Monday, March 10, 2008

Be Kind Rewind Thoughts

I saw Be Kind Rewind tonight with my good friend Lauren, who oddly enough tends to agree with me on movies (Although she is far less cynical about them than I.) So it was a good person to see this with. The only other person I think I would have really enjoyed seeing this movie with was John, because we have a shared history with things like this, but I'm not complaining.

For any one who doesn't know, my job history (well, the important ones) reads: Grin n' Bear It (Ugh, kiddie restaurant), Cameo Theater (Small town, two-screen movie theater), Video Showplace (Mom and pop video store), Fried Films (Pronounced "Freed," although the way you read it the first time is probably more appropriate), and then BU, where I show tons and tons of movies every year. Oh, and of course, there was the four years of film school.

Of course, during all that, there was also Dursin the Firestarter, the little opus shot on video in Abington with basically anyone we knew, and some we didn't. And really, while it certainly had its faults, I've seen worse. So, I've always been on the fringes of the movie industry, literally on the ourside looking in. This is why Be Kind Rewind struck a chord with me, I think. Not to give myself too much credit, but John and I worked at Video Showplace together for a couple years, and I think if all the tapes in that place were somehow erased, and we had to film our own Ghostbusters, I think we would have done a fairly good job. That's one of the ideas Michel Gondry is trying to get across, I think. It's a satire of the film industry as a whole, obviously stating that the "Sweded" versions of the movies are better than the orginals (and with Rush Hour 2, they are probably correct).

But the film is also saying something that we realized while filming Dursin the Firestarter all those years ago. And that is that necessity is the mother of all invention. Because we obviously had no money, we came up with so many ways to make it appear that I was shooting fire out of my hands that it was scary (literally, since they were always my hands.) We burned many GI Joes. We bought cap guns. We bought fake blood at Halloween. We had so many people involved that people started to get to know us outside our circle of friends and were asking us to be in it. I mean, I really wish Youtube was around back then.

And not to spoil the plot (it's all in the trailer anyway), but a similar thing happens in Be Kind Rewind, and people start to get into this ricockulous idea of these two guys filming their own versions of real movies, and they even want to be in them. It really brought me back to those days shooting Dursin. I really wish I been able to appreciate them then, because they're certainly gone. Every time John and I have tried filming anything since has failed. I guess we're all grown up now (well, it was about 15 years ago). But they were magical days.

That's also in the film. Besides being a smart little satire, it's also an homage to the magic of filmmaking, when you were given lemons and were forced to make lemonade. There was no way to make CGI lemonade (because honestly, I fucking hate CGI). Michel Gondry, who also didn't use any CGI in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is once again showing us how and why it's not always necessary to have the best-looking girl at the party on your arm, but it's really cool if you can have one who can down a few beers with the boys. He'll never make Cloverfield, but really, who the Hell is going to remember Cloverfield in a year? This one is one to remember.

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