Tag Archives: lena dunham
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.
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.
4 Halfway Decent Movies In Theaters Now (Hannah Arendt, Frances Ha, The Bling Ring, Berberian Sound Studio)
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, they’re worthwhile:
The Innkeepers (2011)
Written & Directed by Ti West
Spoilers ahead. But not in the two paragraphs directly below this sentence.
What happened with this one? It really makes no sense how it could be so bad. The House of the Devil, Ti West’s film right before this, is pitch-perfect. A modern classic dripping with maturity. Easily one of my favorite horror movies of all time. The Innkeepers, however, is blatantly botched. So much so that it’s hard to believe he didn’t make it prior to The House of the Devil. How does one go from being the most intelligent horror writer-director around to being a hack in two short years? Did he get hit on the head or something?
I suspect the studio insinuated itself during the writing process, with awful script notes and the like. The thing just plain feels tinkered with and compromised, because the story starts off solid, and where he seemed to be going with it was genius and groundbreaking. And then unfortunately, for whatever reason, knowingly or unknowingly, he veered off onto a well-worn, safe, hackneyed path that robbed it entirely of depth.
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.