Monthly Archives: July 2013

Four posts, exploring diverse manifestations—21 films, as a matter of fact—of a single, dangerous, wonderful thing.

As is often and even overly observed, there’s lots of conformity and cowardice operating in the production of commercial media.  Things are safe, same-ish, and maybe, eventually, really smothering.

On the other hand, there are always independent spirits, strivers and mavericks and lunatics too, who attempt hard things.  Again, as often and overly observed, this can be tough to do when one is in the entrails of the Institution.  In fact, it’s tough for these brave souls to even get through the institutional doors.  But still, they do, or they operate from the outside, and they make the world a more interesting place.

The things that they make don’t always quite work out.  Sometimes they don’t work out at all.  These posts were originally assembled for a film class to illustrate a certain kind, or category, of film production.  That category was Folly, and the idea still stands in this new setting.  Filmmakers attempt some crazy stuff!  And sometimes, they can make a mess of things.  And yet, Folly also has its uses.

For instance, it’s admirable to try things.  And this attempting can be enough; ambitious and interesting semi-failures can provide us with some of our best cinematic satisfactions.

Furthermore, you can learn things.  The out and out disaster can also be tremendously worth our while, tremendously instructive, and not just for superiority’s sake.

And, occasionally, it works!  The really great thing is that sometimes these people actually pull it off.

Read all about it.  Try it at home.  Maybe even at work …

Trying some tough things:

Impertinence, Impropriety, Stupidity.  Oh, and Liberty:

The geniuses take a stab at it:

For your kids:

Did I get your attention there?  Well, it’s true.  We often hear these unwaveringly convicted, occasionally facile declarations from the circumspect.  Touch not the unclean thing, they say.  Well they’re right of course, in principle and in fact.  But in the area of the narrative arts they are not always right in the actual application.  Curriculum and literacy have a legitimate claim on the specialist, or the person who aspires to become one.  So do history, and chronicle.  And what of proxy?  What of the power of negative example, or of the negative transformed?  What of God be merciful to me a sinner?  Or not making a man an offender for a word?

The fact is that some things, some films that aren’t appropriate for children are very appropriate for you big people.  Were it not so, there wouldn’t ever be any children.  Ha!  So let’s be careful about what we see.  Let’s not, by any means, see just anything.  But we’ve still gotta hear and know and talk about things …

Starting with Clint Eastwood:

Dragon tattoos, bridesmaids, black swans: