The Uppity Bastard

Smug Life

where intelligent comments go to die

So last night a friend of mine who works in film and television invited me to an advanced screening of her boss’s movie. I was pretty excited because the movie was supposed to be pretty good and I had never been to a screening before. Well the movie was awesome, very enjoyable and I was glad I went. Now at these things after you watch the film they pass out these cards that ask what you liked, what you didn’t like, what you felt could be better etc. etc. etc. There are many opportunities on the card to express your understanding of the film, or your interpretation of how things would be better. This is a great process for the makers of the movie I’m sure, and I bet they get lots of valuable feedback.

HOWEVER, the next part of the screening I’m pretty sure offers zero valuable feedback for the filmmakers. The section I am talking about is the questions and comments portion of the evening. At this stage the director and the main person who was in the movie (a comedian in this case, it is a documentary) stand at the front near the screen and entertain questions and comments i.e. they listen to a room full of failed directors opine about what they thought the movie meant, or worse, what it should mean. This was arguably the most painful 30 minutes of my life. I had a mental list of the worst person in the room like 10 people long. And the person who was speaking generally was moving towards the top. EVERY comment is essentially one person, who thinks they are devastatingly intelligent, rambling on and on while sporadically throwing in SAT vocab words. I heard the word “pedantic” used 5 times in 25 minutes, and I’m pretty sure not a single person used it correctly.

The best (or worst depending on your perspective) thing about every single douchey, LA, film school dropout trying to wax philosophically about the movie they had no part in creating, is that it seems they all genuinely think that if they use enough big words and talk long enough they will utter something so undeniably brilliant that the filmmakers will completely reverse course and shoot more scenes and edit more film just to accommodate their un-tapped Scorsesian genius. I grew so weary of listening to their drabble that I just paid attention to the comedian who made the film’s expression. Half the time he looked confused at what they were talking about, and the other half he appeared to mentally dismiss the words as they entered his ears because of the pure and unadulterated uselessness of them all. I think one person made a comment that went over well and it was something like “I really liked the ending, don’t change that.”

“I thought that the way in which you earnestly juxtaposed the societal conflict of middle-eastern camel herders with the pretentiousness that permeates the Malagwan snake charmers was fascinating, but I felt that the topic could be presented to the viewer in a more assimilatory fashion if you had footage of the Mayan cave hunters during their tribal dating rituals…that would have really left an extremely powerful and pedantic impression on the audience.”


April 10, 2008 - Posted by | rants | , , , , , , , , , ,

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