Tag Archives: freaks and geeks
Field of Dreams. The undisputed king, for sure. But here’s ten other great ones.
It was a really tricky thing putting this together because they’re ranked on niceness, not goodness. Number two and number five are the best movies on the list. But they aren’t the nicest.
Niceness is even harder to define than coolness. Niceness is a warm and fuzzy feeling that a lot of art can generate. Probably the most popular example would be Norman Rockwell paintings. Niceness, like coolness, taps into our primal brains somewhere. We’re wired to feel it because it connects us to each other. But the problem with niceness is that it borders so heavily on cheese. Cheese done right is transcendent. But cheese done wrong is, well, cheesy.
Troy Duffy, director of a ‘cool’, albeit awful, movie.
‘Coolness’ is hard to define, as it should be. I suspect it’s difficult because coolness is an X factor. It’s the swagger generated by the totality of a bunch of compartmentalized variants or something. It’s also because coolness is not a science, it’s a feeling. However, like most things, although it can’t be defined, it can be explained. And, contrary to popular belief, explaining it is fun. It doesn’t ‘kill it’ as so many pseudo-smart, sanctimonious anti-thought peddlers would have you believe.
When I was in junior high school, Scarface was the most talked about movie in the hallways. It was 2000, and those hallways were a reflection of the culture at large. One time a kid asked me, “Who directed Scarface, Scorsese?” He had never heard of Brian De Palma.
There’s a popular book called Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. It’s a gossipy, oral history of 60s and 70s American movies. In the back of the book, they summarize the directors integral to the movement and give a filmography for each. Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, and Malick are featured, but not Brian De Palma—despite being mentioned heavily in the book. You’d think the guy that gave Robert De Niro his first on-screen appearance (The Wedding Party, 1969) and gave him steady work way before Scorsese ever did, would be important enough to mention.
If you’ve never heard of Eric Schaeffer, today is your lucky day, because I am about to introduce you to quite possibly your new favorite filmmaker. I say ‘possibly’ because he’s definitely not for everyone. Either you’ll dig his vibe or you won’t—more specifically, either his art will rip your fucking heart out of your chest and hug it, or you’ll be all ‘he’s weird’ and go watch something else. And I say ‘new favorite’ because if you enjoy the first thing of his you see, you will definitely quickly seek out and devour all of his things, and force close friends and lovers of yours to go through the same process so that you can watch them have the same reaction you did, as a way of sort of pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming, and ‘not the only one’. And they will be grateful for you showing them the light. And you will be grateful for me showing you the light. And you’re welcome.