Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Donnie and Veronica
Extracted from an article of "The Independent":
"There is something subversive, quite un-American, in the way the film portrays adults – parents, teachers, counsellors – prioritising conformity, fearing any spark of individual thought, shepherding their charges into the path of least resistance. This is not a movie which celebrates images of authority. 'I'm very proud to be an American,' counters Kelly. 'I believe that part of being patriotic is the ability to be critical of your country. I think it is an outrage that we are so dysfunctional and it is a shame that, especially after 9/11, we can't wake up to that. To change things requires honesty – you have to look at yourself carefully in the mirror. The film definitely comes out of an anger and a disappointment and a wish for America to be a better place. And I think what we need is more art, more films, more literature to inspire debate on how to fix things and make it that better place'.
[...]'It is a feast of ideas and information' agrees Kelly, completely without guile. 'The story was conceived from a stream of consciousness, yet there was an inherent logic to it. There were rules of the game, there was a language. I did the Annie Wilkes test.' I frown and he fills me in: 'Kathy Bates's character in Misery who is furious at the way the Saturday morning serials cheated. How they would end with a car exploding off the side of the cliff and the next week begin with the hero managing to jump out just before it bursts into flames.' He demonstrates Annie's outrage loudly: '"He didn't get out of the cock-a-doodie car!"[...]
Donnie's Classmates: Cinema's messed-up teenagers
by Nick Hasted
1) Rebel Without a Cause (1955) A boy from a "good" home who almost goes bad, Dean brought the delinquency of the previous year's inner city school expose The Blackboard Jungle into the heart of the post-war suburban dream. His self-destructive extra-curricular activities, from knife-fights to chicken runs, shook parents. But it was Dean's squinting, inarticulately yearning performance – a callow copy of Marlon Brando – that defined adolescence's hormonal helplessness.
2) If... (1968) McDowell's Mick Travis ended the best years of his life by taking to the roof of his repressive English public school with a Bren gun, and mowing down the staff and prefects. Previous evidence of maladjustment included swigging vodka and having sex with a girl. The articulately anti-authoritarian opposite of Dean, Travis caught the mood of May 1968's teen revolutionaries.
3) Carrie (1976) High School Gothic, as Sissy Spacek's Carrie White endures the puberty from hell. After her first, unrecognised period leaves her bleeding and tearful in the school shower, a psychotically Bible-bashing Mum and bitchily bullying classmates doom her tentative attempts at teen acceptance. True to Stephen King's novel, Carrie's miserable hormonal pressure-cooker eventually blasts her Prom Night to smithereens, as telekinetic powers splatter the assembly hall with her enemies' entrails. Just the sort of apocalypse every 14-year-old wants after a bad day at the gym.
4) Over the Edge (1979) In the middle-class town of New Granada, everything's safe and secure for the commuting adults. But for their kids, sex and drugs at the recreation centre is their only fun. And its threatened closure leads to nihilistic revolt. Dillon's beautiful young Richie is Dean for a disaffected, post-Watergate America, doomed by a need "to be left alone", and shot dead as he makes a run for freedom, waving a bulletless gun.
5) Heathers (1988) The heroes here are victims of teen movie myths. Slater's JD (the D is for Dean) is the cool maverick who seduces Ryder from the side of her fellow Heathers, a hierarchy-enforcing clique of überbitches. Rebelling in a society that now expects him to, JD's serial-killing spree, disguised as a teen suicide epidemic, delights TV news crews. Ryder, finally tiring of "cool guys like you", shoots the boy, and goes to the prom with the disabled girl. But, last seen battered, bloody and lighting a fag, she's a cool school rebel, too."
Veronica Sawyer (from "Heathers"): "Heather told me she teaches people real life. She said Real Life sucks Losers dry. If you want to fuck with the eagles, you have to learn to fly".