Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

El Diablo

I used to think that it was just Santa Cruz that was in a bubble.  I mean, growing up in Santa Cruz, it was easy to forget there was a whole world out there.  Well, let’s not go that far.  I wanted to leave Santa Cruz for as long as I lived there.  I guess what I really mean to say is that it was easy to forget that not every town has a riot when Borders comes in.  Elsewhere in the world it’s considered alcoholism to go on a two year long bender.  Elsewhere in the world, it’s not typical to sleep with people your friends have slept with and then chat about it over your own individual $4 pitcher of beer.  I used to think it was just Santa Cruz.  I wasn’t in London long enough to realize that it had it’s own bubble, but thinking back on it I did spend an approximate six month period without ever leaving the city.  It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles that I started on a new theory.  Every city is in its own bubble.  Every town.  Every village.  Every hamlet is in its own bubble.  The bubbles have their own respective quirks and nuances.  In L.A. it is not shocking that these quirks often center around the film industry.  Sometimes when I’m writing these emails I forget that the vast majority of you don’t live in the L.A. area, therefore, often (if I’m talking about a movie) the film hasn’t opened in your neck of the woods or you haven’t heard of it.  I love it when you all write back and tell me I’m writing about something you haven’t heard of because it reminds me that I’m in a bubble.  The L.A. bubble.  I like that you guys keep me in check like that.That being said, I know I just said a little something about No Country for Old Men, which I’m assuming is at your local art cinema house, but I’m going to talk about another small movie right now.  It’s being talked about all over L.A. but, as I just said, I’m not sure if it’s being talked about or noticed elsewhere.  I’m pretty sure this film will win best original screenplay or at least be nominated.  It’s the little movie that could.  It’s called Juno.  I just got home from seeing it and I haven’t quite consolidated all my thoughts, but here it goes anyway.  Watching the film I sort of thought the whole time that I wished the film had come out 8 years ago, when I was in High School.  I really could have used it then.  The main character, Juno, is really awesome and unlike any other character I’ve ever seen on film.  I guess the closest we’ve seen is Thora Birch in Ghost World, but unlike her, Juno is vastly vibrant and alive.  Sure she’s disaffected youth.  She listens to Iggy and the Stooges, she dresses in jeans and flannel shirts, but she’s actually a pretty hopeful and optimistic character.  Ellen Page (remember that name because I’m betting she’ll be nominated this year) who plays Juno, is heartwarming and heartbreaking in the same frame.  She’s just such a kid in such an adult situation.  It’s a brilliant film.  I won’t bore you with all the details.  I’m just saying that you should definitely go see it.  It’ll be out soon where you are if it’s not out already, but movies have to be released in L.A. before January 1 otherwise they are out of Oscar contention.  That’s right folks Oscar season is upon us.  I’m not going to give my out and out predictions yet, it’s too soon.  What I will say is that this year is going to be a year for the independent movies.  There are only one or two studio movies that are even being buzzed about for Oscar contention (American Gangster and Sweeney Todd).  So be prepared for a year of good movies getting nominated.Peace, Love, and Diablo Cody,Julia

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December 9, 2007 Posted by | Alcoholism, High School, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movie Reviews, Movies, Oscars | Leave a comment

No Country for Bad Taste.

So I saw No Country for Old Men last night for the second time.  As before, it was fantastic, but this time I saw it with a bunch of people.  Now, I get that people have different tastes in film, in art, etc, but I respect some of those differences and (if we’re going to be honest) I judge for some of those differences.  That’s right.  Now I don’t judge on the big things, but I’ll tell you the truth.  If someone thinks a film like American Beauty is a piece of crap, I lose some respect.  There are very few things that are like this, but recently I’ve found a new one.  It’s No Country for Old Men.I get that it’s not a typical film.  But that’s really what makes it so awesome.  It’s really not a typical Coen Brothers film, and even though I love the Coen Brothers, that’s another thing that makes the movie so awesome.

So here’s the real deal.  A bunch of the people I saw the movie with said ‘what’s the point?’  No Country doesn’t really make it’s point like most movies do.  I mean, the underlying theme of the film is really truly underlying.  And everyone sort of zones out during Tommy Lee Jones’ final speech because they don’t know it’s his final speech, but that is where the whole point of the movie is.  I mean, it’s a movie about how an older generation becomes obsolete.  Yeah, it’s not happy.  Yeah, it’s almost taboo.  But you know what, like American Beauty, it’s a film that outlines an inherent truth, that at a certain point (this was even more true for Vietnam Vets in the ’80s) the older ways of functioning within a particular area of society out grow the older members of that same social demographic.

I think why I take such offense to people who don’t like the film is that, much like the book, which was also amazingly brilliant, the point is not splayed out, not spoon fed.  You don’t know much about the characters, just that they’re interesting, and you want to know more.  You don’t know who the real villains are, just that they are omnipresent.  I love that you have to work for the film to make sense.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fun movie.  I mean, you all know that my favorite movie is Clueless.  On the other hand, I also like when I have to work a little bit for a movie.  You know, like when art actually makes you think…I mean, isn’t that kind of the point?

I have to say the other reason I get really peeved is that many of the people that hated this movie are the ones that say they don’t want movies that are too realistic.  I mean, why do you need to see real life on screen, isn’t real life depressing enough?  I don’t know, I really don’t know what to think about that.  I really don’t know how to react to that kind of logic.  I mean, that’s like saying that the Mona Lisa should have never been painted, the statue of David never been made because we all know what real people look like.  And I’m sorry that’s just not a good argument.  I get that there are times for the realistic movies and times for the fantasy.  And as I have said before I’m a big fan of romantic comedies, which are complete fantasy.  I also see the importance of art being honest and real.

So here’s the deal.  See the movie, like, don’t like, just don’t tell me there’s not a point to it.  And do me a favor.  Read the book and see what an amazing adaptation the film is.  Then watch as the Coen Brothers win Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture…and watch Javier Bardem win Best Actor.

Peace, Love, and Chigurh,

Julia

December 9, 2007 Posted by | Awards Shows, Books, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Movie Reviews, Movies, Politics | 2 Comments