Author Topic: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 471377 times)

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 25061
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2820 on: March 12, 2009, 09:38:20 PM »
I think the film is at its worst is whenever is slips into either of those two modes PSA mode or "oh, you thought that was bad, wait till you see this!" mode.  Telly's first bit of narration about how much he loves himself some virgins teetered on the brink of that second mode, but the way the "Kids" title card slammed in there at the end salvaged that moment I thought, actually making me laugh out loud.  (I read it as a parody of like the classic "Kids these days..." grumblings of an old person.)  The one glaring "after school special" moment was at the clinic.  In fairness to the film, clinics do sort of operate in "after school special" mode, so that was actual a bit of realism, but I still think it was sort of a mistake.

Those two examples are sort of minor.  It's the last scene between Casper and Jennie that really undercuts the film for me.  It actually feels like a cop-out, like Korine just didn't know how to write the confrontation between Jennie and Telly that the film has been building towards (probably rationalizing that such a scene would be too conventional), so instead he opted for shock value, trying to one-up all the behavior that has come before.  "Okay, I'll have him rape her while she's passed out.  Wait, that's not enough.  I'll have him do it in a room full of passed out people.  Better yet, we'll put one of the younger kids on the same couch, and as Casper rapes TellyJennie (lol), the motion will jostle the kid in his sleep.  Oh, perfect, that'll shock the hell out of the audience!"  Except it's not shocking at all because it's the most fake and constructed moment in the entire film, replete with empty irony and cheapening much of what came before.

Very good analysis.

I do mostly agree with your account of the ending. At the same time, I appreciated that it decided to do something like that (not necessarily that). I read the statement as; You know what? In life there's not going to be a big conclusive moment that neatly ties everything up. This shit is bad, and it's going to keep on being bad, and that's all there is.
Feel the same way.

Doesn't it seem like he should've said more to you guys though? Telling people how it is is important, but once you've achieved that wouldn't you want to take the next step? Whatever that is? I suppose the director is obliged to do no such thing, but still.... it bugged me.

roujin

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 15480
  • it's all research
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2821 on: March 12, 2009, 09:39:22 PM »
I remember Kids being very funny...

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 25061
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2822 on: March 12, 2009, 09:41:34 PM »
I remember Kids being very funny...

In hindsight, when I reasure myself that it was just a movie, I'm inclined to agree with you.

We all had a good chuckle at this:
[pixote] 9:24 pm: mmm, butterscotch, yo.  that's the best.

pixote

  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 32998
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2823 on: March 12, 2009, 09:41:50 PM »
I guess my ultimate problem, besides the brutal experience, is there was nothing I could find to take away from it. pix, were you just more receptive to the experience, or did you get something more out of it that I didn't?
Strangely hard question to answer.  I guess I am pretty receptive to observational/voyeuristic/documentary type filmmaking and just the sense of location and subculutre on display is almost enough for me.  I'm not big on themes!

But to dig in to that a little more, I'll try to articulate what I liked about what was probably my favorite scene in the film:



It's the scene in the kitchen where Casper (who might be this kid's older brother) and a few of the older guys are coyly asking the younger kids about their sexual experiences.  First off, as with much of the film, I love how real this moment feels.  It was probably scripted, but I honestly couldn't say for sure.  Second, I love the counterpoint between the sweetness of his kid and the debauchery that surrounds him.  Third, I love the sense of tragic fatalism of this moment, where it seems so certain that Casper represents this younger kid's future; and it's a future this kid wants — so much so that he's already playing the role.  Finally, I love the slight tenderness of Casper's response, the way he half plays along with the kid even though he knows he's full of shit.  (The whole thing actually reminds me a little of the puppet show scene from The 400 Blows, but more on that another time.)

There's also a great payoff to this scene a little later when the young kid is lying passively on the couch and just sort of giggling ticklishly and innocently while a girl lies on top of him kissing his chest.  It's adorable and tragic at the same time.

And that, in a nutshell, is what I got out of the movie.

pixote
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 03:43:44 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

roujin

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 15480
  • it's all research
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2824 on: March 12, 2009, 09:46:10 PM »
We all had a good chuckle at this:
[pixote] 9:24 pm: mmm, butterscotch, yo.  that's the best.

good times

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 25061
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2825 on: March 12, 2009, 09:47:23 PM »
I wish I could articulate myself as well, as quickly pix. Very nice.

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 25061
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2826 on: March 12, 2009, 09:47:38 PM »
We all had a good chuckle at this:
[pixote] 9:24 pm: mmm, butterscotch, yo.  that's the best.
good times
You sneaky devil!

pixote

  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 32998
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2827 on: March 12, 2009, 09:51:02 PM »
One last thought about Kids:  The soundtrack is pretty tremendous.  Not just the songs themselves, which are pretty great, but the way they're used.  The jazz in the background of some of the dialogue-intensive scenes is really perfect, adding to that summer vibrancy I mentioned earlier, and some of the rock and hip hop selections outdoors are equally good.  I think I might have even clapped a little when Daniel Johnston came on singing "Casper" (though that was before I realized that was the character's name).

The only real misstep, I thought, was the end credits song, which seemed a little too on point lyrically ("Spoiled children, soon to fall...").

Anyway, onward to Three Kings!

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9978
  • Eek
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2828 on: March 12, 2009, 09:52:48 PM »
Strangely hard question to answer.  I guess I am pretty receptive to observational/voyeuristic/documentary type filmmaking and just the sense of location and subculutre on display is almost enough for me.  I'm not big on themes!

But to dig in to that a little more, I'll try to articulate what I liked about what was probably my favorite scene in the film:

It's the scene in the kitchen where Casper (who might be this kid's older brother) and a few of the older guys are coyly asking the younger kids about their sexual experiences.  First off, as with much of the film, I love how real this moment feels.  It was probably scripted, but I honestly couldn't say for sure.  Second, I love the counterpoint between the sweetness of his kid and the debauchery that surrounds him.  Third, I love the sense of tragic fatalism of this moment, where it seems so certain that Casper represents this younger kid's future; and it's a future this kid wants so much so that he's already playing the role.  Finally, I love the slight tenderness of Casper's response, the way he half plays along with the kid even though he knows he's full of shit.  The whole thing actually remind me a little of the puppet show scene from The 400 Blows, but more on that another time.

There's also a great payoff to this scene a little later when the young kid is lying passively on the couch and just sort of giggling ticklishly and innocently while a girl lies on top of him kissing his chest.  It's adorable and tragic at the same time.

And that, in a nutshell, is what I got out of the movie.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to that. That actually really helps me understand where you're coming from. In fact, you almost have me convinced, although I would bet if I were to watch it again I would still have a negative reaction to it. It seems like it is likely an issue of receptiveness...I found the whole thing so off-putting that I couldn't be bothered to appreciate or enjoy the things you found to like about it.

Anyway, onward to Three Kings!

pixote

  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 32998
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2829 on: March 12, 2009, 09:54:28 PM »
Oh, wait, one more thing:  I had no idea Gus Van Sant was an executive producer on Kids.  Found that very interesting.  Also, it was fascinating to see that the soundtrack included music from Spike Lee's Crooklyn.  I wish I knew what moment in the film that was.

pixote
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 12:27:07 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.