Posts tagged questions and answers.

Anonymous asked: I'm watching Boyz n The Hood for the first time based on your recommendation of it in your Boyhood review, its fantastic so far, thanks!

awesome!

for those of you in the U.S., you can watch BOYZ IN THE HOOD for free on crackle right now http://www.crackle.com/c/boyz-n-the-hood

fookingshite asked: may I ask what your beef is with Boyhood? It's not like I've seen it, but I'm wondering.

it’s not a beef, so much as an aversion to the critical praise & hype surrounding the film. i saw it at a press screening, after everyone was raving about it at sundance. i mean, it’s not a terrible movie. it won’t ruin your life or anything. here are the three good things about BOYHOOD, in order:

1) patricia arquette

2) the pacing (it never feels as long as it is, which is a blessing and a wonder)

3) 35mm. gives the film a richness, depth & texture lacking in most digital filmmaking. especially notable bc of the nostalgic aspect of the time-span. feels like you’re experiencing something that’s recent-future; not quite old, but not quite around anymore, like a series of polaroids. 

my major problem with BOYHOOD is that in trying to tell a ‘universal’ story of growing up, there is conversely no point of entry in the entire movie. (or if there is, like in arquette’s sublime performance as the mother, the story is principally, and consistently, unconcerned with her).

this is mason’s story, and mason is a crushing bore. he is probably one of the dullest, most insipid characters i’ve ever seen in a coming-of-age film. usually when you think of great movies about childhood, there is either 1) a compelling child at the center of it (i.e. jean-pierre leaud in truffaut’s films) , or 2) a ‘swept up in history’ aspect to the story, in which the mild & ordinary young people are caught (i.e. AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS).

BOYHOOD has neither an inspiring protagonist nor an interesting or compelling storyline. i understand of course that this is linklater’s exact intention, and the ordinary ‘one day in the life’ aspect of the film is its entire gimmick. it’s just not compelling as a motion picture. BOYHOOD is an aggressively average film about aggressively average people and situations. i. just. don’t. care.

as for the praise of the film: suburban white boys (to men) either regressing to their own similar childhoods or projecting onto the lives of their own children (see drew mcweeney’s heartfelt & sincere but effusive and borderline gag-worthy autobiography/review). everybody else just got swept up in the wave of the 100% fresh on rotten tomatoes bullshit. it was like critics were playing chicken with each other to see who would “ruin” the perfect streak of the film & then they all rushed to criticize the dissenter as a hack. the whole thing made me a little queasy tbh. 

(let us not overlook the implied ‘universality’ of BOYHOOD is code for white, male, suburban & liberal, as well. this brings me to my post about BOYZ IN THE HOOD being better than BOYHOOD, which i think it is in every comparable aspect: childhood, manhood, family, self-identity, ambition, community, etc. but you will see singleton’s film being talked about as a ‘black movie,’ not a ‘childhood’ or ‘boyhood’ movie. not by most.)

this is all extra-textual of course, but the film itself is primarily of interest (if it is of interest) bc of its extra-textual elements. most critics (and audiences) seem to be reacting to how it was made, not the actual experience of watching the finished product. this seems like a mistake. i don’t think the process of making of movie should be the primary damning or praise-worthy element. of course, the 12 years mythos surrounding BOYHOOD is essential to the resultant film; BOYHOOD was made more ON PURPOSE than most films, surely. it was a very, very concerted effort, which is why its relatively limp, forgettable product is all the more frustrating. 

it’s also quite frustrating bc i really love richard linklater in general & think he’s one of america’s greatest working directors. he’s made a MUCH BETTER film about so-called ordinariness, SLAKER (an incredible film & perhaps the most ‘slice of life-y’ slice of life movie ever). and of course the BEFORE trilogy is some of the best, most probing work about how couples communicate (and don’t) in american movie history. (plus, fantastic writing & acting, especially in the 3rd installment).

so long story short, i wasn’t impressed by BOYHOOD, it won’t make a best of list for the year, but it’s not like the movie killed my dog and punched me in the face. it’s fine. it’s utterly, utterly fine. 

anyone have recs for good recent comedies on netflix instant?

the more conducive to girl’s night + drinking, the better

cronenbergundian asked: you are a beautiful badass angel and executive member of bad bitch riot grrrl squad so that anon rando clearly doesn't know what they are talking about

thanks, babe.

but i’ve been called names like that for like 20 years, so i’m pretty over it at this point. this isn’t 3rd grade, like, i know my self-worth is not determined by whether random anons wanna fuck me. it’s cool.

remember, kids: love yourself!

i think we all learned an important lesson tonight. group hug.

Anonymous asked: Holy shit you are ugly as fuck. Omg.

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f7go asked: would like to know whats your take on the tree of life if you hav seen it allready ? and in general in mallicks flicks?

i’m a big fan of malick in general & while tree of life isn’t my favorite malick movie, i gave it a very good review when it came out, which you can read here: http://www.filmfracture.com/films/the_tree_of_life

Anonymous asked: Do you receive donations often?

nope! so the donation of $100 implicit in this question is greatly appreciated.

good! you should because it’s great!

Anonymous asked: Have you seen From Up On The Poppy Hill? For some reason, it has become one of my favourite Ghibli films, and I don't even know why - I have seen better, but for some reason this one has stuck in my brain.

that’s one of the few ghibli films i have yet to see, along with ONLY YESTERDAY, THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA & WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE.

Anonymous asked: Do you like Japanese films? In particular, Studio Ghibli films? If so, which is your favourite?

totally dig studio ghibli. i did an (almost) comprehensive marathon of the ghibli films about a year ago. you can see those posts here: http://salesonfilm.tumblr.com/tagged/studio_ghibli

favorite ghibli films are: MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (lol everyone’s favorite), GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, THE CAT RETURNS, POM POKO & PORCO ROSSO.

also my friend & colleague cineffect did a great retrospective on studio ghibli films recently that’s definitely worth reading: http://moviemezzanine.com/the-studio-ghibli-retrospective-the-wind-rises/

Anonymous asked: What are the best Iranian films?

my favorite iranian film is abbas kiarostami’s TASTE OF CHERRY, but i’m by no means well-versed enough in the nation’s cinema to give you a ‘best of’ list.

however, my friend & colleague tina hassannia knows a lot. she has a book on asghar farhadi coming out later this year & a podcast about iranian cinema called hello cinema.

if you’re looking for something to watch immediately, instant netflix has THIS IS NOT A FILM & CHILDREN OF HEAVEN and hulu plus has almost all the criterion collection available, including several films from abbas kiarostami.

Anonymous asked: You should watch Omar on Netflix. It is a great film.

it’s on the to-watch list!

Anonymous asked: do you know any sites that have nice movies, tv shows, music t-shirts for good prices that delievers worldwide? :)

nope sorry!

Anonymous asked: I love your blog and I love your avatar!

awwwright!

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Anonymous asked: If it's any more flattering, I think your profile pic looks more like that Beyonce pic you posted earlier. You just seem to have a lot of facial similarity to your posts today.

yes, i think comparing my dumb ass to the literal queen of the universe is slightly more flattering thank u bb <3