Thursday, January 17


Sticking with the "music-centric movie" thing....

I won't be seeing "I'm Not There" -- for the simple reason that I despise the director, Todd Haynes. I don't despise him personally, of course; hell, I don't even know the man. But I have sat through two of his films ("Poison" and "Velvet Goldmine"), and I'm not sure I'll ever fully recover from those inexpressibly depressing experiences. Mr. Haynes, it seems, is constitutionally incapable of constructing a narrative or fleshing out a multi-dimensional character. He's all about "concept." Artiness for artiness' sake. And he's a hack. Not a mainstream, talentless hack like Brian De Palma or Joel Schumacher or Ivan Reitman, but a pretentious, talentless hack who gives art films a bad name and makes the likes of Gus Van Sant and John Cameron Mitchell seem like unimpeachable geniuses and absolute masters of their craft by comparison.

So that's why I won't be seeing "I'm Not There." However, if Mr. Haynes can be said to have a saving grace, it's his taste in music. "Velvet Goldmine" is packed to the rafters with great glam-rock, and he got his start way-back-when with the CARPENTERS-inspired, Babie-doll bio "Superstar." Now, it's BOB DYLAN he's fixating on, and the soundtrack offers us some fairly solid covers to while away ("wile away"?) an early Thursday morning....

[MP3] CAT POWER/"Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again"


MP3] MARK LANEGAN/"Man in the Long Black Coat"

MP3] ROGER McGUINN & CALEXICO/"One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)"


Neil Cake said...

Damn right.

I did see "I'm Not There" with my girlfriend, and we hated it so much that it made us argue on the way home.

Truly pointless, truly pretentious. It pretends to be about Bob Dylan while pretending not to be about him at the same time just so Haynes can be liberal with the truth and make a lot of stuff up.

And I've read a lot of blogs calling the film "intellectual". Let me tell you: if you think that film is intellectual, you aren't.

And Velvet Goldmine was a real stinker too.

slowrabbit said...

as a fan of haynes work, i would have imagined i'd be offended or feel defensive about your post. instead i found it, sadly, comical.

to admit to have only watched 2 of his films and then making grandiose pronouncements on his lack of talent is funny. and you call him a hack. please.

since when do "concept" and "narrative" have to be mutually exclusive. haynes has done as much(or argueably more), as any contemporary dirctor, to expand/explore the territory and the terms in which film narrative can be layed out & structured.
his films are rich with film history and riddled with questions about identity and performance.

how well his particular type of expermentation works?? when does it work?? - those things are up for debate. much of that is subjective...comes down to personal taste. his work is challenging & often opens up way more questions then it ever answers. but isn't that what art is for?

if his films aren't you thing...i respect that...but to suggest he's a talentless hack is wrong and ultimatley, just silly.

& to neil, in the previous post...if my film (or any art work i created) prompted an argument between you and your girlfriend...i would consider myself successful. i respect work that inspires emotion & debate.