It is currently Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:20 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 131 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:51 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:11 pm
Location: Florida
mteller wrote:
Sweet Movie is one of the worst films I've ever seen. It's the kind of thing that college sophomores latch onto as "genius".


I could say the same about Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy... Hell, Korine in whole.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:30 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: The 'Go
But you won't, because that would be silly and incorrect...

:|

-Toilet Dcuk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:31 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC
did anyone catch the silly trailer on the donkey boy DVD that equated Korine with Cassavetes, Godard, Herzog, etc...? I'm glad I watched the film before the trailer, it would have tainted my viewing.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:04 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:11 pm
Location: Florida
toiletduck! wrote:
But you won't, because that would be silly and incorrect...

:|

-Toilet Dcuk


No, most people like Korine because it's the hip thing to do... The fact is he is a bad director and writer. Just some dumbass white kid who wanted to make something of himself by writing crappy scripts with what he thought to be disturbing portrayals of down trodden dip shits.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:33 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: The 'Go
Oh Jesus, I was hoping not to derail this, but come on... I was being facetious, as I am fully aware of Korine's polarizing ability. He's not your bag, fine, but let's not being turning our mud-slinging into assumed facts.

If you want to get into a (rational, thought-out, and amiable) Korine discussion, I'm all for it. But let's start it somewhere else.

-Toilet Dcuk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:35 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:11 pm
Location: Florida
toiletduck! wrote:
Oh Jesus, I was hoping not to derail this, but come on... I was being facetious, as I am fully aware of Korine's polarizing ability. He's not your bag, fine, but let's not being turning our mud-slinging into assumed facts.

If you want to get into a (rational, thought-out, and amiable) Korine discussion, I'm all for it. But let's start it somewhere else.

-Toilet Dcuk


Deal, you name the time and place and I'll post.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:30 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: The 'Go
Oh wow, suddenly this is somewhere else... that was a little trippy.

Again, at work, stop by later for a real post.

-Toilet Dcuk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:01 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: New York City
LightBulb, I definitely understand your dismissal of Korine, as I have done (or threatened to do) many times. But don't you think Herzog's absolute love and respect for him lends him SOME credibility? As in, perhaps it puts him above mere sophomore film student adoration?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:27 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:20 am
Sorry for the double post... Although I don't know if this topic has the same aim as my initial post. I think toiletduck's right with his remark though, I would really be interested in a "rational, thought-out and amiable" discussion. So that would mean constructive criticism or argumentation instead of bringing up the same old lines about Korine being "the selfproclaimed prodigy of the hipsters".

Anyway, I'm really interested in some of your pro- or counter-arguments. Preferably about his work, rather than his persona.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:33 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: The 'Go
Fair warning: I haven't actually sat down to watch Gummo in a good 2 years, and my memory has been known to have it's off moments. There's your caveat.

LightBulbFilm wrote:
...with what he thought to be disturbing portrayals of down trodden dip shits.


I don't want to single you out immediately, LightBulbFilm, because you are far from the first person I've heard say this, but since you put it so succinctly... This seems to be the most common reason for people to offhandedly dismiss Korine and GUMMO in particular: he's in it for the shock value, he's exploiting the lower (lowest) class, he's glorifying substance abuse, animal abuse, racism, domestic abuse, etc... I've even seen it described as "pornography of disability". I find that part of the brilliance of Korine and his work is that it brings out these biases in an audience.

The viewer leaves GUMMO in shock at the types of "down-trodden dipshits" that they have just witnessed, amazed not only that these people (may) exist, but that a filmmaker would have the desire to put them to celluloid. I know the feeling, I was just as uncomfortable that first time, but I'm fully aware that the prejudice was my own, not Korine's. I can't find a single frame of the film in which Korine shows contempt for any of his characters. At one point Solomon says something along the lines of "Life is great, without it, you'd be dead." That circular, childlike reasoning envelopes the vibe of GUMMO entirely for me. Solomon sees nothing unique about his lifestyle: to him, it's simply that -- Life, the alternative to Death. And Korine lets Solomon, and all of his characters, embrace that view. The film neither glorifies nor condemns these people and their idiosyncrasies, and the challenge to the viewer is to meet that detachment.

The "white trash" caricature is one of the few prejudices that is still universally accepted in America today -- Rednecks are to be laughed at, no more, no less. Yet when it's not being sent up through the likes of Jeff Foxworthy and his rag-tag band, when these characters are laid down with the realism of GUMMO, it's amazing how violently an audience reacts. The majority of the American audience cannot see a dramatic portrayal of this class of citizen as anything outside of that be all, end all criticism: Perverse. Korine is certainly interested in this subsect of America, but not as a project, not as a social experiment, and not as a freakshow; he sees them as genuine people. Solomon, the albino girl, the arm-wrestlers, the bunny boy -- there's an amazing serenity in each of them. I would defend GUMMO at the drop of a hat as one of the most humanistic films to be released in recent years. Korine finds the good and the beauty in these characters, and he seems to be one of few to be willing to do it. I applaud him for that and try to join in his vision.

Now, someone take that and make it eloquent.

Hopefully this will spark some discussion, I'd love to watch GUMMO again this weekend and come back with a fresh POV. I also wrote a term paper on the film a couple of years ago that I could try to dig up, but that was mostly on Korine's use of music.

Alright sparks, start flying!

-Toilet Dcuk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:35 pm 
toiletduck! wrote:
The "white trash" caricature is one of the few prejudices that is still universally accepted in America today -- Rednecks are to be laughed at, no more, no less... -Toilet Dcuk


Bingo.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:55 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:00 am
Location: England
Well. Hmm... how to put what I like about Korine into words. I think the quote comparing him to those other filmmakers is a good start. I wont claim that he's as good as Cassavettes, Herzog and Godard, but he's certainly the only young filmmaker to have emerged from the 90's who has anywhere near the same amount of energy and dignity in his films as Cassavettes and Herzog. And he's probably the only modern director who polarizes opinion as much as Godard. His films are so kinetic and modern. After having seen hundreds of films from the dawn of cinema until the present day, it just seemed like what Korine was doing was right. It was such a natural progression. When I saw Gummo, it just clicked. The I saw Julien Donkey Boy and thought it was a masterpiece.

I'd never seen anything like them and that's reason enough for me to love them. And Herzog's right. The absurd amount of aesthetic detail in Korine's work has no modern comparison. When you watch his films, it's plain to see that he genuinely thinks about cinema and that little details do matter, no matter how stupid.

And unlike many of his detractors, I find that he does invest a lot of dignity into his characters. It doesn't even matter if he's representing a social strata that doesn't actually exist.

I think it's sad that he's not more prolific.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:47 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:25 am
i just checked out gummo last night and i'll take aim at toilet duck's view, in good faith of course.

i'm not quite sure i grasp your reasoning, or maybe i just so vehemently disagree that i would hardly call korine's view as "brilliant." disturbed and drug induced is more like it. however, before i continue down a path of blind criticism and bad jokes, i will say that there is something striking about Korine's filmmaking.

the first bike riding scene with solomon and (the other kid) i found to be quite powerful. here are two kids riding their bikes like any other kids, but they are filled with contempt, angst and sadness. they aren't riding around to the corner store for candy, they are riding around and killing cats (though they do stop for milk shakes afterward, again contrasting the innocence of youth with the violence of knowledge).

i think i could have done without the "cut up" narration scenes, though they do allow a break from the cat torture, and serve to highlight the film's sadness.

yet, i'm not sure i know what you mean by saying that Korine brings out the biases in the audience. what biases? that these are people living in a community void of moral or consequence? (kind of like college). i am guessing that its because we hate these people, they make us sick. half way through the film i was kind of hoping that someone would roll into town and start picking off these people like cats. i don't see the "good" in these people. there is nothing redeeming about them and their "serenity" is a combination of mental disability and the absence of a moral structure. a person who has had a lobotomy is pretty serene, but i would hardly say that their contentment is morally redeeming.

it seems to me that Korine is in it for the shock value, but i would ask "what is the point?" with most difficult films there is at least some redeeming factor, some message. sure, gummo might highlight the anger and sadness when the finger of god reaches down and destroys your home, but the film doesn't go far enough in exploring that idea. instead, it beats a dead cat, literally. so, even i am on the fence. is this shock for show or shock for meaning. is Korine a howard stern or david cronenberg. i am more inclined to say stern. i think Korine has some interesting ideas in gummo, but he refuses to explore them.

"pornography of disability" is quite accurate in my view. hell, we could probably even intellectualize pornography and what it says about our society, but its still really made for jerking off.

all that said, i'm looking forward to checking out julian donkey boy and hoping that Korine stops indulging in the shock and starts using it for a purpose.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:18 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: The 'Go
scales, I don't know that I have ever inherently disagreed with a post quite so much as that one right there. It's a bit exciting, really.

The main point of our divergence seems to be that I don't find GUMMO the least bit moralistic, but I'm going break out my copy and freshen up over the weekend before I get in over my head.

-Toilet Dcuk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:25 am
maybe it's just that i wanted some sort of moral reasoning because i don't understand how these people can act the way they do and still live with themselves. it challenges the idea that we inherently have a moral compass as rational beings, in my view. and the problem is that i don't think that idea is what korine was reaching for, but perhaps i wish that it was...?

oh the conflict of the artist and the audience.

at any rate, i look forward to your response and discussion.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:20 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:58 am
Location: radiator
i don't know if any innate morality or concept of normality actually exists in the kinds of people bandied about in gummo, so i don't think they're obligated to follow that line of logic. granted, there is something definitely hyperbolic and stylized (depressively so) about the characters presented, but i don't feel any rationalization or delineation of their personal psychology is actually necessary. perhaps it's because i tend to favor films which abstain from judging their characters and instead permit them to exist and function as they would, bereft of any kind of moral barometer or regard for the viewer, but sadly these types of people exist in an abundance, and they can no more account for their patterns of behavior than the characters in gummo. my cousins are similar in many ways to the two main boys, aggressively similar in many ways, actually. it's probably solely out of some peculiar sociological interest that i maintain any contact with them whatever, but when i saw gummo i immediately drew a parallel between my cousins (and their degenerate friends, whom i've known by proxy) and the personalities in the film. they act with a distressingly similar abandon and vigor, possessed of a petulance for god knows what reason, engaged in all sorts of reprehensible behavior.

the argument that korine is a director whose sole egress is exploitation and witless, teenage provocation seems hollow to me. i can understand why people can form that opinion having seen his films, but i fail to comprehend how that either defames or enhances his worth as a director. john waters' films exist for the sole purpose of disgusting people, yet it's never an argument made to his detriment. personally, i can't fathom why anyone would decry the one and laud the other for doing essentially the same thing, or at least employing the same means to reach their respective end.

what i managed to gain from gummo was something i've never found in waters' films; humanity. depraved as these people may be, there's something particularly human about them. i dont' think an audience should condescend to the characters simply because they cannot understand nor reconcile their behavior. perhaps that's what was meant by inferring korine manages to reveal the biases of his audience. i don't think he's consciously doing this, though, it seems incidental and i would probably agree that he's mostly a person who thrives on offending others' sensibilities (something i think near-irrefutable once one actually reads his book, "crack up at the race riots" - which makes gummo look like dakota fanning's audition tapes by comparison). however, this doesn't necessarily make him a useless filmmaker, at least to me.

that being said, though, his faults are innumerable. gummo is a fine film to me, one that i enjoy but have no real intense passion for. julian-donkey boy, however, is absolutely awful beyond all reason and the characters (save for herzog's presence) are abrasive and an utter nuissance. everything in the film is a distinct failure to me, its inability to either engage or really challenge its audience on any level whatsoever condemns it and its maker to the claims lobbed at gummo, perhaps in a way that cannot be indemnified. from the sounds of his next film, i doubt he'll offer anything but an ironic, meretricious and hollow film like julian.

i don't know, i tend to vacillate as regards to my opinion of him. i do like gummo but have found an inability to vent anything but venom for both kids and julian. perhaps because he fails to utilize his acts of provocation in any interesting way, as was done (at least to me) in something like gallo's recent film. the statement that he is in anyway comparable to cassavetes (?!?) or herzog (?!?) is very disingenuous to me, and crumples like paper ash upon inspection. that being said, the more morbid nature of my personality refuses to ignore him.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:25 am
then in that regard, it seems that korine's main purpose as a filmmaker is an instigator, not an artist. he shows things that shock/offend us and then says "squable amongst yourselves." (an aside, i felt his voice overs was his way of shoving the humanity down our throats)

brownbunny, i agree that i liked parts of gummo and i will see some of the images forever in my mind, but i just can't seem to say anything positive about the film. his use of music was effective, if not a little affected, and the images had a certain power in their honesty.

i'm still wrestling with the themes and the "so what" factor. it's as if Korine jumps out from behind a bush and says "boo," asks if we are scared (of course we say yes) and then runs away.

EDIT: i really wish i could kick this angry, condesending tone when discussing this film, but i can't. leave it to Korine to bring out the best in people.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:04 pm 
Dot Com Dom
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
The problem with Korine's films is that they are ugly to the point of coming off as nothing more than audience instigation, and there's not a whole lot more boring than a third-rate provocateur.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:16 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:06 am
Location: canofzebras.com
Here is a portion of an interview by Werner Herzog which will hopefully explain what those of us who like Korine like about him.

Herzog: I see Gummo as a true science fiction film in the way it shows a scary vision of the future: a loss of soul, a loss of spirituality. And yet you clearly see all that with very tender eyes. I am very interested, too, in how you show the effects of a tornado on people.

Korine: When I look at the history of film - the early commercial narrative movies directed by D.W. Griffith, say - and then look at where films are now, I see so little progression in the way they are made and presented,and I'm bored with that. Film can be so much more. With Gummo I wanted to create a new viewing experience with images coming from all directions. To free myself up to do that, I had to create some kind of scenario that would allow me to just show scenes, which is all I care about. I can't stand plots, because I don't feel life has plots. There is no beginning, middle, or end, and it upsets me when things are tied up so perfectly. There had been a tornado in Xenia in 1974, and I decided to set the film there. After the tornado, people found dogs up in trees and playing cards that had been blown through brick walls. I heard about this one guy on a paper route who was sucked up by the twister and dropped off, still on his bicycle, fifty miles away, and the only injury he had was a scratch on his forehead.

Herzog: You use the tornado in your film to shatter the narrative form. All your screenplays - not only Gummo - follow that same lack of pattern. There is no story line, no development of characters. Everybody in Hollywood would immediately ask, "Where's the development? Where's the good guy and the bad guy?" You are obstinate about that.

Korine: I guess I'm lucky, too, because I've been protected by my producer and my agents so far. They understand that I don't want any kind of relationship with that other world. Early on I said I was going to make a specific kind of film and if I couldn't do that, or if I had to soften my vision, then I would just quit. There's nothing wrong with quitting if you can't do the kind of work you want to do. What's amazing is that I got to make Gummo as a pure vision and that it wasn't touched - especially since I'm young and it's a new aesthetic. In a way,it's a miracle that this movie exists in the current climate.

Herzog: What I like about Gummo are the details that one might not notice at first. There's the scene where the kid in the bathtub drops his chocolate bar into the dirty water and just behind him there's a piece of fried bacon stuck to the wall with Scotch tape. This is the entertainment of the future.

Korine: It's the greatest entertainment. Seriously, all I want to see is pieces of fried bacon taped on walls, because most films just don't do that.

Herzog: Tell me about creating a sense of dirt in the film. Those people's homes are like garbage dumps.

Korine: I grew up in Nashville, so I knew the neighbourhoods. Certain houses were just the worst people were living like pack rats. In one of the houses, I found a piece of a guy's shoulder in a pillowcase. As far as production design went, it was about taking things away to make it cleaner. At times the crew would refuse to film in those conditions. We had to buy them those white suits like people wear in a nuclear fallout. I got angry with them because I thought they were pussies. I mean, all we're talking about is bugs and a disgusting rotting smell. I couldn't understand why they had no guts. I was like, "Think about what we have access to,"but I guess most of them didn't really give a shit. But Jean Yves [Escoffier], the cinematographer, was fearless. When the others were wearing their toxic outfits, he and I wore Speedos and flip-flops just to piss them off.

Herzog: When one of the kids in the film moves a picture on a wall and all these cockroaches come crawling out, the cameraman doesn't zoom in from a distance; he moves in physically, because he's interested. The first cinematographer I worked with said to me, "Werner, don't use a long lens - just move in. Film knows no mercy." You have to be bold, you have to be curious.

Korine: I don't know how other directors work, but I wanted to create a kind of ultra chaotic environment where things were just happening, and then shoot them without thinking about it. The line producers told me the bond company was threatening to take the movie away at one point because I was shooting too much film, but I said, "Leave me alone. The film we're shooting is the movie." Jean Yves said to me late one night: "Fuck these guys! We will fire everyone. It will be me, you, a fucking lightbulb, and the soundman." That was so punk. I was so charged by that; I felt I couldn't lose.

Herzog: He has to be given credit, because in some scenes he was alone, wasn't he?

Korine: Oh yeah. He got one of the most amazing scenes on the last day of shooting. It's where those guys are arm wrestling in a kitchen. I'd written the scene, but some of the people in it had just gotten out of prison that day, and I could feel that things were going to happen that night that were way beyond what I hoped for or imagined, but I knew they wouldn't happen if I was there watching them. So Jean Yves and I agreed he'd be the only person in the room with them. We rigged a boom onto his camera, and I shut all the doors and turned all the monitors down, so even I didn't know what was going on. I would just run in between takes and get them really excited. I'd tell them to throw the refrigerator out the window or kick the door. It got really violent in there. There were pregnant women in the room, too; it was scary.

Herzog: The moment I like most in that scene is the moment of silence when nobody knows what to do next. That's not something that could be directed.

Korine: When I saw that in the dailies, it amazed me, because Jean Yves really captured that awkwardness, that sad silence; it was beautiful. Most of the people in that scene were parents of kids in the film, so it worked out well.

Herzog: Can you talk about some of the kids?

Korine: When I go to the movies, there's usually nothing on the screen that compels me, and with this film I wanted to see people who were amazing looking. I was watching an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael called "My Child Died From Sniffing Paint,"and I saw this kid on it named Nick [Sutton] who's a paint - sniffing survivor. They asked him, "Where are you going to be in a few years?" and he said, "I'll probably be dead." I loved him and wanted him to star in the film, so we tracked him down. He told me he'd been on acid on the show.

Herzog: This is the older of the two boys who go hunting for dead cats. What about the one whose hair gets shampooed by his mom [Linda Manz]?

Korine: Jacob Reynolds. I'd seen him in a small part in The Road to Wellville [1994], and he was also in a Dunkin' Donuts commercial I liked, so we cast him. He's got an amazing face. Most of the others I'd grown up with or gone to high school with or knew from hanging out.

Herzog: Who do you want the audience for Gummo to be?

Korine: I never thought about that while I was making it, but I feel it's definitely most important if young people see it, because it's anew kind of film with a new kind of syntax. Younger people have a different kind of sensibility, and I think they'll understand it. But if someone said that I was the voice of my generation, I couldn't agree with that. I'm just the voice of Harmony.

I'd also recommend the Great Directors article about him over at Senses of Cinema.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:58 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: The 'Go
Dammit, I'm not gonna be able to hold out until this weekend, am I?

brownbunny wrote:
i dont' think an audience should condescend to the characters simply because they cannot understand nor reconcile their behavior.

This pretty much nails it for me, but I think a major problem arises in determining whether this is, as scalesofjustice mentioned, a conflict between the artist and the audience. The humanism over moralism approach seems apparent to me, but that could very easily be due to my own personal spiritual and philosophical views, to which this reading is very in tune. Unfortunately, it took me so long to come to terms with GUMMO (and perhaps myself?) that I shied away from Korine's other work at first and, later on, had simply set it aside. I really should watch JULIEN -- it seems to be just as polarizing, but less predictably so. Perhaps I'll make it a entire Korine weekend and see if it's the artist I enjoy so much or just the personal spin that I have put on one of his works.

scalesofjustice wrote:
then in that regard, it seems that korine's main purpose as a filmmaker is an instigator, not an artist. he shows things that shock/offend us and then says "squable amongst yourselves."

This is interesting. I like the idea of Korine being an instigator, but not of differences among people so much as differences within people. It appears to me that Korine likes to show images that he is aware will shock/offend most people and then shrug his shoulders like it's no big deal. Because it really isn't. He has a firm grasp on the fact that the in the age of Borat/Mel Gibson/South Park what truly offends isn't mocking the things a person holds dear, but allowing the things a person most fears to be treated as an equal. And that's kind of an unnerving concept, when you get down to it. Korine has no hatred towards these characters, but he realizes others do, and if they can't learn to deal with it, it's their own damn fault -- and they might just be worse off for it. I quite like the way you put it:

scalesofjustice wrote:
it's as if Korine jumps out from behind a bush and says "boo," asks if we are scared (of course we say yes) and then runs away.

And look at how effective it's been. People get downright nasty-type angry at just the mention of his name. But what if we answered "No"? And could that in fact be Korine's ultimate goal? Or maybe I'm just projecting.

As far as the moralistic aspect of the characters is concerned, I agree with the laissez-faire approach taken by brownbunny. The film never strikes me as a comparison between Xenia and Smalltown, USA, so the relative moral scale that encompasses the two seems a little irrelevant. And (trying not to lapse into the peace and love B.S. of the previous paragraph) I think the key to enjoying (perhaps that's the correct word) GUMMO is the ability to suspend the belief that one's "moral barometer" is, in fact, accurate. This is an area that would be better touched on after I've rewatched the film, but I recall finding very few, if any, characters whom I would refer to as void of morals -- and certainly, certainly not Solomon. Oddly enough, I actually have quite fond memories of that character; I'm looking forward to visiting him again.

I also found your mention of sadness curious, scalesofjustice; I don't remember seeing too much sadness in the two boys, but I am going to reserve that one until after another viewing. I'm also going to have to see if I can track down that term paper on Korine's use of music. I remember finding quite a level of subtlety under the obvious structural conceits. Then again, I was in undergrad, so who knows how well I justified that.

-Toilet Dcuk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:03 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:06 am
Location: canofzebras.com
toiletduck! wrote:
I really should watch JULIEN

I actually like it more than Gummo. It contains my favorite scene from any film, which is Herzog's waterhose scene.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:35 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: The 'Go
Well, I couldn't make it... I put off The Queen one more night to rewatch this. Lizzie would be appalled!

It certainly doesn't get any less confrontational with time, but some of these vignettes have come to grow on me. Watching Solomon lift silverware in the basement or the albino girl talk about Swayze is almost like visiting old acquaintances (don't know if I'm ready to go so far as friends).

I'm no longer able to be disturbed by these people, though. I don't even know how to attempt it. There are many times when their actions repulse me, but I can think of very few instances in the film where a character acts with the intent to harm another. There really is no moral quandary within the characters -- look at Solomon's eyes when he's with the mentally handicapped woman or how gentle Tummler is with the woman on the respirator. These are very human characters. Yes, they also shoot cats and sniff glue and swear like sailors at the age of 8, but look at the absolutely vitriolic attitude taken towards them in this thread alone. And that's quite tame as far as Korine's critics go. It's as frightening as some of these characters. I still think the film's main challenge to the viewer is to come to terms with it. Not adore it or even approve of it necessarily, but to be able to come out of it having seen some sense of normalcy or neutrality, perhaps.

Had I the time or the willpower, there's some sort of Wizard of Oz parallel to be drawn that I think could turn quite interesting, but alas, it's nigh on sleepy time.

-Toilet Dcuk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:47 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:58 am
Location: radiator
i think the comment about his films being downright ugly is pretty apt. ugliness can work very well as an aesthetic choice in something like eraserhead or even something like festen, where the dogma principle motivates the way the entire film operates, but in something like julian donkey boy it simply fails to connect. it's simply pure, unmitigated ugliness that is the prevailing feeling i get when watching it. gummo does, seemingly, the same thing and shares similar choices or visual peccadilloes, but in a way which is at least appealing in some small way. a number of images are striking and catch the eye immediately, despite being an aberrancy in what is most commonly held as beautiful (i think the scenes with the rabbit-eared child are evidence enough, especially the scene in the swimming pool with orbison's "crying"). julian, though, completely lacks that. it is as forgettable visually as it is thematically and otherwise (once again, sole exception being herzog). if the main actor's performance as a mentally affected person was in another film (like i am sam, or something equally turgid) all comments would invariably be derisive, as they should be - it's simply a grating, shallow performance.

i like that someone brought up the technique of provocation that is prevalent among more mainstream things, too, like with borat. with cohen and his performance as an unkempt kazhikstan journalist, though, there seemed to be subtext, it managed to stimulate you in some way, either through humor or the despairing thought that americans have no idea that kazhakstan (profuse apologies for what is most likely an inaccurate spelling) and its people share virtually nothing in common with the middle east, and that its citizens look much more russian, and their culture so much more...well, advanced...at least comparatively to what's shown in the film. korine seemingly lacks purpose for his provocation, though, so i think that may be a legitimate criticism.

it reminds me of something kubrick said in an interview, when asked whether or not an artist was impelled or obligated to speak in a meaningful way. (paraphrasing), he said something to the effect that an artist has no real sincere want or desire to shake the pillars of any foundation nor to hold the world to account or make, as it were, a point (at least in the sense that someone like oliver stone, guh, seems intent on doing); but that an artist does what he does as a means of expressing an emotion, of conveying a feeling that is distinct to him. ostensibly, korine lacks this, thus the dearth of "content" or depth to his films. in this context and considering this quote, i'd say it's debatable as to whether or not korine is a (in large, phallic capital letters) an ARTIST. it just means, i think, that gummo is an amusing music video.

as regards herzog and his endless hosannas and praise for korine, i don't know if that should be shared or viewed with any particular reverence. he did, as some may recall, say that the only essential films were kung-fu, fred astaire and pornography (though i will take his high opinion of "brown bunny" with encouragement =D> ). additionally, some filmmakers have terrifically bland and sterile taste. lest we forget bergman's disavowal and bitchiness in the matter of orson welles and antonioni (though i do like bergman, i don't know if he's made a film as wonderful as l'eclisse, nor one as visually resplendent as the trial, so perhaps his lips are best kept shut).

actually, since being in this board and contributing, my like of korine has attenuated and decidedly turned sour. you people have corrupted me. :oops:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:45 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:31 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC
There are a lot of moments in Gummo that I think are supposed to read something like those wonderful Herzog-moments, perhaps when someone is looking at a camera and doesn't know what to say, or when some fowl is dancing. It feels like the Gummo scenes are just watered down Herzog-esque segments that never really capture that same odd feeling or life that you get in Herzog's films. There were only a couple of times I really got that greatness from Gummo, one being the arm wrestling scene where they demolish the chair. I have to say, that scene made the whole movie worth seeing. But, maybe I shouldn't be comparing the two and that's the problem.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:26 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:06 am
Location: canofzebras.com
In regards to that; an online Q&A session with Werner Herzog while promoting Wheel of Time:

Young William
You are friends with Harmony Korine, and yet don't you find his work draws a little too much from your own? For example, the "beautiful" rendering of ice skaters in Julien Donkey-Boy comes across as a poor equivalent/copy of sequences of ski jumping from your quite magnificent The Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner.

Werner Herzog
It's not a very healthy argument that is given there because Harmony Korine is so much alone in his style and in his subjects and thank God we have such a great talent. I was fascinated that Harmony Korine has such a lively way to approaching images, to narrative forms that are quite different from me. He actually sees me as some of sort of father figure, like a mentor. He urged me to act in his film and he even wanted to act himself as my own son. It has a deeper meaning. I accepted that and I enjoyed it and I think that I'm a good actor; at least totally dysfunctional, hostile and terrifying. Harmony is really on his own and there is never an attempt to imitate my work from his side.

> link

I think the Herzog influence is more present that Herzog himself sees it, but there also a number of other influences which Korine claims, such as Pixote. I kinda like to see various influences mixed together and mixed in with a touch of personal style. I like what Robert Altman had to say on the matter in the commentary for 3 Women.

Korine is certainly not a filmmaker for everybody or even many people, and I don't mind that most loathe him. His work is very valuable to me and more than anything, I just appreciate the fact his films have been financed and made and that there are people out there who dig what he's doing.

I think among film people, Korine is a very touchy subject, like religion or politics, and perhaps I'm being pessimistic but I don't think one side will ever be able to convert the other.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 131 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection