Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hi, my name is Jeff and I am a hipster

What’s that old joke?
How do you tell if someone’s a hipster?
If he or she denies being a hipster.

Confession time. I don’t like the word hipster either (at least in a pejorative sense), but Brandon, I am a hipster too. Definitely. I wear skinny straights. I have dark horn-rimmed glasses. I always wear a winter hat. I listen to shit like Beach House, Wavves, and Odd Future. I collect vinyls. I also play nintendo. I am a HUGE hipster. Sorry, I should have admitted that in my last post. I was just saying that I don’t feel that I’m a hipster when it comes to movies. I don’t think you are either. I think we both genuinely love the films we do independent of their popularity in any subculture. I was only defending myself against pretense in terms of movies. I am a hipster though haha. Don’t let me deny it.

Now I see what you mean by the hipster comment for La Dolce Vita and Blow-up. I misread your intention. They themselves do seem hipsterish, but they come across as cool to me (what does that say about me?). They a very chic stylistically, but I like the narratives involved with them too and their intellectual depth. I think they are rich and strange films that are fun to dig into. But you are free to not like them as much as you want, my man.

You can re-watch LDV, and I’ll re-watch E.T. and Finding Nemo. Maybe we both will have a change of heart and can come to accord.

I think that WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 are search and rescue stories. I would not argue against that. But my argument is that WALL-E and Up have original and strange environments and set-ups. Finding Nemo just seems like an extension of Toy Story or A Bug’s Life. To me it seems like they were like, “we made a movie about toys and insects, now let’s make one about fish.” And nothing beyond that. Don’t get me wrong, I like the story of the father and son and their relationship. I think it’s sweet. I just wish there were more creativity to Finding Nemo instead of just a search and rescue story with fish, you know? Obviously there is more to the movie than that, but that is the way it came across to me when I saw it. I haven’t seen it since it came out, which was quite a while ago. Perhaps my feelings have changed on it. I hope they have.

Again, my problem isn’t so much with the recycling of the search and rescue story (I am a fan of it), but with the lack of creativity surrounding that story. I wanted more from Finding Nemo. That’s why I was disappointed.

Ratatouille is about talking rats, but also so much more! It has a wonderfully creative setting and concept to it. It’s very unique. I love Ratatouille.

WALL-E is a search and rescue story, but it is set in a unique world that is insanely creative and magical. It’s also one of the most beautiful and endearing animated films of all time.

I didn’t watch Cars because I thought it seemed so uncreative. Anthropomorphic cars...that’s it? That’s the set-up?

Damn. I’ve been shitting on E.T. and Finding Nemo? Apparently, I’m an enormous scumbag in addition to being a hipster.

Full Metal Jacket is my least favorite Kubrick, as I said. But I still love it. The second half isn’t as great as the first, but I think that there is great stuff in the second half. I worship the craft involved in the second half unconditionally. There is a weirdness to it that I like too. Maybe because it’s shot in England and not Vietnam. I don’t know though. I’m not a huge war film fan, perhaps that is why it’s my least favorite of his. Still, I love every single film of Kubrick’s. I’m with Jesse.

Speaking of Kubrick. I'm glad you watched The Shining, Lisa. It's an incredible horror film. It terrified me the first time I saw it. I still get the creeps whenever I see Danny riding his trike through the Overlook. The film is so well composed. The cinematography, lighting, framing–all immaculate (as you'd expect from a Kubrick film). But it's also truly frightening and absolutely bizarre. It's one of my favorites. On the dvd there is this great behind-the-scenes footage shot by Kubrick's daughter. It's wonderful to see the master Kubrick at work. Apparently, he was completely vicious to Shelley Duvall on set. You get a sense of that in the footage. People wonder whether he did this on purpose to her in order to help her get into character or just because he was an asshole and didn't like her. I think he did it to help her, just in his own weird, surly way. Kubrick was really, really smart. He knew what he wanted and knew how to get it. Also, the film is radically different from the book. At the end, Dick isn't killed by Jack, and the Hotel blows up with Jack in it. No picture with Jack in it either. Kubrick liked to do his own thing.

Also, a final note. It was fun to do that list, but I realized I don’t really hate any of the movies on my list. I don’t feel THAT strongly about any of them. I think the movies that I hate are ones that I feel like I should hate for a reason. I hate the movies that are obviously worthy of hatred. I wouldn’t put Crash on my list because it is awful and I don’t feel like I should like it. The same with shit like Transformers or Year One. Terrible movies, but obviously terrible movies. I don’t feel bad about hating them (and there is nothing original about hating them). Most of the movies I feel that I should love, I do at least respect them and appreciate them for trying to be something other than the 90% of garbage you can see in a movie theater any day. I always give points for trying.

This was fun. Let’s do more lists and talk about them.

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