Li’l Fatass’s Top 5 of 2011: Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist

#1: The top fifteen grossing films of 2011 were all fairy tales. This makes sense as life has become so utterly complicated so as to be considered magical. Everywhere we operate machines that are powered by invisible forces. The Interwebs – invisible. Satellites and televisions – invisible. Cell phones – invisible. Air travel – invisible. Vending machines? I mean, how does the food get in there? Fucking magical.

Also we’ve never been in proximity (temporally or geographically) to more undeniably villainous creatures than right now. Serial killers. Priestly child molesters. Osama bin Laden. Bernie Madoff stole eighteen billion dollars. Eighteen billion. Can you even fathom what that means? It means that if he stole that amount in $100 bills he’d have thrown his back out trying to lift the three hundred and ninety-six thousand pounds of cash (a hundred and ninety-eight tons) into his getaway van. Supervillainous forces are upon us. It is a reasonable response for us to become desperate for superheroes.

The obsession with fairly tales also makes sense since we now live in a godless America. I do not judge Americans for denouncing their various gods. The church has lost so much footing given that 2.6 billion dollars they’ve spent in molestation-related costs. But now our trust has gone out aimlessly. Our spiritual energy has gone out in search of magic, omniscience, predetermination, and moral authority. And it has apparently found Harry Potter and Edward and the Pirates of the Caribbean.

I believe magic can exist at the cinema – but in general I believe it does not exist at the top of the American box office. For me, one of the best markers for good art is surprise. Unforeseen delight. The least surprising artistic pieces are oddly the most profitable and accessible – those showing at your local movie theater. And probably involving Shia LeBeouf. There is an incredible tolerance by American audiences to be consistently disappointed by the movies they go see. I’m not sure if this is courageous or borderline-retarded behavior.

How many films can you list that didn’t waste a single opportunity? I thought so. Michel Hazanavicius created the only truly ingenious picture of the year. He made ten times the film of the any other and he did it using one-tenth the money, one-tenth the technology. Still, the magic got in there  . . . $14

If you heart The Artist:

Recommendations by Li’l Fatass:
Campbell Scott’s & Stanley Tucci’s Big Night
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights
Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler

Harry Potter & the Deathlier Hallows

Harry Potter died in his sleep. People say that is the most desirable way to go. I think that is because the dying person is under no obligation to put up a good fight. Putting up a good fight sounds like a painful endeavor. Putting up a good fight also implies a person must ultimately succumb to the inevitable. No one would say, Harry Potter put up a pretty good fight against that serial rapist, and as a result of pretty good fight he avoided being raped. No. The correct conclusion based on that diction is, Harry Potter put up a pretty good fight, gouged the rapist’s eye, clawed at the rapist’s cheek, bit the rapist’s hand, but ultimately sustained severe anal injuries as a result of his brutal rape-attack. If a person is attacked in their sleep they are not even consciously aware a pretty good fight is warranted. They cannot be held responsible for suffocating or being maimed or shot through a pillow. It is difficult to determine whether dying in your sleep is a cowardly act or not. Certainly wishing so is cowardly. There is also the matter of pooping in the pants following. But that is a matter of all dying – cowardly or brave. Amy Winehouse died in the most desirable way as far as I can tell. So much joy was pumping through her veins her fucking heart exploded.

The point is Harry Potter has a message and that is it doesn’t matter how much power a person possesses. Doesn’t matter how much suffering they have endured, how many loved ones have been sacrificed. It doesn’t matter if you are chosen or unchosen. It doesn’t matter if there is magic in your life or not. You will still end up a gross old schmuck with modest clothes and ugly sideburns. You will still end up with a big, fat wife and cowardly children. You will end up on a train platform with your equally unimpressive friends crying tears onto the heads of their retarded children. Harry Potter ultimately embraces what is ordinary and pathetic and boring at the core of human existence. And that is what makes Harry truly heroic. Anyone can seem heroic chopping heads and battling wizards and slinging dwarfs and waving his flaccid wand around. But only Harry Potter can make achieving the very average, the very center of the curve, seem like an immensely difficult and heroic act . . . $5

If you heart Harry Potter and the Deathlier Hallows:

Recommendations by Cheet Cheet
Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away
Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch
Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy

%d bloggers like this: