot of his life in Gummo, I could let you talk to twenty kids who saw a lot of their life in Kids. Hell, it's not even a giant leap forward from the drug addled lives of kids in Ohio I can assure you. Kids has the benefit of a big city setting. What was the script concept? Clark asked Korine to write a script about his daily life. Anyway I don't want to make this a big argument, I don't like Kids either, but these sentences next to each other were confusing for me.
Simple. The eye. My favorite film critic is Ted Goranson, a prolific writer on IMDb. He also has his own website, http://www.filmsfolded.com/
He goes into a lot of theory in his criticisms about two things: folding in films (that is, shifting in time, in perspective, and in the roles the actors play), and also the point of view of a film. That is, the eye. The camera is the eye. Editing is blinking, as put forth in theory by Walter Murch. The eye is the way in which we view the world. The camera is the way in which we view the filmmaker's world. So everything is in the placement of the camera and how it moves, how it is used. PTA, some would say Scorsese, Gondry ... all masters of the camera. Korine is an up-and-coming master, as he has created visuals never seen before. And it's not just the novelty of seeing these people. It's the extra layer of beauty he has uncovered in observing unobtrusively. It's Sevigny in Gummo, jumping on the bed, her nipples taped. It's her again in julien donkey-boy, walking through the field of grain. Or it's Bunny Boy swimming in the rain with those girls, kissing them. It's all about tone.
Clark, on the other hand, takes a leering approach to his work. You feel dirty watching it, wondering if it's okay. You're aware of the reality of it, but you're also aware that something is amiss here. It just doesn't feel right. The point he has is a valid one, and needs to be made, but in the hands of a more skilled filmmaker, one who knows how to use the camera better than he does.