Monday, November 13, 2006

Why So Arty All The Time, Arty Movies?

Dear Arty Movies,
Look, I’m as annoyed with mainstream ‘cinemah’ as the next guy. Ben and I regularly bemoan the lack of actual movies on our Netflix queue (as opposed to episodes of Nip/Tuck, Deadwood, and whatever else we don’t see on cable). So recently we tried to remedy this by moving some movies up on the queue. One week we watched Blow Up. Or we started to. I fell asleep after the third extended arty sequence about... nothing. About Vanessa Redgrave running away from the photographer for ten minutes. Although I did enjoy the crazy sixties fashion, that was about all I enjoyed. This weekend we watched Brick, on the hearty recommendation of some friends. I do not care for movies like this. Yes, I appreciate the effort to make something different, but in the end, what I want is to feel something. I don’t want to be made to feel something, Hollywood style with big music, and I recognize and even appreciate your efforts to combat this. I want to just feel something. I also enjoy thinking something. What I don’t enjoy is being made to recognize your artiness, arty movies. Plus, I also enjoy being able to understand what the actors are saying. None of this rhythmic pin-brick-doad-brain nonsense.
Arty movies, I cite Me and You and Everyone We Know, Lovely and Amazing, Amelie, Eternal Sunshine, anything by Wes Anderson, as sufficiently arty for my taste, and I suggest you take their cue – these movies are your kin, not your mortal enemies. You do not have to be obtuse and unpleasant in order to be arty.
Many thanks for your consideration,
E. Crane
PS Arty friends, I know some of you are going to be upset with me, but it had to be said.


beth b. said...

i think ryan walked out of Brick in the movie theatre.

Anonymous said...

Full agreement. Art films are almost always too pretentious, for me at least. I like feelings, I like smart dialogue, I like not being depressed.

— Chafe

p.s. Did I mention that post-modern-nihilism is old hat?

Betsy said...

See, what's so great about these comments is that they're coming from really arty, not pretentious people!

kfoz said...

Brick is possibly the only movie I've ever walked out of. It was impossible to watch it without simultaneously shouting at the screen and making fun of the awful "meaningful" dialogue.

Meanwhile, I just saw Marie Antoinette, which is totally arty and I mostly liked it, while simultaneously understanding why almost no one else will.

chicopants said...

does Kinky Boots count as a artsy? or just british? That's the last movie I saw that I really liked. (and Woody Allen's Matchpoint)

smussyolay said...


carolyn said...

i loved 'marie antoinette' too.

but i hated 'me you and everyone we know'. not for its artiness but for its ickiness.

chicopants said...

o.k., what's "me you and everyone we know?" why did you think it would be good and why was it icky?

Anonymous said...

Ma Chère Elizabeth,
WATCH Blow up again and before read about it. ( Some ) Great works of art are not given right away. Context, time and place. Does it ring a bell ?
Your definition of arty seems to melt with CUTE, FUNNY, TRENDY, tout à fait INNOFENSIF et mignon, but I would rather chose a Disturbing, dark and mysterious direction.


Angelo Le Criminel

Elizabeth Crane said...

Why no name? I signed mine.
I have no problem with disturbing or dark or even mysterious. Disturbing and dark and arty for the sake of being disturbing and dark and arty I find pretentious and irritating, and in the case of Brick and Blowup, sleep inducing.
And if my taste in movies is cute and innofensive, as you say? C'est la vie. I'll watch Blowup again someday when you agree to watch Lovely and Amazing again - and tell me your name.

Elizabeth Crane said...

PS You put "funny" in caps like that's a bad word? What's that all about? Arty can't be funny?

Anonymous said...

Ma chère Elizabeth,
Mais j'ai signé, je suis Angelo le Criminel...
I agree to watch Lovely and amazing, I have nothing against lovely and amazing, I don't know this movie. Did you watch Blow Up in a movie theater or at home ?
Bien à vous et une belle journée ! Angelo le Criminel

Imsoarty said...

you didn't see the ending scene? shame on you.

pretentious arty films are the ones like weather man and sometimes shit from gus van sant. lol.

Elizabeth Crane said...

Hey imsoarty - not a huge fan of people shaming me here on my blog - but frankly, I don't feel I have to apologize - the movie didn't hold my attention. That's why I fell asleep. End of story.