So Long, Sarasota; The Outlaw Vern Strikes Again

by tully
January 8, 2008 5:00 AM
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Life is cruel. After what I can only describe as The Single Greatest Weekend Ever (longtime readers, exhausted by this writer's rampant enthusiasm, will undoubtedly recall The Greatest Week Ever and perhaps want to dismiss it as more unchecked hyperbole, but they would be oh-so-very wrong), it is time for me to leave Sarasota and That Very Special Someone behind for a mansion on Kiawah Island and a week of casual, yet intensive, music recording. As for That Very Special Someone, no, it's not Tom Hall (though if he keeps writing year-end wrap-ups like this and things don't work out with Jessica, he better watch out), but with regards to Mr. Hall, let me take the time to remind all of you filmmakers out there that you have until February 1st to submit your film to the glorious Sarasota Film Festival. Do it, if you know what's good for you. This festival is reason alone to justify taking the silly, exhausting (dare I say stupid?) directorial plunge.

In other news, Outlaw Vern is back. It's not as if he was ever gone--well, aside from all those years spent locked up in prison--but in addition to posting this incredible review of There Will Be Blood, which brings up some hilariously insightful issues, I have also begun to read his flat-out brilliant book, Seagalogy. I'm only into the second film, Hard to Kill, and I'm already about to declare Seagalogy the most original, hilarious, and insightful film book of the 21st Century (I'm talking intentionally so; The Man Who Heard Voices still wears the unintentional crown). Read this paragraph from his review of Above the Law to whet your appetite (it's referring to Nico/Seagal's relationship with his cop partner, Jax/Pam Grier):

For her part, Jax doesn't seem to have a more important man in her life -- she turns down guys who hit on her and complains that she has turned down a hot date to go tail a suspect with Nico. They get dressed up and go to a restaurant and even refer to it as a date. Later in the picture, after Jax is shot in slow motion by Zagon and may die, Nico mourns in the usual movie fashion by looking at photos, including a family portrait of him, his wife, his baby, and Jax! Now think about it. All cops are gonna have close relationships with their partners, but do you think Danny Glover invites Mel Gibson to be in his family portraits? No, that is not normal. I think we all know what is going on here. Nico is cheating on his wife. But maybe Seagal didn't want to make it too obvious since his real wife might get the wrong idea if she saw part of this movie on cable or something. It's one of those things you don't pick up on until you've seen the movie a couple times. Which you will.

Every paragraph is this good, but when you read an endless string of them put together, it doesn't seem humanly possible. When Christof Gebert returns from his own Seagal-esque mission in Thailand at the end of January, he and David Wingo and I plan to stuff the fridge with Lightning Bolt and have a Seagal marathon. Maybe life isn't so cruel after all.

Or maybe it is. It appears that Seagalogy has been taken out of print for a little while, in order for Vern to regroup and get a new batch on the shelf. Until then, go here to buy Vern's first bestseller, 5 On the Outside, and prepare to have your mind blown (that is also where you'll be able to order Seagalogy when the time has come once again).

Stay tuned for my Charleston revelation, which will be dropping within the next few days.

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More: Film in General


  • Jennifer Roe | January 14, 2008 9:19 AMReply

    I agree with you on Reygadas. I loved Battle in Heaven. It reminded me of Pickpocket. If I was a dude I would totally be crushing on Ana Mushkaraf, or whatever the girl's name was in BiH.

  • tully | January 13, 2008 4:01 AMReply

    wow, i really like how you put number three especially, Jennifer. you should package that and take it on tour. that was my exact issue with TWBB, especially after a second viewing. i still don't know if America has an under 40 director who has reached master status. granted, there aren't many anywhere in the world right now. Weerasethakul, Carlos Reygadas is pretty close, but i'm waiting for our country's definitive modern master to emerge. as talented as PTA is, i don't think he's the guy.

  • Jennifer Roe | January 11, 2008 4:00 AMReply

    Dear Michael Tully:

    I have a few thoughts about There Will Be Blood, and since you seem open minded about the movie, I wanted to see what you think.

    1) Paul Thomas Anderson is the star of Paul Thomas Anderson movies. This idea of the Director as Superstar was resurrected with Tarantino. Maybe Joseph Gelmis should write Volume Two. Who else would have to be included?

    2) PTA's movies feel very mechanical to me, Punch-Drunk Love being, so far, the most mechanical of them all, although TWBB comes a close second.

    3) PTA is essentially doing impersonations of Great Directors, and he almost had me fooled until the end of TWBB, when he couldn't contain himself any longer. Just as Daniel Plainview is pretending to be someone else, so is PTA, and it's that tension, of holding back one's true murderous inner self, that forms the spine of TWBB. So I guess, in a way, form does equal content in this case.