FUNNY HA HA: DISCUSSION POINTS

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Another great post-college search of a film a la Reality Bites, Kicking and Screaming and later Tiny Furniture. “I’m just walking the earth…,” Marnie says.#TweeFilm

There’s a lot more about this in the book but Dollenmayer/Marnie is very much a muse. It’s her film, and wouldn’t exist without the person/actress (person first)#TweeFilm

More awkward pauses and laughter than any previous film in history most likely, but it freed cinema for awkward pauses and laughter and character is never broken. It’s some kind of feat. And it does real real.#TweeFilm

“What’s your deal?” “I’m sorry, that’s such a terrible question.”#TWeeFilm

Cassavetes gets mentioned much in discussion but this and some of the other Mumblecore remind me of the Warhol talkies I loved so much as a kid and felt cool for renting.#TweeFilm

Relate-ability is key: Marnie is looking around for the right person, both worthy of her and genuinely interesting. How aware is she of her attractiveness? Shit if I know but it doesn’t seem like much. “90 percent of the guys you know are head over heels in love with you,” she’s informed and seems genuinely surprised. Pointing out faux naiveté is a tool of the Twee hater though.#TweeFilm

“I’m like eggplant retarded.”#TweeFilm

Things to do: “become a better cook, learn to play guitar, go to museums, go without drinking one month, fitness initiative…” who does not own one of these lists… now probably on their phones.#TweeFilm

“We’re all gonna die someday.”#TweeFilm

One of the more convincing depictions of unrequited lust in film.#TweeFilm

Dollenmayer had offers after this film finally (finally) found its audience and seemed to have about the same interest in being a star as Marnie has in half the men in her universe.
I wonder what it would have been like if she’d made films like Gerwig made Lola Versus and Arthur etc.#TweeFilm

This is probably the more important film, well it definitely is, but I prefer Mutual Appreciation, the follow up. Just a preference.#TweeFilm

TODAY IN TWEE

Happy Birthday 72nd birthday to Mr. Brian Wilson, who along with the Beatles, the Stones, Dylan, Love, The Zombies, The Who, The Kinks and others, transformed the once staid and clinical studio atmosphere into a free for all for the (often psychedelically Hamburger Helpered) imagination.   Wilson is a Twee hero as a result, but of course, his stature comes not only only down to his revolutionary approach but also the heart-lifting, simple but graceful melodies he created and the way he directed his bandmates and often a crowded room of professional musicians, to render the sounds in the way he heard them in his tortured head.   The early “Surfer Girl,” is supposedly indebted to “When  You Wish Upon A Star,” the most Twee song of all time.   “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” “God Only Knows,” “Good Vibrations,” “Feel Flows,” “Sail On Sailor,” they have almost no precedent at all and are songs that have helped me through a lot of blues and via jukebox, made a potentially maudlin drunk (or date) hopeful.  Each one should be under a bell jar.   I interviewed Mr. Wilson for the New York Times (for a piece on “Be My Baby,” his favorite song and the white whale he’s been chasing for 50 years) and I had to be slow and patient with him but he’s still more or less a fully functioning genius who will one day appear on a stamp.  A national treasure, not made for these times, maybe but certainly a visionary who made them that much more bearable.

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FILM SOCIETY 5: FUNNY HA HA – 2002

The next and final film in our Twee Film Society series is Andrew Bujalski’s 2002 comedy, Funny Ha Ha, which many consider the template for what would, by mid decade be called, for better or worse, “Mumblecore.” For a couple of years, “Mumblecore,” was the hottest cinematic movement in youth culture but then there was a backlash, even among some of it’s key figures (many are interviewed in Twee, in a chapter that I will someday regret calling “Welcome to the Mumble). Bujalski is probably the most talented and certainly among the nicest of all of them. Many think this film is the product of the new “we can make a movie on our phone and edit on our computer” technological revolution but it’s actually pretty old school in its execution. Here is the trailer:

Here is the original review by A.O. Scott nearly three years after the film was made, once it finally was released by a distributor. It was already semi-legendary.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/29/movies/29haha.html

TODAY IN TWEE

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Happy 114th birthday to Monsieur Jacques-Yves Cousteau, inspiration for Bill Murray’s Steve Zissou of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With… (which has aged well in the decade since its 2004 release).

Like many my age (and Anderson’s age) Cousteau was a friendly, French face on 70s television: the Marlon Perkins of the blue.

This morning I read an article about a 9 foot Great White shark that was, to the bafflement of scientists, eaten, perhaps by an even bigger, possibly Pre-Historic shark and thought, “Cousteau would sort this shit out right quick.”

http://www.cousteau.org

TODAY IN TWEE

TODAY IN TWEE

Happy birthday to Maurice Sendak who would have been 86 years old today. Sendak passed away in May of 2012 but his many illustrated books (I’m reluctant to call them children’s books because they wear well way past childhood and are among the genre’s least condescending) are here to stay: The Night Kitchen, Higglety Pigglety Pop!, The Nutshell Library and the biggest of them all, Where the Wild Things Are. Fun fact: Sendak’s monsters and The Sex Pistols appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone within a few months of each other. Coincidence? Also born on this day: Judy Garland and Saul Bellow. Coincidence? Yes, probably.

FILM SOCIETY DISCUSSION – TINY FURNITURE 2010

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The Criterion Collection, if you have it, is key for the Paul Scrader interview. He
gets it. “It’s a good film that pretends to be an amateur film. In many ways Tiny Furniture is an old fashioned film that’s wearing these new raggedy clothes.”#TweeFilm

Dunham a Mumblecore fan but she’s more immediately accomplished than them. On a different level. Maybe it’s New York City and the artists parents. Maybe it’s just talent and really good taste in film (M. core and obviously mainstream and indie and cult). She’s more like Tarantino than she is like Bujalski.#TweeFilm

There’s an immediacy to it from the start. An explosive sort of one minute she’s not here the next she’s here kind of debut that only happens a few times in pop: Kanye, Amy Winehouse, Dave Eggers.#TweeFilm

The entrance is key. The tone of her voice. The lack of irony. The believablility and the comfort. “Honey, I’m home. Family?”#TweeFilm

Like many Twee heroes, Braddock, Grover from Kicking and Screaming, she’s just graduated College and has no idea what to do with herself. Dunham smart to put herself there, even if technically she was there, in real life. #Twee Film

She sleeps, and sleeps, like Braddock. She “smells a little stale.”#TWeeFilm

The advent of YouTube as the new diary, I think this is the first film where its discussed and more than that, there’s some kind of currency to it. It’s like “I saw your band. I heard your demo,” used to be, now it’s “I saw your clip.” The first time the “stars” who are not real stars are represented on film. Karpovsky who I interview in Twee, is the Nietzschean Cowboy. He is a star. “He’s a little bit famous.”#TweeFilm

Future Ray and Future Jessa are just different enough from their soon to be much more famous incarnations, but both so watchable.#TweeFilm

Another dead hamster. Garden State homage? Gilda. A Radner homage. A double homage.#TweeFilm

“Do you want to go to the Odeon and order everything on the menus?” Yes please, Jemima Kirke.#TweeFilm

Picnic at Hanging Rock, Christiane F, the signals here are “We know everything and if we don’t we can find out about it.” It’s empowering and paralyzing at the same time; unlimited pop culture/cult culture knowledge.#TWeeFilm

“Sitting on a crate of onions reading Austerlitz so he’s really literary. “#TweeFilm

“I took three Klonopin and woke up next to a spoonful of peanut butter…” how can you write that line and not become very, very famous?#TweeFilm

“I am a young, young person who is trying very hard!” Dunham, because she is brave, and politically sound can confess her fear. Even when I graduated, you could not, you simply could not admit you were terrified and lost, esp. in Downtown New York City. You had to know where you AND your art were going.#TweeFilm

The best movie ever to contain a sex scene in a large tube. “You don’t have AIDS do you?#TweeFilm

The younger sister relationship is grating but I suspect it’s supposed to be.#TweeFIlm

The shorts on the Criterion show where some of the more hysterical and less
plot driving moments of Girls come from. Hooker On Campus. #TweeFilm

FILM SOCIETY 4 – TINY FURNITURE – 2010

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Film Society 4 is Lena Dunham’s second and most famous feature film Tiny Furniture. We’re not going to discuss Girls 1-3 but I am open to including some chat on the HBO show. But let’s keep it to this very worth on its own 2010 film that laid a lot of groundwork for the milestone TV show, yeah? Here’s the trailer.

Here’s the original review from the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis .

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/movies/12tiny.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Here’s Dunham on Fresh Air in 2010

http://www.npr.org/2010/12/06/131761926/lena-dunham-s-big-dreams-rest-on-tiny-furniture