Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tweet of the Day

I've been not only a big fan of Ellis's for decades but a big defender of his as well. Anyone who's read my own book, Dead Star Twilight, knows that I paid homage to Less Than Zero in it in several, often very direct ways and I still think that American Psycho is the most scathing indictment of the new culture of greed spawned in the 80s ever committed to posterity.

But, Jesus, Ellis needs to have his Twitter account taken away from him. It's a nonstop, raging menstrual-flow torrent of egomaniacal id that reduces Ellis to nothing more than a paper-thin character from one of his books. When Ellis isn't tweeting at 4am drunk off his ass and probably coked to the gills, usually about whatever ridiculous thing pops into his buzzing head, he's posting painfully stupid pop culture nuggets, suggestions and "predictions," like the one above, that never -- and I mean never -- pan out to have any bearing in reality. If he's going for meta, he did it better in Lunar Park, which at least had a surprising streak of humanity at its core.

Ellis raves about Silver Linings Playbook for the same reason he cast crap-acting porn star James Deen in his new movie, The Canyons: Because he spends an inordinate amount of time concocting fantasies about being able to fuck a guy he's seen in movies whom he really thinks is hot (in the case of Silver Linings, Bradley Cooper).

Speaking of The Canyons, no one associated with the production of that movie has a right to pretend that he's got any wisdom to impart on anyone or should otherwise be taken the least bit seriously. That fucking train-wreck was already rejected by Sundance and has now been passed on by SXSW, which cited "quality issues" and called the movie "ugly." This of course follows an instantly classic New York Times piece from a couple of weeks ago that publicly tore the movie's production to shreds and made its star, the execrable Lindsay Lohan, out to be the walking nightmare she is.

Ellis should wise up and pull a Garbo or something -- for his own sake.

Hell, at least Jay McInerney has made the decision to spend his literary twilight years tweeting nothing but insufferably pompous boasts about which vintage of Chateau Lafleur he's currently drinking in the Hamptons.


JohnF said...

Ellis is the same idiot who thinks Kathryn Bigelow only gets attention because she has a vagina.
This from the guy who makes movies that are basically unwatchable.

JohnF said...

Having said that, Silver Linings Playbook is really good.

Chez said...

It is. It's very good. I doubt it's going to win Best Picture, though. But, you know, Bret's talked to a couple of Academy members and he's sure that Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty are both too conservative to win. Because he knows stuff.

JohnF said...

It has no shot of winning Best Picture, not when "important" movies like Lincoln are on the ballot.

Riles said...

Funny, I was thinking the same thing about Bret after this tweet yesterday:

"I wish people would stop taking the standardly "controversial" and boringly negative route with THE CANYONS. It's actually a good movie... "

His tweets are on the borderline between entertaining and tiresome for me.

JohnF said...

"Standardly" is not a word.

Anonymous said...

It amuses me when people say that Silver Linings is so good and deserves an Oscar. The movie's built around the concept of the harsh realities of mental illness, specifically, a bipolar crazy person who refuses to take his medication. And it keeps going back to that harsh reality of real mental illness.

And how does it conclude? Oh, it turns out that he just needed a girlfriend and do a dance-off.

Right. Right. Tell that to the crazy asshole who shot up Sandy Hook.

Chez said...

I know someone else who didn't take his medication this morning.

Anonymous said...

I know that it's a feel-good movie, but the intrinsic problem with the movie is that it bills and constructs itself as being this film that really digs at the heart at how debilitating mental illness actually is and what it actually does to relationships without treatment....

....and then jettisons that for a hollywood ending of public confessions of love, dance numbers, etc.

So the question then becomes: what did the film accomplish in the end? What did these characters, with their very real, very destructive mental illnesses solve about their mental illnesses that were shown to rip apart their lives and the structures of their relationships, by falling in love?

One of the best critiques and comparisons I've seen that nails this compares it to the ending of "The Graduate." The laughing, and the slow realization that these kids didn't solve anything in particular and the sobering idea that they have no idea what happens next because what they just did didn't solve their problems intrinsic to their characters.

And that's the structural failure of a movie like this. It may have great performances, but the movie's theme collapses and make absolutely no structural sense for the type of movie it is.

Chez said...

I get what you're saying, but between this and the colossal mountain of shit Zero Dark Thirty is getting, I want to know when everyone suddenly decided that movies that dabble in serious social themes are under an unwavering obligation to be 100% factual, minus any kind of artistic license at all.

I didn't get the impression that love saved the day in Silver Linings Playbook, only that these two very broken people were at least taking baby steps toward healing and moving forward, or possibly learning to deal more positively with their issues. In the movie, everyone is basically "crazy" in one form or another and the point seems to be that it doesn't have to completely incapacitate you. If I wanted an actual medical dissertation on mental illness, I'd watch a documentary.

Anonymous said...

While I understand your irritation relating the sudden impulse of where art being responsible for answering to life, there is a comparable difference between the two, which you yourself were able to point out at least relating to zero dark thirty.

You pointed out that torture could be interpreted either as working or not working in zero dark thirty, but was just presented as something that happened and people's disgust with it. The difference between zero dark thirty and silver linings is that, while silver linings is a movie about the realities of mental illness and its destructive impact on lives and relationships, zero dark thirty ISN'T a movie about the realities of torture.

The difference is that silver linings essentially lies to itself and its audience with regard to the theme of the movie. In a movie about the destructive impact of mental illness and how it deteriorates relationships, the answer to that isn't "you just need a boyfriend/girlfriend." That's incredibly insulting and wrong. Just as, if Zero Dark Thirty were ACTUALLY a movie about the destructive impact of torture (it's ineffectiveness and how it actually harms our goals and standing here and abroad), and suddenly ends with Jack Bauer electrocuting a suspected terrorist's balls to save the day and everyone loves us for it.

Artistic license is fine. There's just a problem where you present a story's setting in a world of actual, real consequence, and then lie about the consequence for the sake of a tidy ending.