Tag Archives: fight club

Not All Movies Should Have Jokes, But All Movies Should Have a Sense of Humor

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There is a moment in Fargo (I’ll never stop talking about Fargo) that makes me die with laughter every single time I watch it. The movie is packed with black comedy and irony and brilliant deadpans (the license plate joke, holy shit) and some basic but perfect physical gags (Jean Lundegaard bursting out of the shower draped in its curtain like a kid in a homemade ghost costume), but I ain’t talking abaout all that stuff. I’m talking about the stills above. This moment seems to be more of an editorial in-joke than an actual written joke, but of course you never can tell with the Coen brothers. After Jean’s dad and Stan Grossman and Jerry discuss the plot’s central ransom over breakfast, Jerry is at the counter. The beaming cashier asks how Jerry’s meal was. After he answers rather shortly, he comes back with an affable “How you doin’” and when it cuts back to her, we see her cock her head to the side before it cuts again. All she does is cock her head to the side. No response, no change in expression, just a slight pitch. It’s hilarious. It’s insanely funny.
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An Interview With Jeff Krulik, Documentarian Extraordinaire

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There was a period in film history, after the advent of the VCR and before the Generation Y takeover, where people traded VHS copies of their movies on an underground circuit that spread all over the world.  The modern incarnation of this is the ‘viral’ video, or, a video that racks up a lot of views on YouTube.  But, if you’re old enough, you can remember a time when this was essentially done by hand (or, if you’re a Y-er, you can Google it).  

There’s something romantic about it really.  Each video had to be copied with noisy machines that spooled magnetic tape around heads that needed to be cleaned and would break after so many revolutions.  Each tape was an artifact adorned with the fingerprints of the previous owner, or in many cases, the filmmaker himself.  It was personal and exclusive and you had to be in the know to be blessed with a particular video’s presence.
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