I am not a fan of science fiction. This does not mean that I don’t like science fiction or won’t watch it. Just that I’m not a fan. Growing up there was little room left in my little fan heart for anything other than superheroes and as a fan I felt it was my duty to ignore anything else that wasn’t my singular obsession.
We’re too clever for our own good. Who, you ask? Why us! Children of the 80’s and 90’s who grew up more placated than any previous generation. Where a kid could be a kid, I don’t wanna grow up, Kidz rule, etc. This was the marketing of our youth that we mistook and continue to mistake for fond nostalgia fodder. In essence, we were lied to over the course of a decade about what matters, what is awesome, and what life was really like and a whole lot of useless plastic was sold and at our poor parents expense.
CGI has yet to define itself as a vibrant new color in the cinematic palette. This is an idea or attitude I’ve been carrying around for a little while now. The way I see it, what is now possible in cinema is really only a cheat. Lauding a modern film’s effects, with phrases like mind-blowing or spectacular, seems sad to me because it all happened in a computer. A cold piece of machinery is a tool and like any tool it can be used correctly or incorrectly. If you want to inspire awe you can’t rely on a machine, you have to use it.
As some of you may know I make short movies. Some I would call short films, others are more like skits, and even more are some weird combination of the two. I’ve found the process of making these things fun and taxing but most of all informative. The only way to learn how to do something is to do it as the old axiom goes and doing it in a way that is at once completely out in the open and yet anonymous has helped to form a bizarre perspective in me that I’ll try to explain through the process of reviewing my own work.
If you haven’t seen “Margo Lane” it’s after the jump:
I just want to say that I loved The Master because it was the first film in a long time that I left feeling…well, I wasn’t sure exactly. The movie stuck with me for a few days after and I still find myself sifting through…something. I’ve seen critics commenting upon this bewilderment, mostly to decry other critics’ raves that seemed like PTA bandwagon jumping, but I feel like this bewilderment is the point.
If there were no birds, mankind would never have wanted to fly nor, possibly, have been able to conceive of the idea of flight. The stars and planets visible in our night sky call us to explore. And in the current state of cinema we see reflected the modern preoccupation with the have’s and the have-not’s. It’s either bloated spectacle licking the carcasses of older, far superior, films or a Kickstarter campaign begging for your dollars but incapable of getting your attention. The middle-class of films in the mid-budget range that could be enjoyed by adults and mature children are almost a lost artform. I say this because I am afraid of death.
I stay away from reviewing things that are new. I’m not a critic, more of a dabler, and if I want to talk about a film or TV show I want to talk about it because it means something to me or there’s some aspect I feel needs highlighting. The newness of a thing is a detriment to this type of appreciation, but such is the luxury of the amateur. In other words, shit is new but who gives a shit?
But last night’s episode of Louie, a miracle of a TV show, prompted me to open my fat mouth, or employ my fat fingers rather, because I kept seeing reviews that were comparing the episode to last season’s Dane Cook adventure. My first reaction being, “Review the episode you’re looking at. Don’t fill up copy with old reviews you’ve got lying around.” My second thought was, “You’re missing the point…penis.” My inner monologue has terrets and if you think I’m lying you are a bigot.
We live in a pre-post-film world and for anybody who loves movies these are dark days indeed. Why does film matter so much? Because the clarity of digital removes the otherworldly chemical process of celluloid. There must be some distortion to the image so you can get lost in it. It can’t be like looking out your window. That’s why the most beautiful pictures in the world are Black and White or Technicolor. But I’m sure digital will progress to a point where there will be more choice about how an image looks, not just the hazy wavy muddled browns and yellows, the choppiness of an opened up shutter, the puny un-anamorphic lenses, and we’ll be back to pictures that have some individual personality. That’ll be nice.
In the meantime here are the new rules for the new Dogme ‘95 which I’ll call After Film. These rules are meant to return us to purity, which is also what life is all about.