Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Funny Games

Ben- I love Funny Games (I've only seen the original, but the remake is apparently a shot-for-shot duplicate, so whichever you saw, we are talking about the same movie). You are definitely not a philistine for not liking it. I can understand your disappointment at it not being a scary thriller; it is not one at all (or it is if you are incredibly sheltered and naive, like the person I saw it with was). Apparently, Hanake intended it to be a comment on violence in films and other mediums. I found this out after I saw it and thought that this was a cop out–a lame attempt at moralizing. If you read the film as a comment on violence, then it can come across as pretentious. I, however, read it as a sort of punk rock, nihilistic "fuck you" to audience expectations, the thriller genre, and people who claim that art needs to have a point or be moralistic. I hate when people say that art needs to express something or needs to have value, which is why I have an affinity for anti-art movements like Dadaism. Not that I am nihilistic myself (I'm probably more Nietzschean than anything), but I do appreciate the rebellious act of negation. I think it's great when art attacks what is established or given. Anyway, I see Funny Games as subversive in this way, so that is why I like it. I love the breaking of the fourth wall in it. Some people find that heavy-handed, but that is what sold the film for me.

As I said, I watched it with a friend who is very sheltered and naive. She hated the movie, but only because she expected it to be a traditional thriller with a positive outcome. During the scene where Peter is shot, she cheered triumphantly. Then when Paul rewound the film to cancel out Peter's death, I cheered and laughed. I thought it was great that the film was an outright attack on everything people like her wanted it to be. You can call the film pretentious for doing this; I can understand that. But I think it is amusing. And you can call me pretentious for liking it, but I swear there is no pretense involved. I don't care if it's cool to like or not, I genuinely like it either way.

Also, Ben, if you didn't like Funny Games, you probably will hate/be disgusted by The Piano Teacher. But, you may like The White Ribbon, Caché, or Code Unknown. Or you will find them incredibly boring.

Lisa - Again, welcome. Don't worry about posting on random indie movies. You can post on anything you'd like. I haven't seen The Vicious Kind, but I'm not as masochistic as you and don't sit through a lot of indies. I'll use your blog as advice on which indies are worth seeing though. So, thanks!

All right, I'm going to have my top films of 2010 posted either today or tomorrow. Just need to watch one or two more movies.

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