Whore Hall of Famer Mark S. Allen
how's the whoring?
Kevin Smith's latest
self-indulgent turd Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is
"@#$@#$ Hilarious!" - that's the spirit, Mark!
Rat Race is "Quite poosibly the funniest
movie ever!" - holy fuck! What a whore!
Also, beware of
Kevin Thomas of the L. A. times. He's a quote whore at a real
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
When you're young--not like a little baby but young in that
the whole world is still wide open in front of you and you have
yet to be fired from your first job for cutting someone's toe
off with a hedge clipper even though the guy was egging you on--when
you're young there is a moment when the teachers stop telling
your parents you have potential but you're hanging around "bad
influences," and they start telling that to your friends'
parents. It's the moment that the world decides you're irredeemable.
Oh, you're still smart, and you still act the same, but everyone
finally got sick of waiting for you to use all that promising
talent to do what society wants. The time comes when the other
kids start acting like adults, stop making so much fucking trouble,
start being a little dishonest about what they will and will
not do, and pretend to like jobs they hate until they don't even
remember they once hated them. But you stick to your beliefs
that most people's music sucks ass, that sitcoms aren't funny
and that money is a really shitty measure of individual achievement.
Because of that, you end up on the outside, trying to feel superior,
but knowing full well you'll end up a bitter old man, alone in
an apartment among six-foot-tall stacks of yellowing newspaper,
still listening to old vinyl Wall of Voodoo records, the strong
odor of stale urine lingering near the fireplace, and cans of
cat food but no cat. It scares the piss out of me, but it's too
There are all these wrong turns that led us to here. Maybe
if I bought "Thriller" instead of "Are We Not
Men? We Are Devo!", or married Melissa and had lots of babies
and a minivan, or went to college for business administration,
then I could enjoy Friends and ER and feel a sense
of accomplishment for buying a house and car that look exactly
like the neighbors'. If I had chosen more wisely when I was younger,
I would be too busy calling people on my cell phone and laughing
at the Budweiser frogs to ever get sad or angry.
Ghost World beautifully captures the adolescent moment
when Enid (Thora Birch) realizes that she is forever doomed because
she stayed her course while everyone else compromised. She's
fucked up, just like me and most of you, and while we all hope
for happy endings, we chicken out, sabotage our chances and have
to settle for something like a desk job that makes us contemplate
swerving into a tree on the way home every night.
After high-school graduation, Birch and Becky (Scarlett Johansson)
mock the losers they graduated with and correctly surmise that
graduating high school is about as worthy of celebration as getting
syphilis in Tijuana. Out of boredom and meanness, Birch answers
the most pathetic personal ad she can find, simply to see what
kind of loser (Steve Buscemi) will show up. She slowly entwines
herself in this sad sack's lonely existence. As she becomes involved
in Buscemi's life as an obsessive collector of jazz and blues
78s, she learns that he is actually better, more interesting
and complex than the mainstream. But his beauty is hidden because
everyone is too focused on the homogeneous, prepackaged images
that get shoveled down our throats. She admires him, adores him
for his ideals, but is repulsed by his loneliness and the sorry
resignation he faces the world with. In him, she sees what lies
ahead for her.
Meanwhile, her friend Johansson is slowly migrating into society.
She gives up the alienation shtick for a job, an apartment and
normalcy. To her, the bitter disappointment with the world was
really just a hobby. Birch feels her only friend slipping into
the mainstream, leaving her alone in the "ghost world"
of individuals who coexist with society but are marginalized,
unfelt and unseen. She's betrayed. Even worse, though, she is
Ghost World is funny, sometimes really fucking funny,
and it contains one of the single most tragic scenes I've ever
seen. All I can say is it has to do with an old man and a bus,
but it's the closest I've come to crying in a movie since Flealick
bought the farm in Babe: Pig in the City.
Director Terry Zwigoff and co-writer Daniel Clowes have put
their asses on the line. There is so much of themselves on the
screen, and it must have hurt like hell to tell a story that
is clearly about their own failure to fit in. But, it works because
it's intimate and it's real, not some goateed screenwriter's
interpretation of how the rest of us live. There are no bullshit
resolutions dreamed up by lazy hacks, and no phony conflicts
just for the sake of breaking glass.
The script is almost a total success. It captures the flat,
catty commentary of those of us who use that as a defense against
our own patheticness. It lets the characters express their longings
without having to spell them out. What a fucking relief it is
to watch characters that are so well-defined we understand what
they want through their actions, not from awkward chunks of exposition
projectile vomited by overly handsome actors. The dialog is never
whipsmart or show-offy. It's simple, honest and sly in the sense
that characters say brilliant things without knowing it.
The story only fails when it veers off course to make an obvious
statement about how video stores don't carry classic movies.
It makes Buscemi's love life a little too easy. It moves too
slowly at the end, and lets Birch off too easily. Director Terry
Zwigoff also tries too hard to say that consumer culture is what's
fucked us up. I disagree. I think we fucked us up and it's the
fact we're so fucking lazy that breeds shitty products--like
Sylvester Stallone movies--in the first place. If it were the
stone age and there were no consumer goods to buy, we'd find
some other lazy way to avoid becoming interesting individuals
who may be mocked or discarded.
Ghost World's secondary characters have lives of their
own, and the glimpses we catch are perfect snapshots of people
we know. There's Doug, the tank-top-sunburned, mullet-headed
meth-freak who practically lives in the mini-mart and practices
his nun-chucks in the parking lot. David Cross plays the geek
who is so impressed with himself that he has no idea what a fucking
loser he is. Ileana Douglas is dead-on as the art teacher who
thinks every fucking piece of art should have some important,
obvious political message.
Steve Buscemi should spend the rest of his career playing
sad sacks. He's so God damn perfect it makes my teeth ache. He's
pathetic, but with no interest in sympathy. In fact, he hates
himself before anyone else has a chance to. He plays the character
perfectly smart and self-aware. It's proof that you can be a
genius and a fuck-up and the dichotomy is that one may never
win out over the other.
Birch and Johansson are outstanding, and I'm not just saying
that because they both have big tits. They do, but this story
is about them as people, not models to be thrown about by the
script. They play the characters as real teenagers, not the glossy,
mindless Hollywood interpretation of teen. Their roles would
be mutilated by any actress more interested in her career than
making a great movie.
The movie captures the flat, gray world of power lines, homes
illuminated by television and fast food restaurants. The rooms
people live in look lived-in and full of genuine artifacts. It's
an unbelievable accomplishment for a movie to make a teenager's
room look like a teenager lives there.
Four Fingers for Ghost World. I would say everyone
should see it, but you shouldn't. Most people won't understand
it because they didn't even know this world existed. Worse, they
wish it didn't. Fuck them.
to tell Filthy something?