January 13, 2015

Some people observed the Golden Globe statue award program in my house. It sounded like Church but with tackier music and more applause breaks. The major difference is that Catholicism’s rituals are slightly less abstract and impractical. I think the ceremony could have been improved by a few pantocrations.
The film titled “Boy-Hood” won a few of the year’s best picture awards. I think there were about five different “best picture” awards given out but Boyhood won two of them, so that is a pretty good score.

I did happen to witness Boyhood some months ago; it is a film recorded across 12 years, focusing primarily on one child from the age of 4 to 16 years. Note that this is not Boy in a Hood, who would probably not have gotten through many years like that. Other characters appear, and then they disappear and we hear no more about them. Just like in REAL LIFE! Yes alright, I have been watching that for 31 years, and I consider its lack of recurring purpose and closure one of the more frustrating matters. A filmmaker has the ability to show just the ones that are important and not waste my time. In the second half I kept thinking it was going to end at literally any point, since it seemed like it had stopped building to anything, but it kept going, adding new people, then dropping them, and when it DID end it was just as abrupt as it would have been when I first expected it to end.

I do think it improves upon the other film directed by Richard Linklater that I saw, Waking Life, but watching a phonograph record spin from start to finish without audio output would be an improvement on Waking Life because it would be over sooner.
In fact neither film has a point and both are too long, and primarily interesting from a production standpoint, but I did not feel the urge to apologize to the person I was with after “Boyhood,” although in that case it was not my idea anyhow so I would not have been at fault, but I did not expect an apology either! Still I felt somewhat empty.

It WAS interesting, and somewhat sad to watch somebody go from periods I recognized, 4-8-12 year old child with no real control, and suddenly jumping to somebody driving a car, living alone, doing sex, things that never fully happened in my life of nearly twice the length. Even choreographed on a screen I missed the transition. Not that I WANT to do all those things, but it would be a change to have the choice to do or not do them. In fact I can drive a car but it always worries me, and I am afraid to do it alone and have never been certified. I passed the knowledge test but the road test was for some reason scheduled for months later and I could not find anybody to drive me to it!

If you are not familiar with Waking Life, good. It is a series of rotoscope-animated scenes of dorks talking at the camera about abstract concepts that lasts two hours. Around the time when I watched it there were also in circulation advertisements called “Talk to Chuck” that were cartoon-filtered “real” upper class scumbags talking at the camera about NOTHING. Imagine watching those for 90 minutes, just with less plot. It is supposed to be like a “dream,” and it is, in the sense that when analyzed after waking up it has no meaning and determining what order events occurred in is impossible. The difference is that if I tried to walk away from the movie my legs would actually have found traction on the ground and I didn’t bother to try. So Boyhood is better than that. It increasingly turns into a series of dopey philosophical interviews as the boy whose hood it is gets older and the script gives him more lines, but at least he is talking to other people. Sometimes he is driving, sometimes someone else is driving. Sometimes he is in a forest.

I would like to see a story filmed in order across a number of years, but Richard Linklater does not typically deal in “stories.” The screenplay was also nobidated for a yet different award, which surprised me via the revelation that it has a screenplay. I thought Dumb and Dumber To had a more solid narrative (but just as much driving). Gosh even that was sad, these people who are supposed to be the stupidest in the universe never have an anxiety panic turning left at an intersection, or any trouble getting on or off a highway or parking.

On the topic it strikes me that studios would not make a Space Jam 2 without Michael Jordan, but went ahead on an official Dumb and Dumber follow-up without Charles Rocket.

not quite; this guy can actually live with himself (and is still administrator of that website).

13 Responses
  1. 1
    12:44 am, January 14, 2015

    Indighost sez:

    I keep trying to learn the secrets of your moral worldview. Would you describe it as some percent Catholic?

  2. 2
    12:58 am, January 14, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    The remark about church was intended to imply that the ceremony was monotonous, over-reverent, and without relevance to the world outside the assembly place.
    But I only view a tiny part of the world myself. There is undoubtedly some illogical catholic stuff left over from my early upbring period, rooted so deeply that it is impossible to look at and realize “this is just nonsense from church and there is no reason for me to carry this.”
    For example I easily forget that some churches make an attempt to not be boring, although the ultimate goal of “worship” is not something that I think is necessary in life, and I will not do it. Not gods, not celebrities, not artists. That is a topic that I had to restrain myself from drifting into in the previous update, but popular culture is itself full of loathsome religions of its own design.
    It is impossible to act entirely without influence, and I think it is better to like something for a reason than because you are told to act as if you do, but I do not worship.

  3. 3
    1:50 am, January 14, 2015

    PurpleSpace sez:

    I don’t know so many movies eventually focus on teenagers having sex. It seems like real life people would recommend not having sex to teenagers.

  4. 4
    2:03 am, January 14, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    It is not a major part of the film, but when it happens, it is not special or a dilemma. It is not treated like the crossing of a major boundary. Maybe because that has not BEEN a boundary in film for a long time. Although I do not think I would like the movie better if there was a lot of fixation on the topic either. As an adult aged person I am supposed to see each part of the film and relate to it, not suddenly feel like an alien.

    Now I am starting to sound like a person I know called Pez, who incessantly complains about the movie “Up” for being totally empty and only existing so people can insert themselves into it.

  5. 5
    10:47 am, January 14, 2015

    Indighost sez:

    @2: I don’t know much about morality and am not very good at it as you well know (I only know of two cheeseballs more utterly corrupted than myself, although they are very sweet people), but what you say does remind me of St. Augustine’s writings, and I believe there is much honor in that.

  6. 6
    8:30 pm, January 15, 2015

    spork sez:

    although it’s not surprising to read that you disliked, it seems considerably, waking life, I wonder that you find it so devoid of merit, as it seems to be in most relevant respects opposed to the cultural nonsensical dreck which requires and thrives on popular thoughtless tag-along enthusiasm you more commonly criticize for lack of intelligent or meaningful content.

    conjecturaly, does any hint of assumption on the filmmaker’s part of relatability based on presumed common experience, conceptions, thought processes and conditioned or inherent responses simply repel you?
    I wouldn’t ask so directly except that I know that in the case of waking life the audience linklater had intended the film be most meaningful to is those who are watching it while hallucinating*. and while I don’t intend to discourse on that topic beyond this dislcaimer, it is very relevant to the topic as it is a key component of the film in question and can’t be dismissed altogether without compounding misundterstanding of it (although I concede that inclusion of that element does not necessarily grant understanding of the film, either for those who experienced the film under applicable conditions or those who didn’t and found the film problematic).

    I can’t think of a way to phrase this that doesn’t sound like a highschool essay prompt, but what does appeal to you in film or other, generally story-centric, media?

  7. 7
    9:09 pm, January 15, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    Waking Life is 90+% watching people talk at me. That is boring, to me whatever they are saying, whatever they look like, unless it is specifically pertinent to me or I am conversing back with them, and then I may still find it boring, after 10 minutes. I can handle an interview, or a speech, but not one after another after another, especially when I came into the experience expecting a story to occur.
    I need to take something like that in increments, but if I had the option of walking away and coming back, I probably would not come back.
    I want a feature film to engage me to such a degree that I do not feel wasteful for not also doing some other action while watching it. I need to not care that it is imaginary and irrelevant.

    From the perspective of a visual artist, I dislike to see so much effort put into showing something that can happen in reality very easily (people talking at me). WL’s wasted (or unoptimized) potential frustrates me. Something like the Smurfs or Chipmunks, I know is garbage from the outset, and nobody will claim is not garbage. I could never be misled into thinking I would enjoy that, and would never bother.

    Even on the comedy-themed programs I watched for years, I increasingly skipped the interviews because it was emotionally draining and time consuming to deal with them, with very little benefit. Even when I drew pictures during those segments, something productive to me, I started to think I would rather listen to music, or listen to nothing, and focus all my attention on the drawing. The persistence of interviews on such programs suggests that much of the viewing audience appreciates them. I do only infrequently!

    In Waking Life There is a faint subplot of the talked-at character being uncertain if he is awake or asleep, but it is just a recurring tease that something might be about to happen, which never does. I would be interested in seeing the film edited so that every monologue gets cut off abruptly after two minutes and more focus is put on the actual protagonist, but I was borrowing the dvd and did not feel the inclination to copy it. Even movies that I like I rarely want to see more than once.

  8. 8
    9:38 pm, January 15, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    Lately I have liked a lot of Jackie Chan films, some of which with terrible critical ratings. I find art in the movements, and Chan’s ability to use every piece of the set to aid in hitting someone else or being hit. He does his own stunts, not for the right to say “I do my own stunts,” with the unstated implication that someone else might be more adept at doing them, but because nobody else on staff could likely do them. Even when the stories are dumb or edited into incoherence by the Mirimax localization factory, the ingenuity of the action sequences is hard to ruin. The last one I saw was “The Accidental Spy,” and indeed the story is weak. I object to critics basing their entire rating on “intellectual” sorts of content, when a simple-minded person could never have assembled this kind of film. Maybe somebody who enjoyed a series of well choreographed interviews would be bored by a series of well choreographed fights.

    I enjoyed the The Naked Gun series. The filmmakers were aware of their environments. They explored opportunities that any other film would ignore, without being abusive or random, like some of its successors have. I did not even have to care about the genre being “spoofed” to enjoy it.

    I liked the Lord of the Rings series a great deal. The Hobbit is another story. And then yet another story than the one that was filmed. Lotur felt very rich in content and history to me (since the source material was, unlike The Hobbit, which is a short book that is not meant to feel consequential). The characters were motivated, and they moved as much as they spoke. There were many, but apart from Merry and Pippen I could tell them all apart, and they all had personal goals. In this case I was not put off by length. I would have hated it to be rushed.

    I liked Planet of the Apes, with Charlton Heston. Movies from 1980s and earlier need to be considered in a different mind, however. I appreciate that they are not trying to be edgy or act on presumptions of what I expect. There is sincerity, even if it is hokey sometimes.

  9. 9
    9:48 pm, January 15, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    This reminds me that for much of the first two thirds of my life, I thought the animated The Hobbit film was the most boring thing I had ever seen, but that was a long time ago. The Point! also lingered in my memory in that form.

  10. 10
    12:14 am, January 16, 2015

    spork sez:

    I see. then in respect to waking life it seems we are simply of fundamentally different taste, as I have no problem being pontificated to at length provided I find the content interesting. I understand though your point about a film’s being worth your not being engaged in your own productive activity – that certainly is important. it is one of the major reasons that I have largely ceased watching movies, and totally ceased watching television, though there are other reasons. but, you find even a monologue which is relevant to you boring relatively quickly? are there any exceptions? i ask because in addition to music, and despite generally preferring music without words on the grounds that song lyrics are usually irrelevant to me and/or annoying in various ways, i do find certain lectures and audio-books to be conducive, or at least not obsctructive, to making artwork.

    i can certainly understand the frustration of using a visually striking technique such as rotoscoping to produce a work which could largely be simply filmed, although I’ve already touched on my understanding of why it was made so, and additionally i think the technique was more legitimately applied in this film than of linklater’s adaptation of a scanner darkly, which really didn’t need to be rotoscoped. all the same, i suppose the argument could be made that waking life’s visual style was well-employed on the basis that many people’s dreams, or what they largely remember of them, is not in many regards extravagantly dissimilar to their daily experience. however, i at least frequently have dreams which are totally apart from the context of my daily waking existence, and i expect that there is a significant number of people who also have such dreams, and it does seem that a combination of rotoscopy and animation would be well suited to expressing such experience as art-piece.

    as for the Jackie chan movies, i have only seen a few, and none in some significant number of years, but i understand what you are talking about, and i don’t think that an appreciation or enjoyment of a film such as waking life is exclusive of an appreciation or enjoyment of a film which is largely concerned with graceful and creative choreography. that is the primary interest i developed in professional wrestling, both as audient and participant. i agree with your objection to the objections of critics to films such as Jackie chan’s, if I’m understanding correctly that such films are not intended to be intellectually stimulating in the sense that such critics would esteem, although of course i hold similar position in regard to your own opinions of waking life, being that of evaluating the film(s) by a metric that is not necessarily relevant to the film’s maker’s intentions. i hope it is not rude to say so – i certainly respect your opinion.

    the other films you mention i can’t comment on as pedanticly, having not viewed any of them in quite a number of years (and having not seen or heard of The Point! before), although as a child i was very fond of the naked gun trilogy; enough to go to the bother of making an audio recording of Leslie Nielson’s line “I love it…I LOVE IT” in, i think, part 2 & a half.

  11. 11
    6:33 pm, January 16, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    I meant that I would find the monologue interesting if it WAS of relevance to me, specifically, or maybe if I was in the room with it. But I can find conversations that do not end very tiring. I recall that which took place in the film being somewhat abstract, which does not aid me much.

    I approve of rotoscoping to create a dream atmosphere. But gosh that is a boring dream. That is my metric. I may be more inclined to complain because broadcast and publications consider one more valid than the other. People with some manner of mystic authority give out “stars,” percentage points and thumbs for certain things and not others. 10 out of 10 while hallucinating I would not be able to challenge (because when I start to hallucinate I just fall asleep). How many movies that I might like did I ignore due to dubious negative reviews? Probably not a whole lot since I avoid reviews deliberately for a number of reasons and usually seek out older movies without being aware of contemporary “buzz,” but I would wager it has happened.

    The Point! was one of a few films that was used to baby-sit a previous edition of myself during a period when there were way too many yet smaller babies getting more attention than I was. In fact it is said to have been conceived by Harry Nilsson while “on acid.” Proper brain chemistry may be a longstanding deficit in my viewing experience.

    I also liked Gremlins 2 and Rambo: First Blood 2 much better than their supposedly superior first editions. And Aliens better than Alien, but that sequel was fortunate enough to get more approval.

  12. 12
    8:43 pm, May 7, 2016

    Prescription Pudding Pinged With:

    […] that it is one point off from perfect. Of course by now its score is only 98 percent! ha HA! also, Hoodboy, from 2014, has 98%, and I actually saw that and had more problems with it than I hypothetically […]

  13. 13
    9:07 pm, May 7, 2016

    Frimpinheap sez:

    I swear I have only gotten those from junk robots and myself. Are there just no other “post”-based websites left in existence?

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