Tag Archives: the trip

2014: A Good Year for Surrealist Movies

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If there’s one thing I love, it’s being lost, scared, and perplexed.

Okay, not really, but I do love me some surrealist movies. Any movie that forces me to constantly pay attention, actively find connections, and really work at interpreting pictures, sound, and dialogue is typically a good time for me.

A good surrealist movie always has a point. Sometimes the point is that it doesn’t have a point, but that can be enjoyable too—so long as it’s not just random nonsense, or completely abstract bullshit.

I went to see a talk with David Lynch at BAM a couple months back and he actually brought up this exact point, to my delight. He was responding to a question on why exactly he refuses to give any solid interpretation of his work. His answer was that he thought it was important for art to be analyzed from all angles—to give one ‘definitive’ interpretation is to stifle all other paths of growth. He went on to say that if the director’s intent is presented well then it will open up to deeper interpretation from other sources, meanings that even the author themselves may not have realized.

A good film is absolutely that, and a good surrealist film takes it a step further—its constant twists and turns eventually culminate to a beautiful larger picture. 

This year has been a pretty good one for new surrealist movies—we’re only half way through and I’ve already seen four new ones in theaters! Even better, I absolutely loved all of them:

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Smug Film Podcast Episode #4 – The Best Movies We’ve Seen Lately / Are Movies Terrible? (4/28/14)

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1:06:45 | View on iTunes | Download Mp3

On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors John D’Amico and Jenna Ipcar. We discuss the best movies we’ve seen lately, new and old. Then, we take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and close the show with a few questions from the mailbag, one of which sparks an impassioned rant from John!

If you have a movie-related question you’d like answered on the show, leave it in the comments or email us at Podcast@SmugFilm.com.

If you enjoy the podcast, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, and leave a rating and a comment on there as well. Doing this helps us immensely as far as our ranking on there, which is what allows people to be able to discover us. Word of mouth is always best of all though, so spread the word!

Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
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An Interview With Gavin McInnes of ‘The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants’

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Gavin McInnes is often referred to as “The Godfather of Hipsterdom”, having co-founded the seminal international publication VICE in 1994. But as bold as that moniker may be, it doesn’t tell the whole story, as it was but one chapter in his bizarre legacy of a life. He’s been a cartoonist, played in punk bands, taught English to kindergarteners in China—and since leaving VICE in 2008, this modern day renaissance man has carved a niche as an essayist, an actor, a comedian, a musician, a pundit, and recently, a feature-length filmmaker. His docu-dramedy road movie, The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants, received a glowing review from yours truly a few weeks ago. His next film, How To Be A Man, is already in the can, and he is currently shooting a third. All this, while juggling a job as the creative director of ad agency Rooster New York. Not to mention, he’s also a husband, and a father of three kids. To say his days are full is an understatement, and I’m honored he found the time to chat with us here at Smug Film.
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The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants: That Weird Penis Guy Made a Great Movie

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The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants (2013)
Directed by Steve Durand, Bryan Gaynor, Gavin McInnes
68 min.

Most of the people reading this probably have no idea who Gavin McInnes is. My first introduction to him was through his weird penis. I’m a big fan of Terry Richardson’s photography, and many years ago I saw a couple photos by him of some guy with pointy facial hair and a very pointy foreskin. These photos forever stuck with me, and it wasn’t until about a year ago that I saw this mystery man again, on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. Turns out the pointy foreskin man is a smart and funny writer and comedian who has a lot of great outside-of-the-box opinions on stuff. And now, with this movie, I’ve been surprised by him once again—the man has some serious acting and filmmaking chops.

The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants is one of those sorta-documentaries containing some real scenes and some fake scenes. This kind of gimmick is usually annoying and unsettling, because you never really have a sure foothold, and you spend the duration of the film trying to deduce what’s real and what’s fake rather than just following the actual story. This film gets that, though. The switch-offs between real and fake here are so goddamn tongue-in-cheek and good spirited that by the end, the whole damn thing approaches transcendence, satisfying both your funny bone and your heartstrings in ways you will never have thought possible from what is essentially a standup comedy film.
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Advice Column #2 (3/25/13)

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Black comedy, something like: Arsenic and Old Lace, Dr. Strangelove. Or, some with dry British humour like Kind Hearts and Coronets. – Bawuk R.

Cody Clarke: I’m blanking on older black comedies besides what you mentioned. But hell, you didn’t specify old, so fuck it, here’s some non-old black comedies that are great:

Editor’s Note (12/4/14): We no longer answer movie questions through our advice column. We answer them in the mailbag segment of our podcast. Send them to Cody@SmugFilm.com and we will answer on the show!
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