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14 Responses

  1. Adam FF says:

    You were a good guest on /film, that’s actually the way I discovered you guys. Keep up the good stuff BP. Also, I’m surprised you guys didn’t mention Toy Story, which is a movie concerning sentimentality with its current cultural weight, since many of us have fond “sentimental” feelings towards it (including at least one of you), as well as the movie’s own subject matter.

  2. Patrick says:

    So I think Earnestness is inherently neutral. I’ve seen good movies that are earnest (This year’s Win/Win, and I’ve seen some that are truly horrible. Earnestness is simply a risk that a filmmaker takes. It reveals us in our most naked nature. When something is “painfully earnest” it reflects perhaps an audience’s contempt for an aspect of the storyteller. Just because you are being truthful about your sentiment doesn’t make you right. I believe Lenny Reifenstahl really earnestly liked Blonde people.

    I think that earnestness is best when its matched with skepticism and self examination. I get angry when filmmakers mistake their earnest opinion as being an automatic truth. Just because you believe something with all your heart doesn’t mean I’m required to praise you for expressing it. However, when you balance that with a level of diplomacy of opinion, openmindeness, and curiosity, I think it can be useful. We’ve all seen what happens when we value earnestness over curiosity in our leaders.

    Sentimentality – Earnestness = Cynicism

    I must admit I haven’t seen Wet Hot American Summer and the Tim And Eric trailer left me profoundly puzzled.

    The show is solid as ever.

  3. Carlos says:

    “Wet Hot American Summer” was a milestone, a turning point in the comedy genre for film??? Please! It has not joined the pop cultural landscape, its dialogue or scenes are not referenced at the water cooler, like Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane, There’s Something About Mary, Office Space, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Superbad. Critcs are not behind the curve on comedies, it’s just that many comedies don’t deliver universal laughter.

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      I tried to clarify that I meant, within the comedy community, it was a milestone. Not necessarily in the mainstream or with the “water cooler” set. In rock terms, it’s kind of like Gang of Four, a heavily influential band that the mainstream never latched onto.

      – David

      • Carlos says:

        Define the comedy community. I don’t know who they are.

        The mainstream is clear. In the distribution curve, they see tent pole films (a la major studios), and they read TV Guide and drive a Toyota, but every once in a while something different hits the zeitgeist, like Little Miss Sunshine or Juno, and the flanks of the mainstream notice.

        • Battleship Pretension says:

          Little Miss Sunshine and Juno are indies that are practically designed to hit the mainstream. I wouldn’t call that a real crossover.

          As far as defining the comedy community, what exactly is not self-explanatory about that? I’m talking about the community of people making comedy (film, television, stand-up, etc.).

          – David

          • Carlos C. Rubi says:

            Sorry, David, indies are not designed to hit the mainstream but rather more niche audiences, but because of the word of mouth, some of the mainstream went to see it, especially for LMS. To quote, Syd Field, “nobody knows anything,” including the marketing department. No one knows what the public will like.

          • Battleship Pretension says:

            Do you not see the calculated quirk in both Juno and Little Miss Sunshine? The way they approximate “indieness” without actually being the least bit challenging? When I say they were designed to hit the mainstream, I mean they attempted to capture everything that is “cool” about indie film while remaining wholly palatable to the masses. That’s the main reason they’re such bad movies.

            – David

          • Carlos C Rubi says:

            David, “indies,” stopped being cool a long time ago. Movies that try to be cool, usually are not, just like people who try to be cool, usually are not. For the record, I liked Juno and LMS. They were not brilliant, but few movies are, but they were very character driven, and much more interesting than the Hollywood mainstream films that are 50% car chases, blow ups and flesh. In regards to your definition of the comedy community, you may have (just maybe) identified about 2,000 people, but what good does it do movies like Wet Hot American Summer to preach to the choir.

  4. Carlos says:

    How odd that both of you liked Precious but not Requiem for a Dream, considering that Precious was basically Requiem for a Black Dream. Tyler failed to realize that the reason he liked RFD the first time, but not the second time, was because he had changed over time, but RFD had not and never will change. Movies are immortal.

    We all go through that. Our reactions, feelings, sentiment, etc. for a movie will vary dependending on where we are in our own life stages and our moods at the time. For example, I loved Saturday Night Fever when I was a kid for it’s music, fashion, dance. Later in my life, I hated it for its disco dribble and New Yorker sterotypes; I felt as if I had been suckered the first time. Then, later again, I liked it for its coming of age theme. SNF had not changed, I had.

  5. Mladen says:

    Fascinating to hear Tyler talk about his taste in food (not being sarcastic).

    I have a sister and a sister in law who are both very fussy eaters. My sister in law’s fussiness might come from the fact that her family were never adventurous eaters, and the food they ate was always clearly delineated in terms of flavour (not heavily spiced, usually plain peas, plain meat, etc).
    On the other hand, my own sister is a very fussy eater, and in my family we were often eating unusual things (usually based on whatever was in season), lots of varying spices. I came out VERY experimental with my tastes in food and open to all flavours, she VERY fussy. So upbringing might have nothing to do with it at all.

    I disagree somewhat when Tyler says its not possible to change what food he likes though, in that I don’t think the act of ‘tasting’ food is entirely just about putting it in your mouth.

    We eat with our eyes and our sense of smell well before we even put the food in our mouth. I remember an experiment where they applied different coloured flavourless food-dyes to foods (bread, omlettes, etc) and fed to them to test subjects to have them rate the taste. Black foods were generally graded poorly, even though the tastes were identical.

    Obviously the fast-food and confectionery industry is aware of and capitalise on it with packaging design, candy coating colours, etc. Even the colour of the furniture in a restaurant can affect your sense of taste. Smell is the other factor, and I assume certain restaurants (with certain fragrances heavy in the air) can adversely or positively affect your sense of taste.

    I’m sure that going into eating a certain food with an expectation shapes our experience of it, there’s lots of complicated factors besides ‘tasting’ is all I’m getting at. I’m sure Tyler is aware of all of this though, and unfortunately isn’t in a position where he can change any subconscious dispositions he has towards foods (besides changing the decor wherever he eats). But I thought it might be an interesting experiment if Tyler were to try certain foods blind, and not be told in advance what they are. I have no idea if it’d change whether he likes them or not, but hell, worth trying for laffs (moreso if you do it at a BP live show).

    Totally agree about scotch though. Yech.

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