Monday, December 26, 2011

Bleakness is all.

I'm expecting company soon, but I'll scribble out a response quickly now.

"After seeing the TERRIBLE Swedish film that John can't seem to make up his mind about"

I think that I've been clear (of course I do) and I really think that we've had this argument before. I think that Sweded Tattoo does a more than competent job of telling its trashy story. Like Jeff, it's the story itself that I didn't care for. At the same time, I readily admit that the story is compelling in an "I can't stop looking at that anal rape" kind of way. Sweded Tattoo keeps a crisp and lively pace suited to its material. I really don't care what Glen Kenny thinks about this. For the record, I still haven't seen Fincher's version and never called it a copy of anything, so I'm not sure how Kenny's criticism applies. I believe you that Fincher's frames are Oh So Gorgeous. I'm merely stating that Sweded Tattoo tells its story just fine. And this is a fact. Evidenced by lots and lots of people having sat through a really long foreign film with itty little bitty words to read onscreen.

"John is the king of stating he prefers one thing to another. We’ve already had this out several times but he likes to take one work of art (in this case a television show which is far different from a movie) and hold it over another to prove his point (Cold Weather vs Drive, The Green Lantern vs Melancholia, etc.). What can I say? I don’t know how they relate or where that point is coming from"

It's the little Armond demon on my shoulder.

Seriously, though, it's called making a point by using an illustration. In this case, I tried to pinpoint what it is that I find lacking in Dragon Tattoo. The best way that I found to express that was by giving a contrasting example of what it is that I do enjoy and where I have found that sort of thing precisely in a work of "pulpy trash."

This obviously annoys you, but I don't think that my point is unclear or somehow invalid. Do you really not "know how they relate?" I already stated that they are both "pulp" entertainments. I explained above where that point is coming from and I (maybe mistakenly) thought that it was also clear in my original post.

"You have to admit that this is one of your indulgences and it often perks its little head up when you want to rub someone’s face in shit, specifically when they profess love for something"

I don't have to admit anything. Okay, I admit it. But, I deny that I'm rubbing anyone's face in shit (that's Fincher's happy job). I may be taking fun little jabs at times, but my intent is serious in making comparisons as a way of coming to terms (for myself primarily, but also definitely through wrestling with you guys) with why I will fall head over heels with one thing and not with another.

Haven't you ever written a comparison/contrast essay? Do you know that these things exist? How can you pretend that one film you watch doesn't interact in your head with every other film (and book and conversation and drink and song, etc.) you've ever encountered, especially the ones that you've also seen recently.

I'm not (nor have I ever been) strictly writing reviews here. In fact, I rarely do that. I'm just not interested in doing so. Instead, I'm having an open conversation with friends. Often, I'm just throwing out fragments and impressions and yes, it's absolutely true, I like to compare things that I've seen recently that do at least some things in the same way. If you can't see the similarities and dissimilarities between Drive and Cold Weather or Green Lantern and Melancholia, then maybe I didn't do a good enough job in comparing and contrasting them. For that, I'm sorry. I'm not sorry for comparing them. You seem to think it's some sort of wicked crime for me to do so and suggest strongly that this form of thinking and conversing is unhelpful. Well, I don't know. It's one of the ways that I work out how I feel about various things that I'm watching. I'm not attacking anyone. I'm trying to clarify my own position by making connections and relating things to each other. I see connections and relationships everywhere. I'm not sure why you don't. Sorting and ranking comes natural to most of us geeks. Why is it suddenly taboo when I vocalize this natural internal process?

Finally, for the record, I never doubted for an instant that your response to Fincher's Tattoo is totally honest. That's what we're all committed to here. I was just (in a strong teasing way; I know you can take it) pointing out that you were predisposed to like it. I believe you that you were nervous, but I also think that it was nervous excitement and that you went in to the film wanting to love it. Nothing wrong with that.

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