August 24, 2005


It is not done by me, but through me.

I've blown an inch of dust off of the sidebar links and slapped Ruthless Reviews in an empty spot; pretty fun movie (primarily) review site, where all the reviews pretty much are, or at least tinctured by, misanthropic rants. Obviously, this appeals.

My own rant gland is becoming more active again lately; this is of course a cyclical process. For every time a season, etc. (Tangentially, is it only me that's always thought that hippie folk singers crooning joyfully from Ecclesiastes crib notes is really fucking funny? It's a close cousin to the more modern equivalent of soulless corporate advertising using hippie/folk revolution songs. I expect the obvious next link in this chain to be forged very soon now.)

Along those lines, below this paragraphy is a recent forum post (from aforementioned Ruthless) that I wanted to make sure to save. The background is really not that important; I'd made some throwaway comment that I describe Takashi Miike's entire film output as mostly sucking, with spots of brilliance. (It's weird. He does incredibly dull, amateurishly put-together stuff that bursts of sheer...not genius per se, but, well, SubGenius in the holy sense, pure Slack...just explode out of nowhere into, then disappear again.) Anyway, some fellow then asked which ones I'd seen. Now, maybe this wasn't the prelude to wanting to pick the usual kind of film-fanboy internet-forum fight. But the breath of God moved upon my deep, and His prophets do not deny the call when it comes. This resulted, in a pure beautiful burst of mystic light:

Oh no, I'm not going to get involved in that script.

What script? We all know it. It's the one where I list the subset of the Takashi Miike set that completely intersects with those I've seen, and then you look thoughtful while pacing in front of the jury, professionally disguising the sidelong glances to confirm they're paying attention, and then wheel dramatically at me and exclaim "Isn't it TRUE, sir, that you have just admitted to having seen 42.33385% of Mr. Miike's film output?!" and my own lawyer weakly objects but the judge says "I'll allow it," and I'm browbeaten about how I can't make a blanket statement about an entire body of work without having seen even half of it, indeed, only a third of it since the course of the questioning began (since he's just released eight more films in the intervening minutes).

There'll be cuts of me looking increasingly dishevelled on the stand, blinking and sweating like Nixon at the moment that televised debates forever changed the American political process so that only the tallest and best made-up candidate would win, as I'm battered with furious cross-examination point by point. There'll be expert witness testimony who, as it please the court, will show graphs and Powerpoint slides from recent studies scientifically proving that the vast chunks of, say, Dead or Alive that consist primarily of what (if my testimony can be believed) I classified as--and here there'll be a pause as they have the court stenographer pull up the exact quotes, and they'll be read to the jury in a disbelieving sneer shared by Bond villains and attorneys filled with the righteous fury of God's wrath, "uninspired, languorously paced 'drama' of characters who have, when not engaged in ultraviolence, all the personality of a head cold" were actually nothing of the sort, but crucial, meticulously-crafted scaffolding without which the hyperkinetic bursts of ultraviolence could not have been supported. And indeed, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, would not have been--and you'll modestly pause and remind the jury that these aren't your claims, but those of SCIENCE, thus building rapport by giving the impression you're just an ordinary bloke and not a high-powered courtroom dynamo who can fucking buy and sell their sorry bereft-of-even-cursory-knowledge-of-current-events asses--would not have been ruthless.

Then I and my attorneys will rally with counter-studies showing that the original cited studies are hopelessly contaminated by the intractable effects of the Asian Extreme cinephile, with convincing graphs and authors of published tomes that no one's read outside of their own classrooms that show no less than a sixty-two percent lower incidence of critical judgment. At some point, the judge will furiously hammer the gavel and scream for order in the court.

As this entire script will play out on the internet, it'll inevitably look like, to everyone not personally involved, a hilarious slapfight between Corky and the Simpsons Comic Book Guy, in which they've drunkenly staggered right through plasterboard walls without noticing, and in the course of the slapfight stumbled right into the teleportation chamber from The Fly (Cronenberg version) and stumbled out the other end as a single fused lump of angry rhetorical adipose, sort of a tumor that argues with itself.

It's not that it's a bad script, you understand, but my agent feels it's not a genre I should be pursuing at this time.

posted by Gar @ 6:32 AM
Thy ranting skills heap much honor and fear upon thy head. So sayeth Orson. He would also remind you that with such power comes great responsibility as powerful enemies are drawn to a master ranter like moths to the flame.

As for myself, I came to the conclusion a few months back that pretty much any comment about any film can be safely countered by merely stating "Worst film ever." It's a defense which simply cannot be penetrated.
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