Monday, April 17, 2006

Movie: Brick (2006)

Don’t listen to those who compare this high school detective tale and Sundance favorite to the teen gangster romp Bugsy Malone. Bugsy was a joke, fer cryin’ out loud. It had songs in it. Writer/director Rian Johnson intends this movie as a serious exploration of noir. At times it has the feel of an experiment, but always one carried out in earnest. More often than not, it taps into the darkness underlying every cafeteria clique and homeroom freeze-out. Classic noir is about desperate people at the ends of their tethers. It stands to reason that kids gripping those ropes for the first time would be desperate, too.

Mainly, the movie works because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Down these mean corridors a student must walk who is not himself mean, and Gordon-Levitt is your man.

Miscellaneous: Link

I’m late in coming to this Believer interview with Harold Ramis. (The Ice Harvest is on video now. If you haven’t seen it, do so at once.) Dave Kehr was late in coming to it, too, and I commend it to your attention for the same reason he does. Namely, this exchange:

Ramis: ... I can’t tell you how many people have told me, ‘When I go to the movies, I don’t want to think.’

The Believer: Does that offend you as a filmmaker?

Ramis: It offends me as a human being. Why wouldn’t you want to think? What does that mean? Why not just shoot yourself in the fucking head?