(NOTE: Only edit was adding that there banner and this here explanation. But since I’m still drunk, I say it doesn’t count)
Ok. So I’m pretty well sloshed. As it is the point of this here event of stuff. I’m drunk. One might even say crunked. I have been crunked up. Choice of hooch? Plentiful Jack Daniel’s N0. 7 and Cherry Coke over ice. I swear, the minute you make booze taste like sugar, I’m gone.
Let’s talkl about vies. Vices are a great thing, despite usually wrecking you. Wrecking you. Recking you. I like my vices. The occasionaly drink, the occasional toke, but most importantly… Sugar.
I’m a sugar fiend if there ever was one. I’ve got an extra 100 pounds wrapped around my waist and ass that can attest. But why sugar? Because sugar is fucking delicious. Particularly high fructose corn syrup. Oh yeah, that’s the shit.
Last night I packed away an entire bag of Gummi Savers and Laffy Taffy. I’d've gotten swedish fish, but the seven eleven ran out. OH MAN. I just remembered there were Mike & Ikes in the vending machine downstarts. Be right back.
God damn it. If you can believe it, the machine is out of them. I refuse to believe that people are as into Mike & Ike as I am. It’s Mike & fucking Ike. Obscure candy a-go-go. And can someone tell me who’s the genius that goes, “Hey! You know what candy we should have in the vending machine? Dots.”
No one fucking likes Dots! Dots fucking suck. They’re GUM DROPS. That’s the shit that inspires utter dismay in trick-or-treating children. Second only to toothbrushes, pennies, and trail mix. But as far as actual candies go, Dots. Dots are not good.
And I recommend you believe me. I’m like the fucking Joe Zabel of Candy here.
Candy Examiner. That’s me.
So I picked up some Reese’s Pieces instead. Another good candy, as Reese’s candy peanut butter is far superior in both texture, taste, and overall quality to all other candy peanut butter. Although nothing beats Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs. Motherfuckering Reese’s for breakfast.
So I’m sitting here, bag of Reese’s and mini-bottle of Dasani. I remember Weds saying something a while back about Dasani being illegal in England due to it’s high bromide levels. And Weds, dear: I’m not about to bash what could be your favorite pre-bottled spring water, but there’s better stuff out there. Deer Park FTW. And I’m a man of spring waters as well. Easily, Deer Park is my favorite.
I used to have this giant Deer Park jug. An empty one, because I already drank all the water out of it. But I was convicned this jug was magic. Indeed, a magic jug. It didn’t matter from what source the water I put into it came from, it magically tasted great. I carried it around with me throughout Justin’s Black Belt Test, a time period in my later youth I have strong memories in.
Justin’s a friend of mine from High School I had met in the Television department. He was a good guy. Quickly became a good friend. Distance has led to things being weird between us, but that won’t last forever. I’m not going to lie: Proximity is a major factor in friendship for me. I do have to have you around frequently to keep you in my mind. Which was a major complaint with an ex of mine but that is so not the territory I want to go in this evening.
What I want to talk about is bullshit. And by bullshit I mean experimental art and film being passed off as a final product.
I’m all for the pushing of boundaries. That’s something you work on in your sketchbook, at home, by yourself or with a small group of like minded folks (or at least people who are into boundary pushing). It’s an experiment. You futz around with whatever medium you’re working in, and you try to do something that hasn’t been done. Of which there is little of.
You can work on say, an experimental film. You can try to express the deepest stingingest hurting turmoil of your blackest soul or whatever using imagery. There was this one piece I saw in my class that made me scream in anger. There’s this guy, Bill Viola. He’s the leader in experimental video or somesuch. We were watching this piece of his that made no comprehensible sense that involved about 20 minutes of pans and zooms of these wild buffalo. Which might be fine visual for a documentary on buffalo, with buffalo facts and gossip narrated over top of it. That would be enjoyable. Because hey, buffalo are interesting, not to mention tasty. Have you ever had a buffalo burger? Fucking deliciosu.
So anyway, this silent “exploration” of wild buffalo went on for about 15 minutes. Until one of them peed. This buffalo, this majestic beast just let loose and peed. As is his wont, because he is a living creature and living creatures pee. Neccessary to survival and all that, getting those damned tosxins out. Not toxins in the sense of all that holistic stuff but acutla real life toxings in your body from whatever you’ve ingested.
BUT THIS BUFFALO PEED FOR LIKE TWO MINUTES. Not on Guerica or whatever, but he was fucking peeing. And thge director in his infinite fucking wisdom left the entire shot in. We, all 250 of us lecture students watched this buffalo pee for two minutes. We couldn’t believe the duration of the pee that took place. It was shocking. Such bladderdom had been up to that moment, unprecedented.
After a few more minutes of Buffalo doing FUCKING NOTHING, there were some rapid cuts of a house on fire and running with the camera. Of course.
So what the professor tried to tell us is that the shit means something. That somehow, the house on fire and the buffalo peeing represented some facet of Bill Viola’s soul. Which makes poerfect sense, because I’ve always associated the inner workings of human nature with fucking urine.
Look. Experimental film, as I mentioned previous, is fine. Figure out what you need to do to tell the story. Which is just that, most of the time. Modern film art students are SO CONCERNED with BREAKING BOUNDARIES and changing the way we see things that the story comes second. And this translates completely into each and every other medium possible, when it comes to experimental stuff. And improvisational dance. Improvisational dance. Improvisational dance. You ever watch that stuff? Jesus.
The purpose of a film, or a comic, a book, a play, or a painting, or anything else in art has one purpose that sits high above all else: Telling a story. Or at the very least, getting a definitive point accross. Or at least it should. The rest is, in my opinion, not a final product.
Which isn’t to say that experimenting is invalid, as I’ve been trying to get to. It’s above all else a neccessary process for learning the craft. You figure out what works and what doesn’t. You try new stuff out, you do things you haven’t done before, you experiment. You learn. You fine tune. And sometimes, your experiment will be a failure. That’s the nature of experimentation: to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Like, “If I move the camera around really fast around this object using a pixellation technique, then that will increase the feeling of intensity in the situation I’m presenting.”
So you try that. You set up a subject wether it’s a person or an animal or an inanimate object or whatever. You try out the technique you have in mind, and then you watch it to see if it works. If it does? Congratulations. You’ve learned a new technique that you can apply to the next time you try to tell a story for real. If it fails? Drop it, or figure out another way to do it.
But don’t take the failed experiments, put them together, call it “An Experimental Film,” and expect it to be automatically validated. Because hey, it’s experimental. It doesn’t have to make sense, right?
Fuck you wrong.
But these people exist. I attend class with them. I’m taught class by them. And I resent it. To work within my film department at my university, I’m going to have to indulge them a little bit. Because they’re all about documentary, independent film, and experimental film.
And if you want to major in experimental film, that’s fine. If it makes you happy, pursue with all the life you’ve got. If you’re satisfied, then I can’t say that you aren’t.
But I don’t want to fucking watch it. Not unless the successful experiments you’ve tested are used COHERENTLY in the story you’re trying to tell. Same thing goes for webcomics.
So to summarize: Experiments in art should be done privately, or within a small group of people, workshop stlye in order to develop a new or improved technique, for the purpose of telling your story. That’s the way I think it should be done. To me, it just seems most efficient.
Because there’s fewer things that I dislike as much as seeing absoulte shit framed and called art, just because no one can say it isn’t. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done, or it’s some sort of hellworthy sin. I’m just saying I don’t want to see that shit. Let your circles of “high art” blowhards suck you off for defying convention. Let the eccentric aristocrats buy your shit so they can have something to flaunt to their fellow eccentric aristocrats, so they can put it on their wall and call it art, and all their colleagues will agree because they don’t want to seem like phillistines.
So that’s my rant about art. I could give a shit less wether it’s art or non-art. You’re reading the guy who counts both Requiem for a Dream and Night at the Roxbury amongst his favorite films of all time. If the quality is there, I’m there. If your story is there, I’ll be there. If it’s entertaining, I’ll be there, regardless of how much artistic merit is behind it.
And yes, the quality is present in Night at the Roxbury. Like John Cleese said, “If nobody’s laughing, it’s not funny.” Which I take to heart with the inverse, if people are laughing then it is funny.
I’m drunk. But you knew that.
I have no idea how much I have just written, and I’m not going to delete or alter any of it. That’s part of the rules. I mean, sure, you can edit before you post and then once it’s posted it’s posted, but I think that leaving this entirely as is is good stuff. Because that means the moment is captured. As is, to me, one of the lesser purposes of NaDruWriNi, other than the purpose of just having fun.
I would really like to write more but I think I’m done. I’ve got laundry, I’ve got an apartment to clean, and I’ve got a drunken stupor which will ensure that I accomplish neither of those and end up playing Soul Calibur III instead. It’s a decent sequel. Unfathomably beefed up in content, but the AI is ridiculous. Like, super unfair ridiculous. Maybe I should write about it in here sometime. I haven’t done a good video game review since E3.
Happy NaDruWriNi, everybody.