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210 posts categorized "Culture"

April 11, 2009

Director Jody Hill on the "Observe and Report" rape scene

Here's what Jody Hill, the writer-director of the new comedy Observe and Report, told the Onion A.V. Club about the film's notorious rape scene:

AVC: Did you get a lot of studio notes on Observe And Report?

JH: Sure. It’s like anything. There’s discussion involved. That was a big difference between The Foot Fist Way, where if Danny and me and our friends were laughing, it stayed in the movie. With the studio, you have to explain it to them. There was a lot of times—like the sex scene. [Rogen has sex with an apparently passed-out Anna Faris, who belligerently moans for him to continue at the very end.] I put it in there, and they were like, “Well, this is too far.” And I said, “You know what? It’ll just be one shot. Let’s just shoot it and see what happens. Then if you don’t like it, we won’t put it in the movie.” Then we put it in the movie, and they were like, “That goes too far.” And I was like, “Well, let’s just put it in front of the audience and see if they like it.” You know what I mean? You just gotta talk to people. I feel like you can argue passionately—as long as you don’t insult anybody, it’s okay. I think that goes a long way.

AVC: In the Times piece, they describe the scene you’re talking about as Seth Rogen’s character forcing himself on Anna Faris. Is that how you perceived that scene?

JH: [Pause.] I dunno. I’ve always kind of liked scenes that you talk about how fucked-up they are. I would have been happy without any dialogue in that scene. I wanted to show them just having sex and her passed out, and I thought that would have been funnier. But I think I have a darker sense of humor than most people. So at the end, [Faris’ character] is okay with it. [Laughs.] And that was like, “I’ll shoot it both ways.” So I actually shot it both ways. I just kept the camera rolling. There’s like a line that’s “We’re okay laughing, and you’re pushing the envelope.” But you’re not really pushing the envelope until you cross that line where a lot of people don’t go along with you. I tried to do it in a few scenes in this movie, where a lot of people aren’t going to go along with the film or with what we’re trying to do. Hopefully that means we’re actually pushing the envelope. [Laughs.] You know what I mean by that? I think if you’re really pushing the envelope, you have to not include everybody, if that makes sense. Or else it’s not really pushing the envelope.

The interviewer invites Hill to say whether he thinks he shot a rape scene, but Hill doesn't give a straight answer.

His reply seems to confirm my theory that Faris' "motherfucker" line is a cop out--a ploy contrived to keep the scene "funny" instead of taking it to an even darker place. 

It's also pretty clear that Hill thinks the rape scene is funny, not merely shocking.

Rape in movies isn't inherently offensive. Even rape jokes might have a place in a dark comedy. What's really offensive about the rape scene in Observe and Report is that someone thought that having Faris wake up in the middle and act "okay with it" made the sequence funnier or more user-friendly.

April 02, 2009

Weird crafts: Dismembered Barbie jewelry and Katamari-enhanced thrift store art

Picture 1 Margaux Lange is an art jeweler in Brooklyn, New York who specializes in ornaments fashioned from dismembered Barbie Dolls. The aesthetics and craftsmanship of her work are really impressive. Check out Lange's portfolio (sorta NSFW) and follow her career on her blog.

In other weird craft news, Boing Boing presents an artist who specializes in painting Katamari Damacy images into thrift store paintings, thereby vastly improving their aesthetic value. The artist, loudxmouse, even does custom work, available on Etsy. 

November 13, 2008

Ancient Greek joke book foreshadows Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" sketch

A mimetic ancestor of Monty Python's famous Dead Parrot sketch has been found in a 4th Century Greek joke book:

An ancestor of Monty Python's famous Dead Parrot comedy sketch has been found in a joke book dating back to Greece in the 4th Century.

Philogelos: The Laugh Addict, which has been translated from Greek manuscripts, contains a joke where a man complains that a slave he was sold had died.

"When he was with me, he never did any such thing!" is the reply.

In the Python sketch, written 1,600 years later, the shopkeeper claims the dead parrot is "pining for the fjords".

The 265 jokes in Philogelos are attributed to a pair of jokers called Hierocles and Philagrius, about whom very little is known. [BBC]

The members of Monty Python had excellent classical educations, but there's no indication that they were aware of Laugh Addict when they wrote the parrot sketch.   

"Laugh Addicts" Hierocles and Philagrius are apparently the forefathers of drivetime radio.

October 03, 2008

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society Joins NewAm Roster

Society_t_logoBig news: Darcy James Argue's Secret Society signs with NewAm Records.

June 25, 2008

Origami Iron Man

How cool is this? Origami genius Brian Chan's summer blockbuster, Origami Iron Man, via Gizmodo. [HT: Loren]


June 08, 2008

Not your grandfather's campaign button... Elections in the age of Etsy

Obama_necklaceThis is the first presidential race in the age of Etsy--an online marketplace for handmade goods.

Election memorabilia will never be the same. It's not just buttons and bumperstickers anymore.

Besides the traditional campaign paraphenalia like t-shirts and pins, Etsyphiles are offering Obama-themed doll clothes, "hope on a rope" soap, 3D fridge magnets, votive candles, and plush toys.

Suffice it to say that John McCain has an Etsy gap. A site search yields 46 hits for "McCain" compared to 534 for "Obama." You can get your very own crocheted McCain--pins not included.

[Image: Obama icon pendant, by SilverCoccon at Etsy.]

June 02, 2008

The giant concrete dinosaurs of Pablo Escobar

Everyone needs a hobby. [BBC]

June 01, 2008

Cephalopod bling

Via BoingBoing, jewelry made from cast octopus tentacles.

April 28, 2008

Traversing the Mushroom Kingdom

More pictures of Darcy's debut at the Brooklyn Museum.

April 27, 2008

TODAY: Traversing The Mushroom Kingdom with Darcy James Argue

Darcy James Argue, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.


Today at the Brooklyn Museum:

Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 2:00 PM
Brooklyn Museum, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium
Traversing The Mushroom Kingdom

Program to include:
RANDALL WOOLF: Try to Believe
DARCY JAMES ARGUE: [Body Double] (World Premiere)