Tiny Furniture (2010)
Written & Directed by Lena Dunham
About a year ago, the editor of this site wrote a scathing critique of Lena Dunham entitled The Empress, Quite Literally, Has No Clothes. A few months before reading it, I’d made the transition from engaged college student with supposed direction to a member of Lena’s target demographic—single, 20-something, stagnating in a “post-graduate delirium” as she puts it, working a minimum wage job and living with a single parent. A “lost girl”, as Cody puts it in his piece.
Until very recently, I’d avoided watching Tiny Furniture because I didn’t want to deal with any of the three possible outcomes of me doing so:
- Liking it, and being berated by my peers.
- Disliking it, and being annoyed that I wasted my time.
- Hating it, and agreeing with Cody that it is in fact detrimental to its audience.
I didn’t need any of those stresses in my life, especially when I was so busy having such a “hard time” trying to “figure things out” (as she puts it, over and over). But after a year of being in the position that the film attempts to depict, the subject matter and controversy finally seduced me and, with the aid of a few beers, I jumped into bed with it.
Metascoring, in case you aren’t aware, is the process of gauging a movie’s quality through aggregating lots of different reviews and spitting out a score based on the percentage of positive reviews it’s gotten. Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are two very popular websites that metascore, and you’ve probably visited one or both at some point in your life.
The entire concept is bunk.
Even just the idea of applying a ‘score’ to a movie is stupid, and yet it’s become customary for critics to tack them on at the end of their reviews for some reason. We’ve all seen the five-star system, the four-star system, the percent-out-of-a-hundred system—or out of ten, but with decimals—or maybe the most offensive, the A to F grading, which treats the film as though it were a High School essay on Wuthering Heights rather than a comprehensive piece of art.
Fuck it right to hell, man. I don’t even.
On The Waterfront (1954)
Directed by Elia Kazan
Written by Budd Schulberg
Very mild spoilers ahead.
Of the three acts which make up the three act structure, the third act is really the only one which has the ability to fuck you in the ass. You’re watching a movie, you’re digging it, you’re having a good time, you feel safe, and then all of a sudden it’s forcing itself into your butt. We’ve all been there.
A movie is like a penis, basically, and you are like a vagina. When you a watch a movie, you’re letting it inside you, and there’s a certain degree of trust which goes along with that. ‘Don’t hurt me, or at least, if you do hurt me, hurt me in an enjoyable way’—that sort of thing. And if a movie tries to fuck your ass in the first act, you can stop it before the tip is barely in and put on some other movie. Same goes for the second act. But when it fucks you in the ass in the third act, you’re in shock—it goes in and you can’t even believe what’s happening and you just have to lay there as it tarnishes the relationship you had built with it up until that point. And then when it’s done, you don’t know how to feel about it anymore. You remember the good times, sure, but the bad is fresh in your mind.
I had this very experience with On The Waterfront last night, and my booty hole is still twinging with pain.
While y’all are recovering from food comas, why not catch up on your Smug Film reading? This week, we reached 150 posts, and chances are, you haven’t read all of them. Back when we hit the 100 post mark, we made a list of 10 Must-Read Smug Film Posts, so if you haven’t read the ones on there, definitely do so. And if you have, here’s 10 more, culled from our 50 posts since then:
When YouTube started to happen, it seemed like the great leveler. Kids in their basement suddenly had distribution equal to that of the major Hollywood studios. And following in the wake of cheaper and better video equipment, it looked like the control of all media had shifted from ‘The Man’ to the everyman.
The results of this have been dismally revealing.
Thanks to the internet, and YouTube, we now have confirmation that 99.999% of all art completely sucks. Before, we could only look to the establishment and their putrid output to see how bad everything is. But with every person on earth making stuff, and throwing it up on there, we now have proof that almost nobody can make anything good.