Avant-Garde

Junkfood Cinema - Large

Editor’s Note: This week, Brian is busy shoving hotdogs into his mouth to prepare for Comic-Con. We asked how that would help, but he hung up on us, so I’m writing this week’s entry. Enjoy! Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema. You’re welcome. Our weekly dive into the gluttonous, saturated fat-saturated world of questionable movies has taken a detour into the educational this week, but it won’t be boring like a high school calculus class. It’ll be far worse than that. Why? Because we’ll be dissecting to death a piece of trash blowing about the graffiti-lined streets of some big city in the 1980s. We’ll rip out its guts, toss its sexual organs under a microscope, but then, yes then, we’ll get to its heart. And at its heart, we’ll learn the true meaning of dance. Or something. We will lift it up on the highest pedestal possible because Lorenzo Lamas will have taught us what it really means to keep it real. That’s right. This week’s unhealthy portion is the sweaty, 1984 breakdancing opus known as Body Rock.

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Culture Warrior

What exactly do we mean when we find a movie to be boring? Does boring mean redundant? Monotonous? Tedious? Wearisome? Frustrating? Tiring? Uninteresting? Not challenging? The proposed definitions here are far from a collection of synonymous effects on what constitutes a “boring” work. The above terms can often be associated with boredom, but when parsed apart these can denote very different, even oppositional, experiences. For instance, tedium and frustration, which imply an active and engaged (though not positive) form of viewership, do not necessarily describe the same experience as something that feels monotonous or tiring, which by contrast suggests a passive viewer. However, the boredom critique deserves to be severed from its associations with “uninteresting” and “unchallenging” cinema, and “monotony” and “tedium” need not always be negative experiences when watching films. Boring cinema can instead be the most challenging and revelatory of all. In 2009, I wrote a piece titled Slow Isn’t Boring in which I defended the type of deliberately-paced cinema Dan Kois later expressed his frustration with, arguing that slow cinema has the capacity to give viewers a unique and hypnotic experience of time that you can’t find in other entertainment media. Thus, with the films of slow filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky, Apichatpong Weerasethakhul, and Carlos Reygadas, I find myself the furthest from a state accurately described as “bored”; in fact, I experience the reverse: total immersion.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Good old Chris Gore posted this micro-short up on twitter a while back, and it hit home (probably because of an unexplained fear of public restrooms). In it, a young pair of schoolgirl legs is attacked viciously by a monster who’s called Inky for a reason. It’s little more than a showcase of an interesting practical effect, but it works in a twisted way, and it’s absurdly hilarious for a split second. Or maybe that’s just the fear talking again. It’s outrageous and over-the-top without really showing a single thing. Since it’s this short, it only gets to throw one punch, but it throws it hard. What will it cost? Only 1 minute. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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To those who don’t spend several hours a day debating whether Godfather was better than Godfather II (it is), and an entire day watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a personal challenge, the idea of film as literature probably seems radical.

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