Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bill Murray Stare

After all my ballyhooeying about movie-hopping last week I went to the movies this weekend and only saw one movie. What a loser I am. But I did have an excuse: I went to a small independent theater that is currently trying to keep the city from tearing it down. Even though it’s been a pillar of the community for like decades. So as my friend said, “Movie-hopping is about sticking it to the man. Not sticking it to the frail, broken senior citizen.”

So despite the fact that there was more than one movie worth seeing my friend and I took the high road and only saw the movie that we actually paid for.

Don’t worry, we immediately got off that road as soon as we left the theater. I don’t like the altitude up there. I’m unaccustomed to it.

The movie we saw was called “Broken Flowers”. It stars Bill Murray and is getting rave reviews. Which is why I feel the need to chip in my two cents. Hell, I’ll even give you an entire quarter.

Now, first of all let me say that I enjoy independent movies. Some people don’t, but I do. Independent dramas are usually trying to be honest to what actually occurs in life. That’s why they are usually so boring. Because life, despite what big-budget Hollywood movies say, is actually not that exciting. But if you are able to keep yourself from slipping into a boredom-induced coma sometimes there are some great subtle thoughts to be found in independent films.

So when I go into an independent movie I’m prepared for a slower pace, and an above average number of long pauses. (Independent movies have low budgets, so they can’t afford to have too much dialogue. It’s cheaper to pay actors to just stare at one another. Or cry. Or drink. But definitely not actually speak.)

And Bill Murray is REALLY embracing independent filmmaking.

I am beginning to think that Bill has some weird contract verbage that does not allow him to speak over a certain amount of lines in a movie. “I mean, I COULD speak in this scene, but then that only leave like two lines of dialogue for the entire third act.” “Fine, fine, just stare at the wall then.” Ever since Bill has started doing independent films (Rushmore, Lost in Translation, Life Aquatic ect.) he has been trying to set a new record for the number of scenes the star of a film can be in without actually speaking. He is kicking the crap out of Charlie Chaplin’s previously held record.

Also, since Bill has decided to become a Serious Actor he has also decided to Stop Using Facial Expressions. Deciding instead to focus all of his efforts on just one facial expression. You know the one. It looks like he has either taken 45 Valium or he knows he ate some bad fish and has resigned himself to the fact that in a short while he is going to be very ill.

But again, I’m all about independent dramas, so I’m willing to go with you on your non-emotional emotional journey. Because I know that it will all make perfect sense in the end. You will bring it all together and I will shout out, “I have witnessed ART here today!!” (And then I’ll movie-hop over to a Sandra Bullock movie, because a girl can only take so much art.)

So did the ending of this movie provide me with all the answers I was waiting for? Well I wouldn’t want to ruin the end for you.

But then again, in order to RUIN the end there actually has to BE an end. And the version I saw had apparently be shipped to the theater without an end. There was just a black screen and an audience full of “What?” “That can’t be…” “No, wait, it’s coming back…” “What?” “Maybe it’ll be after the credits?”

But no.

This was an independent movie.

And independent movies don’t need no stinking dialogue. They don’t need no stinking explosions. And they certainly don’t need no stinking endings.

All I know for sure about the ending is that Bill was probably going to have to get home quick, that bad fish was bound to kick in at any moment. I know I was already starting to feel a little queasy.


Patricia said...

thanks for the review. i think this one's a skipper.

Dean said...

Well look on the bright side...
Battle of the Reality Stars starts this week.

Independent blogger said...

I think this is just cause for you to watch "Simon Birch" again. Because that movie has, like, three endings.

Jenn said...

That reminds me of Steinbeck's The Red Pony. That book doesn't have a real ending, I actually thought some pages must be missing when I read it. Stupid art. :)