October 1st, 2011 / 12:40 pm


You’ve probably heard by now that Drive is very, very good. That’s because Drive is very, very good. Indeed, it’s about as good as a Hollywood film can be these days—it even bears comparison with the great B-movies of the late ’70s / early ’80s, which supposedly went extinct when Hollywood transformed itself into a industry of nothing but A-movies. (Box Office Mojo lists Drive’s production budget as $15 million, which is half as much as Woody Allen’s most recent film.)

After the jump is a spoiler-free list of ten things that I loved about the film.

1. Ryan Gosling, who has tremendous screen presence. He of course plays “The Driver”; existentialism has been a core convention of the driving movie since at least Monte Hellman‘s Two Lane Blacktop (1971). (That film’s writer, Rudy Wurlitzer, borrowed it from the Western, which borrowed it from the urban noir; see also Walter Hill‘s The Driver (1978).) Gosling glides through the film wearing a shy smile that he stole from Travis Bickle, and an utterly gorgeous white satin bomber jacket that his costume designer stole from Kenneth Anger. (The clothing in this film is a total pleasure of its own—as are Gosling’s perfect sideburns.)

2. All the other acting—especially Carey Mulligan, who’s perfect in what could have been a thankless role, and Oscar Isaac, who innovates in what could have been a terribly cliched role. Albert Brooks is as great as he’s always been (i.e., one of the best), and even Ron Perlman, whom I’m not normally such a big fan of, shines here. (He’s onscreen for ten minutes total, but they’re a rather charged ten minutes.) (Something similar can also be said for Christina Hendricks‘s own ten minutes.)

3. The direction, which is at all times deceptively simple and deservedly self-assured. The director, Nicolas Winding Refn, also made also the Pusher trilogy (1996–2005), Bronson (2008), and Valhalla Rising (2009), all of which I meant to see, but missed. I have some catching up to do.

4. Its love of genre conventions. Like any great genre film, Drive completely embraces its second-hand material and runs drives with it: it’s all, admittedly, immediately familiar. But like any good work of art it also makes you temporarily forget that you’ve ever seen this stuff before. Every scene contains something unexpected, and good luck predicting what any next shot will be, or how Refn will choose to present things. In other words, you’ll know where it’s all going, but you won’t have any idea how it will actually get there. (And you will never predict a single second of Gosling and Perlman’s eventual confrontation.)

5. Its sheer sensuality: the long, slow dissolves, the mesmerizing aerial shots of L.A. at night. (Michael Mann‘s spirit is haunting this film.)

6. That gorgeous cursive pink font! I’ll confess, by the time the opening credits sequence started, I’d already fallen in love.

7. Its neo-New Wave soundtrack, which I want you to hear so much that I’ve linked to the following tracks at YouTube:

Not to mention Riziero Ortolani’s: “Oh My Love,” which is used to pretty spectacular effect. And Cliff Martinez‘s original compositions. (Steven Soderbergh‘s spirit is handling the parts that Michael Mann’s avoiding.)

8. Its R-rating. Extreme violence, gratuitous T&A, filthy language—Drive‘s got it all; it’s an unapologetically male film. And I’ve been really down on “male cinema” as of late (I believe I’m on record somewhere saying, “For the next 100 years, all movies should be made by gay Puerto Rican women”), but this one—well, I’m going to let it pass. The key here is how shockingly bold it all is, not to mention poetic (not to mention well made, and conscious, I think, of what it’s doing).

9. The screenplay, which is admittedly (on a macro- level) the film’s weakest element, but still pretty darn good. The dialogue, for instance, is always well-crafted and telling, and much better than you might at first think. (Pay attention to how people use the word “friend”—they never use it to mean “friend.”)

10. The fact that it’s smart enough to reference both The Limey and Out of Sight, two of the best films of the ’90s.

OK, go see it, let me know what you think. I’ll no doubt write more about it later. For now, though, Drive is easily one of my favorite new films this year.

Other movies I’ve reviewed: Inception | The Dark Knight Rises | The Hobbit | Scott Pilgrim vs. the World | Lifeforce | Cloud Atlas

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  1. ryder collins

      i understand the conventions you are discussing when you call this an “unapologetically male film” but why do so many people have to reify violence and sex and cussing as masculine or part of the “male” realm? women also utilize and enjoy gratuitous sex, violence, and the filths in their art as well. maybe not as many…but still. it’s part of the reason i wrote Homegirl!. women are just as capable of tapping into that part of humanity that isn’t pretty or dainty or ordered or nurturing or politically correct, yo. the part that’s all fucked up where the beasties play…

  2. Adam D Jameson

      That’s a very fair question, and I agree with you that men have no monopoly on violence, sex, or language (nor should they!). But in this case, in this film, all of those things are coming from a very male perspective. It’s the male characters who are responsible for them onscreen (they’re the ones doing that stuff), and it’s a male director and writer etc. who are bringing them to us.

      If that clears things up. I actually have something of a problem with some of the ideologies underlying films like Drive, and I wouldn’t object to someone criticizing (or disliking) the film on those grounds. But I’ve chosen not to make such criticisms here because I like the film, and for the time being want to call attention to its more positive aspects (which are numerous).

      Cheers, Adam

  3. Lilzed

      hi Adam

      I haven’t seen the film, but somehow I feel that the plethora of male characters and artists involved isn’t what you meant when you wrote “unapologetically male.”

      Just sayin.

  4. Roxane

      I loved this movie. It’s one of the year’s best, without question.

  5. Adam D Jameson

      I…don’t think that’s quite what I said? But in any case, allow me to dig myself deeper!

      Anyone who knows me knows that, for the past ten years or so, I’ve been
      in deep despair about how so many contemporary Hollywood films are
      essentially little boy fantasies, in which little boys (and little white
      boys at that) acquire Super-Powers that they use to kill Bad People.
      Sometimes they Get the Girl, often girls don’t even figure into it.

      (And, sure, this isn’t something new. What has irked me about this,
      however, is how un-self-conscious these movies have been as of late—so
      grim and humorless, and so unaware, it seems to me, that a movie could
      even be anything else.)

      Drive is a movie in that mold. It’s better than a
      lot of other movies like that, but it’s totally that kind of film.
      Anyone who despairs upon seeing that kind of film will probably despair
      upon seeing Drive.

      However, what I was referring to above was the fact that, yes, I see how
      this movie does a lot of the things that have annoyed me for some time
      now, and which I’m on record as criticizing, but this time, there was
      enough other stuff—excellent, well-done stuff—that I am willing to
      suspend my usual criticism. I dunno. I guess even I can be convinced
      that there’s a place for such a film, even though I stand by my larger
      argument that I’m tired of them. Overall.

      In other words, read “unapologetically male” as “unapologetically an
      adolescent male fantasy.” I guess I’ve been going on about this for so
      long that I’ve adopted a private shorthand; I’ll step it up to try to be
      clearer in the future.



  6. Adam D Jameson

      I…don’t think that’s quite what I said? But in any case, allow me to dig myself deeper!

      Anyone who knows me knows that, for the past ten years or so, I’ve been
      in deep despair about how so many contemporary Hollywood films are
      essentially little boy fantasies, in which little boys (and little white
       boys at that) acquire Super-Powers that they use to kill Bad People.
      Sometimes they Get the Girl, often girls don’t even figure into it.

      (And, sure, this isn’t something new. What has irked me about this,
      however, is how un-self-conscious these movies have been as of late—so
      grim and humorless, and so unaware, it seems to me, that a movie could
      even be anything else.)

      Drive is a movie in that mold. It’s better than a
      lot of other movies like that, but it’s totally that kind of film.
      Anyone who despairs upon seeing that kind of film will probably despair
      upon seeing Drive.

      However, what I was referring to above was the fact that, yes, I see how
       this movie does a lot of the things that have annoyed me for some time
      now, and which I’m on record as criticizing, but this time, there was
      enough other stuff—excellent, well-done stuff—that I am willing to
      suspend my usual criticism. I dunno. I guess even I can be convinced
      that there’s a place for such a film, even though I stand by my larger
      argument that I’m tired of them. Overall.

      In other words, read “unapologetically male” as “unapologetically an
      adolescent male fantasy.” I guess I’ve been going on about this for so
      long that I’ve adopted a private shorthand; I’ll step it up to try to be
       clearer in the future.



  7. Ken Baumann

      I like Drive. I think it’s an artful crime movie, which is a beautiful and alluring genre. There are images, not necessarily sequences, but images that I’ll remember for a long time (shadowplay, sweeping lights on the beach, Ron laughing in his suit through the window, the back of the jacket tensing and relaxing). Why I didn’t love it: to me, the artfulness didn’t feel masterful, didn’t feel as if it naturally arose from the filmmaking process and story. This was less of a problem in Bronson, which I think is a better film. All said: I enjoyed this movie a lot, and much of it will stick with me. And I’m listening to Kavinsky now. 

  8. Maxwell

      Don’t forget the Brian Eno song from Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks that is used in most of the Carey Muligan scenes.

  9. deadgod

      Well, you’ve been irritated by “how un-self-conscious” little-boy-fantasy movies have become–and in the blogicle, you’re not irritated by “how shockingly bold” the ‘maleness’ of Drive is (is it really ever “bold” to be, eh, excitedly ‘male’? I mean, in uncritical circumstances, isn’t it . . . easy to be “unapologetically male”??).

      Maybe what surprises you about your reaction to Drive is that artful adolescent fantasies (of either or any gender) are perennially fun? –that you’re in–perhaps suddenly in–direct contact with the raw material of (privileged) teencentrism?

  10. Guest

      Probably best film this year. It’s unfortunate that the best film, though, is a forgettable, artsy dump. You hit the nail with the pink font: it’s all surface level, nothing of depth. People are letting this movie’s glitz and glamour, its pseudo-uniqueness, get to their heads.

  11. deadgod

      little boy fantasies


      los olvidados

      the glitz

      and the glamour

  12. Scottmcclanahan

      Has anyone watched Winding Refn’s Fear X?  

  13. Rauan Klassnik

      the Driver looks like Blake Butler,…      and, perhaps, in his spare time, Blake drives…
      with a shiny scorpion on his back…..


  14. Alexander J. Allison

      yes. i was going to say this.

  15. Adam D Jameson

      You broke the code, deadgod!

  16. Adam D Jameson

      I’m one of those poor deluded souls who thinks surface is depth. Well-done direction is its own content.

  17. Adam D Jameson

      Sure, if a film’s artistic, I’ll probably like it.

      Have you seen any of Christopher Nolan’s films? Do you like them?

      What about any of the other 1000 adolescent fantasy films Hollywood’s made o’er the past decade? Green Lantern? Was that a hoot?

  18. Adam D Jameson

      Blake, your Halloween costume has been decided for you!

  19. bobby

      My favorite movie in a long time. Seen it twice already and even peeped ebay for that sick jacket. 

  20. William VanDenBerg

      I’m not sure Drive is in “direct contact with the raw material of (privileged) teencentrism.”  When I think of teencentrism I think Clueless or Superbad, not of Albert Brooks slicing people.

      Also, there’s an element of fantasy in it but it’s so violent that I viewed it as commentary on movies like it (specifically The Transporter).  Overall the movie was fun, but during the Hendricks hotel room scene, I was grimacing, not smiling.

  21. William VanDenBerg

      I thought the uber-sappy song “A Real Hero,” was commentary, or at least an indication of awareness, of more mainstream action movies.  Gosling’s character might be called a hero, but he’s in no way “a real human being.”  He’s an emotionally stunted psychotic, not a John Q. Everyman.  
      Also, that mask he wears during the stunt sequence is totally of Jason Statham. 

  22. pcs

      honestly, i thought the movie was awful. you make convincing points, much smarter than anything i would ever come up with, but i wasn’t really buying a single thing in the movie. perhaps this is a genre concern i’m not aware of, but the entire thing felt flat, from the acting to the plot to the sound track. again, i’m not familiar with this genre, nor any b-movie ironic winks that may have been embedded in the film, but it from a pure layman’s point of view, somebody who thinks rg is one of the best actors right now, i thought it was very subpar and predicable, falling into most every trap which i think makes a movie not so great. 

  23. Ryan Felts

      Personally, I was shouting “Oh fuck!”

  24. Stephen Orloske

      Is the perennial fun still there if character, dialogue and plot are stripped as they are in Drive? When half a film rolls in quiet symbolism isn’t fun traded for the drier pleasures of commentary?

  25. Adam D Jameson

      I, too, find it hard not to read the song ironically, but it’s a rather restrained irony.

      Well, for anyone who found/finds the film meaningless, here’s a solid spot upon which to set your fulcrums of interpretation.

  26. Adam D Jameson

      It’s extremely flat in its style.

      I agree that, overall, the film is pretty predictable—it openly traffics in genre cliches—but I would maintain that, shot by shot, it is constantly surprising. In other words, its business is familiar, but how it goes about that business is astonishing. Which is one way out of the trap.

  27. deadgod

      Well, ‘art’ is pretty rare on the ground most places, at least in a potent concentration.  –so taking it from where it can be gotten is a value for me, too – and probably for most people who subject experience to even a little of the owl of Minerva, regardless of our philosophical skilz.

      The thing that kills me about ‘Hollywood’ is:  with all the excellent acting and technical expertise, the strong average intelligence, the money–and still the decision-making, piloted by a perhaps-rewarded expectation of stupidity on our – the audience’s – part, is almost always fucking retarded.  Isn’t it something like 80% of the time that you see a movie and say ‘it could’ve been good, they had an idea, and talent, but . . .’? – you’re tempted to give it a qualified thumbs-up because you can see that ‘it could’ve been good, etc.’?

      (What’s “perennial”, in my view, is one’s openness to having adolescent “fun”, not any high chance of it happening; rats.)

  28. deadgod

      I don’t think “little-boy fantasizing” has anything to do with Taxi Driver – the show where a guy innocently takes a date to see a porn flick, right? “adolescent” (my word) isn’t the right word for Travis Bickle -, either.  I think I see what Adam is talking about with “violence” – its skillful and interestingly intended narration – , but I don’t think Taxi Driver is more comparable to Hitman than it is to, oh, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

  29. Adam D Jameson

      It probably depends on what you find fun. I myself like very stripped down, sensuous things. (That sounds dirtier than I meant, but I’ll stand by it.) The film is very sensuous…

      One thing I like about it is that it’s allusive as hell—not unlike in a Tarantino film, everything in it points toward some other film—but I think the film still works even if you don’t get those allusions. It doesn’t come across, I think, as a collage. … I think that’s a nice thing to be able to do.

      Or perhaps better put: I’ve been thinking lately that one of the things that makes a postmodern artwork postmodern is not its allusiveness per se, but how central the allusiveness is to the work’s coherence. In other words, pomo artworks tend to foreground their allusions, front and center, repeatedly sending the viewer out into other works.

      Drive seems different to me, not because it isn’t allusive, but because it doesn’t foreground its allusions as allusions. It takes them as its basic material, rather, in a fairly homogeneous way (I think). Unlike in a Tarantino film, which is constantly broadcasting its patchwork quality, and making very broad allusions through both its mise-en-scene and dialogue, daring you to catch all the references.

      …Or something like that. This is me thinking out loud and off the top of my head.

  30. deadgod

      To me, “fun” means the sense satiety of near- or intermittent ecstasy of simple-minded play, where the absorption is a ride. 

      Reading The Unnameable is a tremendous pleasure, where “character, dialogue and plot” are sifted so finely as to be a stone mist–but “fun” is the wrong word for that pleasure (to me, anyway).

      Sledding down a hill is – perennially – “fun”, there’s “fun” in sports spectating, playing fetch with a dog for half an hour is “fun”. – and pretty stripped of “character, dialogue and plot”, no?

  31. deadgod

      Memento:  entertaining, cleverly meta use of the Betrayal gimmick
      Insomnia:  too simplistic; the sleeplessness wasn’t filmed into being; Pacino’s been ruinously hammy for decades, hasn’t he?
      The Prestige:  excitingish, but identical twins? teleportation?? even if the narrative cheating is a meta comment on “magic” (or on Victoriana ex machina), I thought it was weak; you’ve got the Tesla story and Ricky Jay and this soap opera is what you make of “magic”??
      Inception:  exciting; ‘it’s all a dream within a dream’? right–check

      oh, Batman+:  ‘multiple identities’ is compelling without trying so hard to be psychologically deep; I’d be surprised if someone made a film from the Batman mythos that I didn’t think was hobbled by ‘??’

      I’ll always take a chance on Nolan, but he’s a fair exemplar of the missed-opportunity character of ‘Hollywood’.

  32. deadgod

      oh fucked up the end-italics instruction after “Insomnia” – shit

  33. Cvan

      C’mon, is no one going to mention that the movie is based on a book by the sadly-unknown James Sallis?

  34. Marco

      It does feel a little bit like that time I heard someone pontificate about the genius of the Wachowski Brothers, for including Valerie’s Letter in their film, V For Vendetta.

  35. A D Jameson

      I thought about mentioning it, but couldn’t find an angle. I’ve not read that novella.  I see it was published pretty recently?

  36. A D Jameson

      Ninja Assassin also includes it. Look harder.

  37. Marco Kaye

      I think this movie pulled the wool over a lot of people’s eyes. Despite the “mesmerizing aerial shots,” I found myself rubbing my hand on my forehead at many points during this movie. Albert Brooks was miscast. I refuse to pigeonhole him to comedy; he’s too good. It simply didn’t seem like his heart was in it.  

      Did anyone not notice how awkward it became when the mechanic played by Brian Cranston had to keep referring to the main character as “the kid”? 

      Did you enjoy the racing subplot that went nowhere? 

      Are we collectively nodding our heads and grinning when Gosling kisses Mulligan and then bashes a man’s face in slow motion because it’s ironic?

      And to have the love interest live next door? Is that the best they could come up with?

      With this mediocre film, I hope pop culture’s obsession with the 80s has finally met its end. 

  38. Stephen Orloske

      Sledding, fetch, etc… are fun, but they aren’t stories. When a story sheds character, dialogue and plot it also sheds the ride. Fun is dropped to gather other pleasures, not the raw material of teenage centrism, which is character, dialogue and plot (history?) centric, but those stony mists. 

  39. Stephen Orloske

      And exciting to experience the move-through and past postmodernism. New forms on the way.

  40. pcs

      couldn’t agree more

  41. MJ

      Your first two comments, regarding Albert Brooks and “the kid” aspect, are both opinions so I can’t really touch those.

      But, “Did you enjoy the racing subplot that went nowhere?” I can. It actually sets up the meeting of “the kid” and Brooks’ character. It also provides us insight into the relationship between Cranston’s character and Brooks’. Which then leads to support the backstory of Brooks’ character and Perlmans. The “subplot” as you put it, isn’t a true subplot, but a series of events to support character thoughts and actions deeper into the film.

      “Are we collectively nodding our heads and grinning when Gosling kisses
      Mulligan and then bashes a man’s face in slow motion because it’s

      If we are to take a film as an interpretation (or documentary footage) of a person, then based upon what we know of this person, he really wants to be w/ this woman. Only upon seeing this man here, he realizes he’s going to have to protect her (and the kid and himself), and to protect them, he’s going to have to do done pretty horrible things. And after he does these horrible things, there is a very high chance she will not want to touch him whatsoever. So he says, “Fuck it” and steals a kiss. Then bashes this guy the fuck out.

      “And to have the love interest live next door? Is that the best they could come up with?” — Once again, if we are to take a film as diving into a particular section of a persons life, —- one of the most important times of their lives —- then  we must be able to accept some things. Like him living in a different apartment in the beginning of the film. Then he pulls a job. And then he moves. We can safely assume after he pulls a job, he moves. So a love interest living next door proves unfake due to the fact he didnt have a love interest at the last apartment (and if we make a bigger assumption, maybe he has not had a love interest living next door for many, many years).

      I think its better to not take films as only face value, but realize that it is much like meeting someone new on the street. We often don’t understand that this person has lived an entire life until we meet them. And we are only seeing them as they are now, the events surrounding their life now. Films tend to throw out the tendrils of the past, small tendrils, to let you know there is some past here.

      The film treads familiar ground, of course, but its presentation is fantastic. This is a grenre film, and as such, some re-treading is expected.

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  43. Joseph THomas

      Amen, AD. Amen.

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  45. Anonymous

      I don’t think the song is completely ironic. I think it’s there to make you think about how he both is and isn’t a hero.

  46. deadgod

      Drive has plenty of “character, dialogue and plot” – it’s just the driver himself who’s almost sealed up in driving and engines. 

      His attachments to other people – his boss, the woman, her kid, and her husband – steals out under great pressure, the pressure ratcheted beyond containment by collision with the hierarchy of ferocity and fear that is the crime world.

      –that’s – on paper – as much “character, dialogue and plot” as anything else – on paper -. 

      I don’t know why Adam likes this ordinary movie as much as he does, but I thought it was a ‘fun ride’, myself.

  47. postitbreakup

      no but i’ve been curious about it since the Selby screenplay

      any good?

  48. postitbreakup

      I’m not sure if we were responding to the same thing, but I too liked the images while still feeling like the film was somehow empty or more of a music video type thing than something “worth my time,” (even though I feel like it was definitely worth the type of admission). But I haven’t successfully been able to articulate what I think is “wrong” with the movie, so maybe yours is it.

  49. Adam D Jameson

      I hope so!

  50. Adam D Jameson

      I don’t think it’s an ordinary movie. I think it’s pretty unusual for a film this high quality to come through the Hollywood pipeline. It’s not shot anything at all like a standard Hollywood film. Its score, production design, costuming, cinematography, mise-en-scne, and editing are all much better than is the usual. I think these things are all pretty self-evident!

  51. Adam D Jameson

      I agree that it isn’t completely ironic. But I think it’s hard not to read it ironically.

  52. Adam D Jameson

      No worries. And I think you like Nolan more than I do! I find him completely artless, and therefore nearly completely devoid of interest. (That’s my take; I don’t fault others who find him interesting, though I’d have to see a pretty good argument to be convinced he has any art.)

  53. Adam D Jameson

      Along similar lines, I have a pretty high level of disbelief. I don’t care very much about real-world plausibility. This film announces itself from the get-go as being very highly artificial; it’s so, so stylized. I’m willing to give it a lot of leeway in that regard, because its style is so good.

      I could probably watch it a dozen times and just look at the cinematography. Or listen to the score. Or gape at the costumes, the decor. The edits. Etc. So I have a lot to occupy me; I’m not worried about whether it’s plausible as a fiction. I mean, it’s a fantasy film.

  54. Adam D Jameson

      (It’s fantasy in the Frank Miller sense. Adult fantasy.)

  55. Adam D Jameson
  56. William VanDenBerg

      I didn’t think the elevator scene was ironic at all.  It served to underscore The Driver’s psychosis: “I love you so I’m going to bash this guy’s face in.  See how much I love you?”

      All the other complaints you had I attribute to not buying into the world that the film has created.  Which I can’t really argue against–if you didn’t buy into it, then you didn’t buy into it.  That might be the big fault of the film, it’s lack of invitation.

  57. Anonymous

      I think the first time it plays, while he’s driving Irene and her son around, it’s not ironic.  It’s about how he’s feeling in that moment, like a hero and like a real human being.  The second time it plays it’s really ironic.

  58. deadgod

      Well, the knifework (for example) was startling – but that’s not what I take you (below) to mean by “surprising”.  There wasn’t any twist or betrayal (in the plot) that wasn’t familiar, nor were there shots or costumes or montage decisions that were even unusual, much less challenging, to me.  The reverse-angle conversations, the violence choreography, using single faces squarely in the center of uncomplicated frames to communicate emotion, helicopter shots, and on and on–all conventional to the point of televisual routine.  Inhabiting cliche in such a way as to interrogate ‘convention’?  –itself done beyond the point of cleeshay, no?

      I thought the acting expertly narrated – the trap the woman’s husband finds himself (predictably) in, for example.  But, for me, the glossy ‘n’ gritty dreaminess weren’t out of the range of many action-adventure movies.

  59. deadgod

      Well, one would also have “to account for” the prizes and plaudits Christopher ‘Auteur’ Nolan has received.  No, popularity is not “always right”, ha ha.

  60. deadgod

      Adam, I’m compelled by how “real-world plausibility” has a low priority for you–which I think I share.

      In Drive, for example, when the driver pushes the woman gently behind him in the elevator, that’s ‘plausible’ – “real world” or Drive-world.  –but his turning and them smooching–pure fantasy, which I took to be their shared fantasy, a moment of connection to set against (or to infiltrate) their lasting division.  –and, within Drive, not incongruous, despite the moment’s real-world implausibility–this break is how, cinematically, the two are made present as both a ‘couple’ and an impossible couple at that terrible moment.

      But let’s set “real-world plausibility” against ‘object-world consistency’.

      The driver proves himself to be in the crime environment with perfect comfort while not being of that environment.

      –so why is he surprised by the moll having told the gangsters where she is?  Indeed, why doesn’t he get rid of her as soon as he gets away from the second car at the pawn-shop robbery?  –he needs to know whose money he has – fine; slap it out of her and get away from her–she’s obviously dangerously only half-conscious.

  61. KKB

      It has uncommonly good style, especially in the world of Hollywood where everyone tries so desperately to be cool, and instead end up making Footloose Two.  

      Really, Drive is sort of the dream: an art film with car chases in it.  And yes, lots of action makers dream that dream, but how many of them are actually able to be cool?  And to be cool now.  

      In the world, amongst your friends, at high schools and dance clubs everywhere, being cool is ordinary.  But in the movies?  Not so much.

  62. Alexisorgera

      This movie fucked my shit up. I loved it.

  63. postitbreakup

      Which was which on the Batman Returns vs. Dark Knight thing, can you talk more about that? I’m really interested in both of those movies.

  64. reynard

      seems like the most homoerotic film for straight dudes since fight club, what i don’t understand is why they don’t tie ryan gosling to a rail, strip him nude, beat the crap out of him & fuck him in the ass with a lead pipe while gary numan sings ‘cars,’ now that would be cinema!

  65. lorian long

      you’ve obviously never seen blue valentine

  66. reynard

      mom said i’m not allowed to watch that movie, it’s too vulgar

  67. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      This is one of those costumes that seems very simple but would be incredibly difficult to do WELL.

  68. Adam D Jameson

      I’ve already seen cheap replicas of that jacket available online.

      Blake has the sideburns for this. He can do it!

      (And of course, when the costume’s in doubt, just add assless chaps.)

  69. Adam D Jameson

      I think that Tim Burton and Michael Keaton’s Batman is deranged, especially in Batman Returns (a film I rather like). And that they know he’s deranged. Who wants to be like Keaton’s Batman? Burton used to be good at making his protagonists at least somewhat odd.

      I think that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale’s Batman is…I don’t know what he is. But he doesn’t seem to have any problems, psychological or otherwise, even though Bale is made to insist upon them in his wooden dialogue. He’s just your ordinary bland Hollywood hero. (Oh, I guess his girlfriend died. He seemed upset about that for five minutes. … See the problem?)

  70. Adam D Jameson

      I don’t think Nolan has won the director’s prize at Cannes…?

      And which of his films was universally well reviewed? Dark Knight, maybe? Which is why so many critics called it incomprehensible? And Emerson posted that video critique of it?

      I’m not talking about your local paper’s critic (assuming your local paper even has one).

  71. deadgod

      No, Nolan hasn’t been able to impress the Cannes voters as much as, say, Schnabel has.  Darn!

      Not sure about universal reception, but Nolan has been a prize winner – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_Christopher_Nolan – winning going forward ha ha ha.

      My local paper’s critic dislikes “Hollywood” for being predictable and “foreign and independent films” for being inscrutable and boring–in other words, every single review is down to his career/reputation management.  I read ‘reviews’, but I’m pretty cynical about their integrity; I’m guessing you are, too?  –unless you know the reviewer to be consistent in her or his imposition of agenda.

  72. Adam D Jameson

      Yeah, I’m cynical, too, unless I know/trust the reviewer, but even then I tend to read reviews for another opinion, not necessarily an indication of whether I’ll like the film or not. I have weird taste.

      I don’t dislike Hollywood, not inherently. This past year, the Hollywood films I’ve seen (like all eight of them) have been surprisingly decent, if not good!

      I see all of Mr. Nolan’s awards are domestic (with one or two exceptions). Boy needs to get out more…

  73. Adam D Jameson

      I’ll give Mr. Nolan an award. I hereby award him the Jameson Prize for Cinematic Innocence.

  74. Adam D Jameson

      I like Shklovsky’s explanation of why the knight, in chess, moves two squares forward or back, then one square left or right, or one square forward and back, then two squares left or right.

  75. deadgod

      Yes, convention makes its own ‘familiarity’.  –which begs the question of raw material:  how is it that this conventionality should feel or not feel ‘familiar’?

      For me, Drive is not any more artfully defamiliarizing than is Memento.

  76. Anonymous

      Once we get into “for me” land, we’re discussing personal reactions, and anyone can say pretty much anything. “I’m glad you had a response.”

      So I’ll say this, rather: Memento is a far more typical film, in re: the past ten years or so of Hollywood cinema, than Drive is. And I can prove that, empirically.

      In other words, Drive is far more anomalous, stylistically. For starters, it isn’t all shot-reverse-shot and close-ups. For seconds, while I haven’t done an average shot length analysis, I can guarantee you it’s way, way higher than Memento‘s. &c.

      (See, for instance, David Bordwell’s The Way Hollywood Tells It for a close reading of Memento, and how normative it is, in terms of contemporary cinema.)

  77. deadgod

      Once we get into “Once we get into ‘for me’ land” land, we’re discovering ‘subjectivity’, and anyone can ignore pretty much anything inconvenient.

      I pointed out the distinction between two kinds of consistency – one that’s important in assessing something like Drive, because criticizing this (or any) movie for employing fantastic abnormalities that fit in with its world is foolish, whereas criticizing it for breaking its ‘own’ firmly gripped genre rules is not – it’s an “empirical” reason people might have for thinking the show was at least a little bullshit.

      –and your reply is defamiliarization.  Coover’s Noir is a far more apt instance of that–albeit [subjectivity alert] less hypnotically sensational.

      Drive has longer shots on average than Memento?  So you see a Godard and raise an Antonioni.  Neither of these movies are “all shot-reverse-shot and close-ups”, but nor is one less conventionally told than the other; Drive certainly embraces the cliches of ‘Hollywood’ noir and action at the level of framing, montage, and narration.

      Renf wants to disclose or develop the crime lifeworld with a jagged-edged dreaminess–cool – but not un’Hollywood’.  I don’t say this as a jaded film-school movie hater, but there’s nothing unfamiliar about Drive.

  78. Anonymous

      but there’s nothing unfamiliar about Drive.

      Define unfamiliar? As in, “never been done before”? If so, you’ve got me there, deadgod; well played.

      As for your other sentences, I can’t really say I understand them. “nor is one less conventionally told than the other”—I have no idea what this means. All art is conventional, otherwise it can’t mean. ? In any case, I said nothing like this; I said rather that I can empirically prove that Drive is less like other Hollywood films out there right now than Memento is (or was); I stand by that. If you think rather that Drive is like other Hollywood films these days (or “mediocre,” you’re original (bizarre) term), then I frankly don’t think you’ve seen too many present-day HW films. I don’t say this as a jaded film-school movie hater, but as a film critic who has attended international film festivals and taught numerous film classes.

      Your second paragraph makes utterly no sense to me. Haven’t read Coover’s Noir and in any case we’re talking films, not books. (One can always find more extreme examples, anyway—what of them? “Don’t go see Drive; it’s not the most defamiliarizing artwork ever made!” This is in no way a serious line of argument.)

      “Drive certainly embraces the cliches of ‘Hollywood’ noir and action at the level of framing, montage, and narration.” I have no idea what this means. Why is ‘Hollywood’ in single quotes? What is “the level of framing, montage, and narration”? Is that all one level? Where does one find such a thing? Is it something new in film studies I missed the boat on? (Along those lines, what’s “framing”? Shot framing? Narrative framing? Where a scene begins and ends? The film’s ad campaign? I have no idea.)

      “Refn wants to”—my eyes instantly glaze over—I have no idea how you know this. “develop the crime lifeworld”? How is “dreaminess” “jagged-edged”? Is this a private language?

      My point all along is that Drive is 1) something wildly unique in mainstream theaters right now and 2) an excellent movie. 2) is debatable and I welcome that debate but 1) is incontrovertible. (Don’t let deadgod or anyone else fool you on that one, folks!)

      As for Memento‘s innovations, check this out:


  79. Anonymous

      I intend to write more about Drive, at some point or another. I’ll even write a detailed analysis of some of the scenes in it, and explicate why I think the whole thing is so well-made, and so unusual for a contemporary Hollywood film. And it will be my pleasure to do this! That latter stuff, though, will probably have to wait until I can get a DVD copy (or download an AVI).

      Actually, maybe I’ll try recording a commentary for the whole film, instead, then upload it at YouTube or the like (or just make the commentary track available as an mp3). I’ve always wanted to try doing that…

  80. deadgod

      “Unfamiliar” as in ‘not been done so often as already to belong to a “family”‘.  –but, instead of tactical misparaphrase, why not turn to your own reference to the idea?:

      [I]t’s all, admittedly, immediately familiar.

      Yes:  all art is “conventional”.  –but there is ‘more’ and ‘less’ adherence to convention.  When we compare how much “like Hollywood” these two two films are, we’re comparing how much each ‘tells its story conventionally’–with respect to the ‘conventions’ we refer to with the word “Hollywood”. 

      –or do you mean, by “like Hollywood” and “genre” and “familiar” and “cliche”, something other than a notional bundle or aggregate of ‘conventions’??  Not only did you not say “nothing like this”, in talking about “genre” and “Hollywood” and so on, you were referring exactly to films ‘telling stories more or less conventionally’.

      (“Mediocre”?  What I said of Drive on this thread was “ordinary”–it’s an entertaining movie in ordinary ways.)

      The second paragraph is not that hard to read; it’s a rephrasing of the distinction I suggested (above) between “real-world plausibility” (a phrase you were comfortable enough with to introduce) and “object-world consistency”.  Does this distinction really make “utterly no sense” to you?


  81. deadgod

      I put “Hollywood” in single-quote marks to indicate that the term refers to something generally agreed-upon – albeit not universally – but at issue as to specifics.  It’s an example of scare-quoting–which should be familiar to you, as you did something quite similar with the phrase male cinema in your blogicle above.  (I put the word ‘Hollywood’ in double-quote marks here because I’m quoting the word – not as you’ve quoted me using it, but rather, the word itself – , and in single-quote marks in this sentence to set it apart as the quoted word.)

      It’d be dismaying to learn that, in conversation, one oughtn’t to shuttle between particular movies and books in cases where film and literature share vocabulary – “share” not precisely, but closely enough for talk of the one to illuminate ideas about or other reactions to the other.

      By “at the level of” I meant ‘in the category of’.  This usage might not be common in “film studies”, but it’s not unheard-of to use “level” to mean ‘category’ (and not, say, ‘layer’)–“level” in the (metaphorical) sense of ‘a plane of cognitive intersection with the solid mass of a text’.  (By “framing” I meant ‘the closure of shots within the rectangle of their projection.)


  82. deadgod

      Your eyes “glaze over” at an inference of a filmmaker’s will or interest or agenda?  How were you able to type that you thought the movie was “conscious […] of what it’s doing”??

      We constantly infer the springs of action on the part of other people – you did it several times in your blogicle:  “borrowed”, “stole”, “innovates”, “self-assured”, “love of”, “embraces”, “haunting”, ‘spirit handling the parts’, “unapologetically” – each one perhaps most accurate . . . but how did you know?  –by always-fallible induction – nothing stupefying about that!

      A director of a noir/action movie tries “to disclose or develop the crime lifeworld”–which word is causing the interpretive trouble?  You refer to the movie’s “long, slow dissolves” and its long takes, the mesmeric accumulation of which is not contradicted by the movie’s suspense and puncturings of violence:  ‘jagged-edged dreaminess’.

      Indeed, “folks”–watch this fun movie and decide for yourselves whether you think it’s wildly unique.

  83. nliu

      Surely it’s worth pointing out that The Prestige was a (fairly faithful) novel adaptation. Complaining about the twin gimmick and the teleportation is a bit like complaining about the inherent ridiculousness of Batman. It’s there, but it’s not Nolan’s.

      Arguably, most things plot-related won’t be Nolan’s anyway. He’s a director, after all.

  84. A D Jameson


      Sure, we can infer artist intention from films, and we do that all the time. My problem, I guess, has more to do with the rest of your sentence. I have no idea what “to disclose or develop the crime lifeworld” means. Lifeworld, for starters—?? (racks brain) Do you mean the German concept of Lebenswelt? How on earth would that be relevant here? Thus, I can’t tell what “crime lifeworld” is, or how a director would “disclose” or “develop” it. And is the “or” there an inclusive or—implying that those terms are interchangeable?—or a non-inclusive or, meaning the director is trying to do either one or the other? ???

      re: “wildly unique”—sure, go ahead, just take everything I say wildly out of context; you’re the big winner.

      Here are the movies playing at the AMC River East 21 right now right here in Chicago:

      Abduction (PG-13)
      Contagion (PG-13)
      Courageous (PG-13)
      Dolphin Tale 3D (PG)
      Dream House (PG-13)
      Drive (R)
      50/50 (R)
      The Help (PG-13)
      The Ides of March (R)
      Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain (R)
      Killer Elite (R)
      The Lion King 3D (G)
      Machine Gun Preacher (R)
      Margaret (R)
      Moneyball (PG-13)
      What’s Your Number? (R)

      I haven’t seen all those movies, but, yeah, I’m gonna go out on a limb and claim that Drive really stands out in that bunch.

  85. At Face Value: Gaga, Surfaces & The Superficial « BIG OTHER

      […] self-commentary (art which owes some debt to camp aesthetics, amongst others). For confirmation, head over to htmlgiant and check out the spirited discussion about our colleague A D Jameson’s…Drive. In response to A D’s praise of the film, a bunch of folks have been expressing their […]

  86. A D Jameson

      OK, here’s something for you: let’s watch an excerpt from MEMENTO:

      In particular, let’s look at the first 3 minutes here, which are really (roughly) minutes 10–13 in the film. (I’ll be happy to look at any other section of the film.)

      What do we see here?
      —There are approximately 50 shots in those three minutes. (Average Shot Length = 3.6 seconds, which is pretty normal these days—it’s usually 2–4)
      —All dialogue is pure exposition. (Note how much Guy Pearce talks to himself.)
      —Shots are mostly close ups—close shots of Pearce, insert shots.
      —The lighting is very even, nondescript.
      —Depth of field is very shallow.
      —Music is used to directly cue audience response.
      —The production design is mostly ambiance; it functions merely to “set” the scene; you don’t actually need to read the mise-en-scene, say, to understand what’s going on. (It’s functionally invisible.)

      Should I go on?

      This is the very definition of standard Hollywood filmmaking these days. It’s what most Hollywood films I see do.

      Here is what DRIVE does, by way of contrast:

      —Average Shot Length is longer, relatively. (I don’t have a sample so I can’t count it.) There’s much less cutting overall.
      —A great deal of exposition is withheld from the audience. And while there’s certainly some exposition that’s delivered through dialogue, that’s not all the dialogue is. (Indeed, a lot of the dialogue is ironic, in that what the characters say is not what they really mean, so the audience has to decipher their actual meaning.)
      —The protagonist is defined more by his silence than by his talking.
      —Shots tend to be longer, more medium distance to longer shots. The film isn’t just closeups. (Many scenes are shot in a very small number of shots.)
      —The lighting is much more visible, stylized.
      —There’s a much wider range in the depth of field. In several places, you have to flicker your attention back and forth between two different distances in the shot.
      —Compositions, overall, are used to much more stylized effect. It’s less 1-to-1 (one shot, one thing to look at.
      —Music is used less to cue audience response, and more as a distancing strategy.
      —The production design is heavily labored over and highly visible; it provides a significant portion of each shot (along with the actors and the action). Often being able to interpret a shot requires being able to read the mise-en-scene.

      So I think you can see, even from this hasty analysis, that DRIVE is, formally and stylistically, very different from MEMENTO, and from most other Hollywood films.

      I don’t see how any of this is in any way controversial. What’s more, the reasons for this are rather banal. The director is European. The conventions that DRIVE uses (two shots, long takes, ironic dialogue, obscured exposition, etc.) are pretty normal things in European art cinema. Refn is essentially making a European art film in Hollywood. (Well, it’s more a hybrid; it does borrow many things—mostly at the script/plot level—from Hollywood cinema.)

      As for all the cliche’s you’re keen on dismissing—why don’t you take the time to point them out, catalog them, rather than just generalizing? You say a lot of stuff—you’re like, what, the most frequent commenter here? congrats—but none of it is really all that specific, so it’s hard to know how to respond (even when I can understand the actual grammar).

      Not all “cliches” are bad things. It’s possible to defamiliarize things, as you yourself have observed. Perhaps the style/formal stuff I’m describing above does some of the defamiliarization? I’d love to look at some specific examples. (I generally hate arguing generally.)

      Meanwhile, if I’ve made any mistakes here, by all means, please do point them out!


  87. A D Jameson

      You’re fast and loose, deadgod! A real renegade with language. By all means keep shuttling but, you know, there’s some value in not just grabbing random shit from all over the place. Last I checked, there were significant enough differences between books and films that they weren’t simply directly comparable. A few people have, like, “written” “dissertations” “about this.”

      Meanwhile, I love stuff like this:

      By “at the level of” I meant ‘in the category of’.

      You’re like the Arno Schmidt of quotation marks!

      That last paragraph—you’re making less and less sense the more you talk. Cognitive intersections? Solid masses of text? Conversation is a an adventure and I have no idea where we’re going next.

  88. A D Jameson

      You’re right, you did say ordinary; my mistake. Apologies.

      Well, see my most recent comment—the comparison between MEMENTO and DRIVE—for some kind of response to all this.

      Meanwhile, I’ve completely lost the thread of what we’re parsing.

  89. A D Jameson

      For even more fun, watch the diner scene in that clip, roughly 5:30–9:30.

      That’s the extent of Nolan’s aesthetics, right there. Constant shot-reverse-shot! Insert shots! Cutting every 2–4 seconds! Shallow focus photography! Exposition-laden dialogue! Constant small camera movements to retain audience interest!

      This is pure formula filmmaking, not to mention super-economical hackery. No wonder his films are so profitable! No wonder the studio execs love him! It’s super-easy for the actors, too!

      I just love the part where, when Pearce recounts his memories, Nolan cuts to random close-up shots of his dead wife. It’s like the forerunner of Inception! The guy walks around all day wondering, “Surely somewhere there is a path of even less resistance?”

      He knows exactly one way to make a movie, and it’s as bluntly as possible. He’s the epitome of the craftless artist. To shift it over into more Marxian terms, he’s Adorno’s Culture Industry writ very, very large.

      Refn, he’s a stylist, an artist. His films are not formulaic. You have no idea what he’s going to do in the next shot. He’s the antithesis of hacks like Nolan.

      Again, this strikes me as pretty indisputable (at least in terms of my overall observations of style; the conclusions I draw are my own). If you can’t see it, then I worry about your eyes…

  90. deadgod

      No, Adam:  not “fast and loose”. 

      I said the vocabulary we use to talk about films and books is “‘share[d]’ not precisely, but closely enough for talk of the one to illuminate […] the other”–which you garble as “simply directly comparable”.  That is “fast and loose”.

      Films and novels are often and easily talked about together, with terms like ‘narration’ and ‘character’ and ‘point of view’ used, not as though “books and films” were “simply directly comparable”, but rather, as though they are reasonably compared in those terms.  It’s not a matter of “grabbing random shit from all over the place”; it’s a matter of becoming comfortable with analogy–perhaps by “check[ing]” analogies out more often.

      Punctuation marks, such as quotation marks, can also become less of an obstacle – less a matter of “hav[ing] no idea” – with “check[ing]”.

      Metaphor, too, can become less a matter of “hav[ing] no idea” with “check[ing]”.

      For example, consider a text as though it were a “solid” mass–that is, three-dimensional – a solid.  Imagine that your experience of the text, your ‘reading’ of it (could be a book, or a movie, or a building, or so on), is like a dissection of the thing along several cuts.  Voila!–your gaze at the text is like your cognition were intersecting the mass of the text along several planes or “levels”.

      See?  –metaphor, with effort, can become a profitable instrument with which to think and talk about experience – and fun, too.

  91. A D Jameson

      Oh dear god (not deadgod), this is becoming so boring…

      “directly comparable” referred to your initial comparison of Noir with Drive. You just dropped a direct comparison in, did you not? Well, I think you need to work that a little more.

      As for the rest—you know, whatever, I don’t really give a fuck. Sorry.

  92. A D Jameson

      See, I’d rather discuss the film than spend so much time parsing your idiosyncratic language. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but I’m really not interested. It’s obvious you get off on constantly evading direct debate; that’s not a game I’m interested in, apologies. It was silly of me to play it as long as I did.

      I don’t even know what’s for stake for you in your comments, or what your arguments are. You just seem to pile language on top of language. Maybe you’re totally postmodern? I myself am not very postmodern; perhaps we’re just different species. Live a good life and enjoy some movies this week. Peace.

  93. deadgod

      Yes, a – perhaps adventurous, perhaps useful anyway – use of the philosophical idea of “lifeworld”.  Here’s the connection of this phenomenological idea with art, with thinking about art objects/processes:

      A lifeworld is the cognitive (in the most general sense) representation-to-oneself of “the world as a universal horizon, as a coherent universe of existing objects” (Husserl)–the key words, in my view, being “horizon” and “coherent”.  Turning this phenomenological basis inside out, as it were:  an object “takes place” (Heidegger) in one’s “world”; an object coheres (or not) in and with the whole in which one encounters it, and in dialectical turn, that world – one’s world – is in-formed, structured inwardly, by that object.

      Well, a work of art is an object that, within itself, is “as a […] horizon, as a coherent universe”.  What you’re interacting with, what the artist/s has/ve pro-jected – ‘thrown both out and together’ – , is a “lifeworld” as though it were a consciouness with which one could communicate–like I am, intermittently at least, to you.

      (Phenomenology is not New Criticism:  a take on objects as though they have no determinate history or cultural association.  –or it doesn’t have to be . . .)

      The “crime lifeworld” is the “horizon [around or] coherent universe of [crime-associated] objects”.  –the social world that crime drama, especially noir, takes place in and is somewhat ‘about’.  “[T]o disclose” this world is ‘to show’ it, say, in an artwork.  “[T]o develop” this world is ‘to bring [it] from hypotheses to life’, say, in an artwork–metaphorically, the way that photographic film used to be ‘developed’.

  94. deadgod

      I haven’t taken anything you’ve said out of context.  You say that it’s “incontrovertible” that Drive is “wildly unique” in the plex today, and I say, ‘Go ahead, readers–see if you think this show is that.’

      I’ll go out on a different, perhaps slenderer and more worm-eaten, limb and predict – I haven’t seen them yet – that Contagion and The Ides of March are not stood-out-from by Drive.

  95. deadgod

      I didn’t “simply directly compare” the book and the movie; I compared them in the sense that one is a better example of ‘defamiliarization’ than the other.

      Do you never talk of a movie and a book together in terms of a characteristic or interpretive aspect they share??

      I’ve been responding to your comments directly and point-by-point.  I also haven’t guessed why, on this thread, you’ve neglected those direct responses, mischaracterized useful locutions, and “have [had] no idea” theatrically.

      What you’ve shown yourself “[to] give a fuck about” is careless fault-finding and abounding in the sophistical “eva[siveness]” that you might’ve learned to condemn in others.

      –That’s fine; I’m interested in books and movies and politics and so on, in listening to talk about them, and in what I say being understood.

      I agree with you to some extent about Drive, but I think you exaggerate its quality and, especially, its difference from ‘Hollywood’.

      If it doesn’t frustrate you competitively to have your (possible!) inaccuracies addressed, and you have an interest in sharpening my actual dullness, I’m pretty sure we can have a “good” time a little together; if not enough and not enough, then peace to you, too.

  96. Billy

      it’s “so postmodern” that you’re not even talking to the same “deadgod” anymore. you’ll notice a significant difference in the language, tone, and level of general obnoxiousness.

  97. Billy


      *general level of

  98. deadgod

      Same “deadgod”, Billy.  Judging from your two versions, best for you to leave “general” alone ’til after you’ve nailed the ‘comprehension’ part of reading.

  99. Billy

      see, i was right, it’s the evil deadgod

  100. deadgod

      It’s also worth pointing out that Nolan chose to direct an adaptation of this novel.  This story is the story he chose to tell about ‘magic’, about prestidigitation, one kind of trickery, and technical gimmickry, another kind of trickeration.  His not showing the viewer the twin ’til the denouement, for example, is how he tells this story of ‘magic’–his gimmick.

      It’s also worth pointing out that Nolan co-wrote the screenplay with his brother, so, as co-writer and director, he was in charge of this telling of the plot, as well as its choosing.

      He had the Tesla story and Ricky Jay, and he chose to tell this story of ‘magic’ and science and technology.  –surely worthy, not of “complain[t]”, but rather of critique.

  101. deadgod

      Polemical obtuseness, discreditable misreading, now tactical exasperation–and I’m “evil”??  You’re either loyal or stupid or – unhappy combination! – both, Billy.

  102. Cliché as Necessity (Birthing Innovation) | HTMLGIANT

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  104. Billy

      Oh, I see. You want to bend Billy over and ream him with a ruler for interrupting your boring and boorish monologue about the film “Drive” with a bad joke and a grammatical error. Bad Billy! Billy is thoroughly humiliated by his loyalty. Good show.

  105. deadgod

      There’re few things I’d rather do less than fulfill Billy’s boring and boorish fantasy.

  106. Billy

      You’re a ghoul. Goodbye.

  107. Billy

      Joshua Clover is probably the most repulsive human being I’ve ever had the displeasure 
      of knowing. The Marquis de Sade, for instance, was probably a more caring and more ingenuous individual. I almost committed suicide last year due to my unfortunate acquaintance with him and his goons. “Love,” you know…It’s unfortunate that I only love extremely abusive individuals. Perhaps I should have committed suicide… I wish him the very worst, and seeing the amount of time he spends endlessly mumbling across the internet–now pedobear, now god-the-teacher–the worst is but a small step down. 

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