I don’t really get into my political leanings here at Smug Film, for the obvious reason of this being a site about movies, not politics, but also because I hate creating arbitrary ‘dividing lines’ in my work. It’s petty, and I can’t stand when others do it. For instance, I’m a huge Woody Allen fan, I think he’s our greatest American filmmaker, but I cringe whenever he peppers little jabbing jokes against the Right in his films when the story doesn’t even call for it. Those sort of winks to the audience take you out of the film momentarily, whether you agree with them or not. It’s distracting and wholly unnecessary. So rest assured, people who disagree with me politically—there will be no lazy digs, or insults, or other ‘playing to the base’ bullshit in this post whatsoever.
This list will be of particular interest to libertarians, that’s a given, but even if that ain’t your particular alignment, it should at least be a unique window in the the sort of things we, or at least I, care about, both politically and philosophically. And don’t worry, there are no propaganda docs on here; these are simply great movies, many of which (hell, probably all of which) aren’t even made by libertarians. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, they just so happen to contain, within their myriad elements, certain elements that we get a kick out of. Enjoy!
Continue reading 10 Films Every Libertarian Should See
Spring Breakers (2012)
Written & Directed by Harmony Korine
That thing I said, in the title of this review? That’s a thing I never thought I’d say in a million years. I am not a Harmony Korine fan. I don’t like any of his movies. He has always struck me as someone with absolutely no comprehension of what parts of his films are good and what parts are weak, and somewhat proud of not knowing, and proud of editing in a slapdash way. For instance, in one of his notorious Letterman appearances from the 90’s (which I actually do enjoy watching, they’re awkward and fun and he has some genuinely witty improv moments) he boasts that he doesn’t care about plot, and that when he watches movies all he really remembers are characters and a few scenes, so he wants to create movies that consist entirely of random moments. That sort of thing doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever as a filmgoer or a filmmaker.
Continue reading Spring Breakers: Holy Shit, Harmony Korine Made A Good Movie
I’ve been hitting the ol’ theaters hard this month, and I’ve found most of these movies to be decidedly satisfactory. I didn’t ‘love’ any of these, but I would say that if you’re interested in seeing them, you’ll probably enjoy them:
Hannah Arendt (2012) | Dir. Margarethe von Trotta | 113 min.
Continue reading 4 Halfway Decent Movies In Theaters Now (Hannah Arendt, Frances Ha, The Bling Ring, Berberian Sound Studio)
Let me just start by saying that I agree with everything Cody says about Lena Dunham. But only because it’s true. Except mostly it isn’t. What I mean is, it’s true of everything of that ilk. The ‘ilk’ I’m referring to is any hip ‘indie’ thing made after 1995. Clerks is the only good movie like this and I suspect it’s because it was made by a fat white nerd with a chip on his shoulder at a time before that was a cool thing to be. Kevin Smith made it cool, so of course everything after it sucks. And if it weren’t for the ‘big word’ chapter cards interspersed throughout it (included just to appeal to the bohemian, intellectual, college crowds) it’d probably be a perfect movie.
Continue reading A Rebuttal to ‘The Empress, Quite Literally, Has No Clothes’
I’ve been putting off writing this essay for some time, waiting for the ‘right moment’ I guess. As though there is ever a ‘right moment’ to write a scathing criticism of an individual and their artistic output. It’s kind of a dick thing to do, I’ll admit. But god dammit, when it comes to Lena Dunham, it really needs to be done—and done by smart ol’ me. Because even though there is plenty of distaste out there for her and her work, it seems no one is really getting to the root of exactly why she should be despised. So, over the course of this essay, I will break down, on a deep, intellectual level, exactly why she is a counterfeit artist, and why Girls is a hazardous product that goes against the proper functions of storytelling.
Continue reading The Empress, Quite Literally, Has No Clothes