Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Fine Line Between Clever and Stupid

Looking through the past via my e-mail inbox, I'm struck with the amount of notes and passages I've never gotten around to deleting. Many are rather personal. Many are quite random. The one I'm going to present to you here, though, has something interesting in there, I think. (Maybe.) It's all in good jest, naturally, as if written by a drunken cross between Andy Kaufman and Hunter S. Thompson. But if it were real... Oh, man. What a world this could be...

A few of my friends take part in public readings of their personal childhood diaries and journals, sharing in the nostalgia of young adulthood and poking light fun at all of the things that seemed so important back then when they really weren't. Posting the following scribble might be as close to doing that as I'm likely to get. So, that said... have a seat, put your feet up, and enjoy my rambling insanity. Please excuse the ridiculous amount of all-caps text, and try to remember... Some ideas are just ahead of their time.

Sent: Thu 10/13/05 - 5:01 PM
I had an idea today for what might just be the most experimental film of all time. "Experimental" in that it follows absolutely none of the rules of natural film making or storytelling. In fact, there will BE no story. Not in a SEINFELD way. In a NO STORY OF ANY KIND way. There will be NO actors. Perhaps, right now, you're saying to yourself "No actors?" No. None. There will be PEOPLE, maybe. Or parts of people. But no actors playing characters. And no dialogue. Words, spoken. But not written.

There will also be NO DIRECTOR. The footage will have an editor (necessary, I think, considering how random the footage will be). But there will be NO rhyme or reason in the cutting, nor artistic intent. There will be no mise-en-scene, no subtext of the linking of images, and no points will be deducted for mistakes. Because if there is no plan, there can be no mistakes.

There WILL be music. But it will be random, and performed without musical instruments by non-musicians. And it will be rendered unintelligible. For instance: the "opening theme," if there is to be one, will be interrupted a great deal by other sounds from later in the film.

Imagine a film with a Hate Index that's off the charts. Rottentomatoes.com should destroy itself trying to measure how hated the film will be. The confusion and negativity surrounding it should rival the that of Vincent Gallo's THE BROWN BUNNY. Cripsin Glover's WHAT IS IT?, all the UWE BOLL movies, FAT GUY GOES NUTZOID and BIRTH OF A NATION... COMBINED.

Despite the theoretical impossibility, imagine watching a nine hour version of Jamie Lee Curtis's VIRUS, but somehow watching it ten times in a row... and ALL AT ONCE. Audiences should not only demand their money back but should demand SEVEN TIMES their money back and be crying and/or yelling and/or shaking their fists while they do so. The idea, I think, is to make THE MOST UNIVERSALLY DESPISED MOTION PICTURE OF ALL TIME

There's a certain timelessness in that. Ed Wood's been dead for years and it's about time someone knocked his lame ghost's ass off that slimy post it's been perched on. Besides, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE maybe be awful, but it's gloried and almost beloved by millions (or thousands, anyway). And if SOMEONE likes it, then to me it fails as a TRULY bad film. It must be HATED. It must be spoken of ONLY IN WHISPER. It must be the VOLDEMORT of the film industry, to borrow from Rowling -- but even MORE evil. If Voldemort is "The One Who Cannot Be Named," then that is a name of a kind, itself.

Our film, our Bastard Film (and no, that's not it's name) will have NO TITLE and NO TITLE will never be referred to. If, somehow, society deems to name it someday (like they did with Prince when he changed his handle to that SYMBOL THINGY), then that title will be refuted. Even something as simple as THE UNTITLED MOVIE or THAT MOVIE WITH NO NAME will be tarred and feathered and fed to Satan's Dogs before they ever appear on any kind of posters for the film.

Which brings me to advertising. There WILL be a campaign. Posters and a website will promote this thing, whatever it is, to the masses. I was thinking something very simple for the one sheet, like black text on black letters, or white on white, or... NO! I HAVE IT! TRANSPARENT ONE SHEETS! Nothing more than THICK CELLOPHANE! PERFECT! For text: the posters should read something like DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE and that's all. Though how one reads transparent text on a transparent poster is up for discussion. I'm leaving the content and design of the website up to XXXXX. Nobody is more suited for this task than you, XXXXX -- after all, it doesn't matter how crazy the site is. It will never be crazy ENOUGH.

Perhaps the idea behind all this would be of interest to some people out there in the world. TOUGH SHIT, WORLD! Only five people will EVER know. They are: names removed by request. And that is all. We'll have to assume new identities or at least use fake names making this thing in order to shield our loved ones from the backlash... although these loved ones will probably excommunicate us during production, anyway. No matter, pop stars and supermodels will likely offer us pleasures on an hourly basis for the sole purpose of sexing the secret out of us and releasing it the world on MTV's TRL Live or something. Hotties love bad boys. And nobody will be badder than us once the film is released. Not Manson. Not nobody.

I've concocted a cover story for the press, as follows...

"Two hundred and seventeen years from now, Earth will be visited by marauding Aliens from a distant star system, Hellbent on destroying Mankind. They will arrive in the night under silence, The word "genocide" is not strong enough for what they have in their Alien minds. They will invade, contact and destroy. And that the last possible second, one Under-Alien will discover... OUR FILM. It will advise its betters of the film. And Earth will be spared. Why? Will they love it? Will they fear it? That is uncertain. The above is all the information we have."

...As far as society goes, that's all they'll GET, too.

WE will know DIFFERENT. Here's the skinny: Maybe ALL OF THE ABOVE is a ruse. Maybe our intent SHOULD BE simply to spread the RUMOR that we're out to make THE MOST UNIVERSALLY DESPISED MOTION PICTURE OF ALL TIME. Start the website up, quietly let it worm it's way through the internet, wait for people to hear more, hit us up with questions and all, let some sort of Media Circus Swarm create itself over the film. This smacks of INTENT, though, and while I love the idea of it, I'm not sure. I'm torn between creating this GIGANTIC HOAX of a film and shooting a documentary about it (the easy, real-life application of the above theories) and doing it for REAL. Maybe we can do both. Will the Film Industry, the World and Valhalla forgive us for our trespasses? Who knows?

There is one more secret I have on the project. I want the final shot of the movie to be an image of film critic Richard Roeper, sitting in a cinema moments after watching the preceding film. I want him to utter one simple line. "Fuck!" for example. (Swearing is encouraged). And then I want him to pull out a revolver and blow his brains out. END OF FILM.

Yeah, I know... that bit above smacks of planning and "creating." It wouldn't be real, though -- I envision it to be pulled off via optical effects like that fire extinguisher scene in IRREVERSIBLE. No... It's not the central idea of the movie to get Roeper to commit suicide on film as some sort of wish fulfillment, nor a comment on the concept of film criticism in any way. It would just be a great final shot, is all. Right? Um.... thoughts? :)

Producers are encouraged to contact me here, with offers. My people are standing by. :)

Theatrical Reviews:
Ghostbusters (1984) ****
District 9 ***

DVD/Home Video
The Royal Tenenbaums: Criterion Collection ****
Rushmore: Criterion Collection ****
Bottle Rocket: Criterion Collection ***
Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) ***
Howl's Moving Castle (2004) ***
The Darjeeling Limited ***
Alien Vs. Predator: Unrated Edition (2004) *1/2

1 comment:

escapevelocity said...

ee hee! I do love yer crazier ideas, Sir Matt!