Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Squid and the Bail July 3, 2008

"It's king and queen and we must go down round behind the chandelier where I won't have to speak my mind and you won't have to hear. Shreds of news and afterthoughts and complicated scenes. We'll weather down behind the light and fade like magazines" Romeo's Tune - Steven Forbert

If you haven't seen "The Squid and the Whale" by now, by all means get your eyes on it, and then check out Noah Baumbach's next work "Margot at the Wedding".

I saw "The Squid and the Whale" just over a year ago, and it certainly raised a brow right off of my face (it collided with the ceiling fan - painful and ugly). Baumbach, the filmmaker, has an intellectual honesty about sexuality and dysfunctional families that you either salivate for, or detest. He has an exquisite indie style that I don't always get ("The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" was complete shit, but he's only guilty of writing it, not directing), but he's nothing, if not impressionable.

Last night (well, 4 AM this morning), I viewed "Margot at the Wedding", his film from last year. It's not as good as "Squid", but there was some formidable dialogue, as well as some good tune-age. The characters weren't as developed as they could've been and a majority of the editing was a bit erratic, but I get the feeling this is a jumping off point to bigger and better.

It was a little hard to buy Jack Black as the serious guy, Malcolm, but I love the line that Kidman's character, Margot, uses in regards to him: "He's not ugly, but he is completely unattractive." (Yeah he's naked in this and my corneas aren't taking my calls anymore, despite promises of shirtless Jared Leto photos.)

I think judging by the cast, some would be sniffing too hard in what they think is the "chick flick" direction, but their sexist asses might be a tad surprised.

Baumbach is a native Brooklynite, and like his predecessor Woody Allen, he places women in very meaty roles instead of roles where they are merely "meat". Why do you think Allen got so much play in the '70's and '80's? He changed film for women. "Interiors", "Another Woman", and "Annie Hall" made that f'ugly little genius the most sought after lay on both coasts back in the day. (If you further our cause, we further yours - strange how that works ay? Don't treat us like were just a piece [even if we act like it] and you'll be showered in piece a' bounty.) I'm a die hard Allen fan (books and film) but this blog's going to stay in the confines of Baumbach's stuff.

"I don't listen to music anymore."

WHAT???????? The character Margot, who seems to be a combination of the two parents from "Squid", nonchalantly spews this as if she's talking about giving up skiing or something. In my book, the only way you don't listen to music anymore is if you're 100% deaf, or dead. And even then, I think I could conjure a way. WTF?

I've heard of people like this. They conform to the dictates of societal ageism and resign themselves to being couch plants that live through their children. That's a choice, and certainly not one I'm up for selecting. Life without music isn't a life. I don't know if I'll make it to like 60 or 70, but I still plan on shakin' my thing till it falls off, basically. I don't give a fuck how it looks. I'm here for my ears, not for those judgmental eyes placed so rigidly above pursed lips, and giant noses that can't mind their own.

I will NEVER bail on music.

Eh…Margot clearly had a stick up her ass, but this film does slip in some Blondie (2 songs!) and an obscure old fave of mine "Romeo's Tune" by Steven Forbert. The fact that that song is highlighted has endeared Baumbach to me forever.

"Margot at the Wedding" wasn't great, but again, if you dug "Squid", it's a must see. I don't think it's as fluid as say, "Mr. Jealousy" and "Kicking and Screaming" (also by Baumbach), but like "Squid", it's unpredictability is addictive.

Currently listening :
Eat to the Beat
By Blondie
Release date: 2001-09-11