RARA-AVIS: The Post-Modern Parsley of Pretension

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 08 Feb 2007

Mark wrote:

> Haven't seen Hollywoodland yet, but you're certainly right about
> Brick.
> As much as I like it (and I like it quite a bit), it is as much a
> commentary on noir as noir itself, encouraging noir fans like us to
> feel
> smug about catching the references and lineage. The same goes for
> Kiss
> Kiss Bang Bang, but more so.

My, what good taste you have. You nailed my ambivalence about KISS KISS and BRICK.

I loved them but at the same time I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed and even woozy from being jerked out of the story by all those sly winks and call-outs to hard-core crime fans.

I'm definitely going to have to check out UNKNOWN. I don't mind cleverness; it's the constant looking in the mirror I mind. Which is a problem I have with many crime flicks (and TV shows) these days -- the incredible, almost-incestuous self-consciousness of them.

It's as though the filmmakers are apologizing in advance: "Please forgive me, movie fans, for making a genre film. I'll wrap it up in pretension and post-modern wink-wink nudge-nudge crap and tie it up with archness and irony so you know I'm not 'really' taking it seriously, or stooping to being merely entertaining."

I blame it on too much film school. Didn't any of those geeks ever just love a movie for it's own sake?

Why can't any of these geeks just make a crime or detective film anymore without having to obsessively comment on (or parody or otherwise riff on) every other crime film ever made?

Like, there's this new show about a "wizard" P.I. called THE DRESDEN FILES. I'm not convinced yet that it's not worth watching, but damn, sometimes I wish Mannix would come over and kick his ass.

Like, forget this magic crap -- just go out there and solve some damn cases.

Sometimes a guy just wants meat and potatoes. Sure, a little parsley never killed anyone but half the time these days you can't even see the meal for all the garnish. And every year it seems like there's more and more parsely.

(Bringing you lame metaphors since 1958)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 08 Feb 2007 EST