Sunday, August 15, 2010

Odd Hour

I know that if there is one thing you care about more than any other, it is my occasional trouble sleeping. Last night I was up at an odd hour watching an odd movie, the title of which I cannot tell you. Why? 1) The "blog" frowns on negativity. 2) Have I ever made a movie? No! So who am I to talk? 3) I just read the movie's sad backstory on imdb. Why should I add to someone's sadness by poking fun at his or her movie? 4) I only saw the middle of the movie. Maybe the beginning and ending were terrific. 5) I was punchy. I can tell you this much: it was about a man calling in to a radio talk show a la FRASIER, so there were lots of lingering shots of people listening to their radios with profound faces at the apparently remarkable repartee between the jaded host who might just get his groove back with one last shot at helping someone and the bitter, savvy caller broiling in a secret anguish which he expresses through supposedly caustic humor. Almost every line of dialogue was answered with a reaction shot. Whenever a character said a line, another character would make a face, silently expressing something: "What a good point!" or "Food for thought!" or "How amusing!" or "I find this disagreeable!" The facial expressions were the only way you could tell what you were supposed to think about the dialogue, which was... oblique, yet somehow perversely "on the button." And sometimes the facial expressions just seemed cut in at random! Like they had a few extra facial expressions lying around and didn't want to waste them. Then a handsome young celebrity who is more famous (currently) than anyone else in the movie, I think, popped up out of nowhere and delivered an incomprehensible monologue about his character's dog. Then he skated away on a skateboard! Like, "I'm done!" Like, "Where's my check?" Did I mention that the movie is also about a ghost? (The skateboarder was not a ghost, at least I don't think so, but apparently he had some mystical wisdom to impart, but I really didn't get his point.) I really can't say the movie was "bad." I mean, it seemed terribly bad, but not in a way with which I am familiar. We may need a new word. It was boring in a fascinating new way. It was so awkward that it was almost transcendent. There was a misplaced confidence to it that was almost heroic. So if you're ever up late and there is a weird movie on TV and you think "This seems like the movie Jack was talking about," it probably is. You'll see what I mean!