March 20, 2005

"Back and forth. Forever"

Miranda July's Me, You and All of Our Friends , which I saw a mere 5 hours ago, for the first time, is easily and without any hesitation, one of my three favorite films of all time.
It is also the funniest film I have ever seen (yes, ever) - and then towards the end I mini-cried at four seperate scenes, and wanted to barf twice due to overwhelming emotion around identifying with the loneliness of the main characters.

All of that makes it sound like some real emo-manipulation is at hand ala Lars Von Trier. But it's just a movie-length extention of her other work and her illustration of absolute humanity. As Roger Ebert said of it, the other night, "it's a movie in love with it's characters". I think the closest line to draw is Paul Thomas Anderson/Todd Solondz in terms of "theme" and narrative arrangement, two directors whom I find panderingly ironic and emotionally pornographic, but both of them exploit the banality and awkwardness of human failing - places where Miranda treads - BUT! - Miranda comes at it with this Euopean sense of naturalness, treating the characters with so much tenderness, rather than a Californian/ Joel Peter Witkin-ish male sense. She comes at it with a feminist compassion. Unlike Solondz or Anderson,adoulescent sexuality is turned inside out rather than just turned out, and flung on you. She does not give into the American temptation to titilate or scandalize it, but treats it unobtrusively, quietly - she does not even paw it it, she just presents it in all it's grody mysterious weirdness, and you are immediately plunged into the primordial tarpit of 15 for a few raw moments.

Also, there is not any sort of moral application put to the fucked up, the needy, the perverted which stock/stalk the entire film. It is just people being -- both gloriously & unspectacularly.

The entire meta-text is a comment about desire. Maybe not a comment, but a poem. Every person in the movie needs something: an art show, constuctive feedback on a blow-job, a reconsilable marriage, a romantic love interest that is their own age, better judgement, classic home furnishings, a gold fish that will live. It is all about our peculiar orbits and desperation and curiousity and modern American sexualization and the truth in art and the truth in non-romantic love and the nessesscity of illusion for romantic love. Oh, and there is hope streaking through the whole thing. Not forceful, not hope writ large, but gracefully riding tandem with all the banked desperation and need. It was all as beautiful and fitfully awkward as being alive is normally, but with the frost of cinematic splendor.

It is not out until June or July in theatres. You would be tragically remiss if you do not see it and see it a half dozen times. I swear this to you on my cat's life and a stack of copies of Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Best best best best best best best.

Posted by Jessica at March 20, 2005 12:51 AM | TrackBack