HTMLGIANT / Wes Anderson

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Film / No Comments
November 2nd, 2016 / 1:00 pm

Does anyone want to talk about The Grand Budapest Hotel? I think there’s a case to be made it’s Wes Anderson’s best film.

Let’s overanalyze to death … Macaulay Culkin eating a slice of pizza

On 16 December of last year, Macaulay Culkin posted to YouTube a video of himself eating a slice of pizza:

I watched it and showed it to some friends because, on the one hand, how random! Macaulay Culkin! Eating pizza! Lol! One million other people and counting apparently felt similarly.

The video fascinates because it depicts a star (or a former child star) doing something utterly mundane. The presentation is simple, stripped down. The shot is static and there are no cuts. Culkin looks embarrassed to even be there, to be watched eating. There’s no glitz, no glamor. The guy eats pizza just like you and me, even tearing off the crust (though I would’ve finished the rest of the slice).

At the same time, the video fascinates because it’s awful—it’s “so bad it’s good.” That reaction is breathlessly conveyed in the Time Magazine blog post, “Questions We Asked Ourselves While Watching Macaulay Culkin Eat a Slice of Pizza,” which presents no fewer than forty-six questions about the video, in pseudo-live-blogging fashion:

Why does he look like he really doesn’t want to be wherever he is, or eating the slice?

Has he ever eaten a slice of pizza before?

Why does he look so sad?

Does he know he’s being filmed?

Do the pizza oils get trapped in his beard?

Why does he keep looking up?

Forty-six questions is a lot of questions, prompting a forty-seventh: “How many times did author Eric Dodds watch the damn thing?” And one million views is a lot of views. Thus, despite being banal, despite being awful, the video is somehow also something else. Would it be fair to call it transcendent? Even sublime? And if so, why? Because it purportedly offers us unmediated access to a former star, now desperately embarrassing himself?

But far from being random, or mundane, or excruciatingly candid, Culkin’s pizza video is a put-on, its every second pure artifice. For starters, it’s a loving recreation of another work—a short film of Andy Warhol eating a hamburger:

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Film & Music / 11 Comments
January 6th, 2014 / 8:01 am

Some movie news plus videos to look at

1. Peter Greenaway and Jean-Luc Godard have made a 3D omnibus film (along with one Edgar Pêra). The 2D trailer is here, and you can find information online: CinemaScope / Fandor / The Hollywood Reporter / Mubi / Variety.

2. Guy Maddin is planning a moving-picture adaptation of Sparks’s radio drama / concept album / opera-thingy The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman.

3. A lot of people don’t know that David Lynch once made a video for Sparks, but you’re not one of them:

And this is also relevant.

4. While we’re all here, we might as well look at this.

5. As well as this. Pretty well-done, no?

Film / 8 Comments
November 16th, 2013 / 12:45 pm

Bud Cort on Bud Cort Cut Short by El Niño

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Film / 3 Comments
February 17th, 2011 / 3:20 pm

Wes Anderson’s undergraduate fiction surfaces at Analecta. Afraid to read, as the cuteness might burn my eyes.

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