Sunday, November 1, 2009

revisiting my VERY first memory of film snobbery

when i was 12 years old, my friend justin and i were driven to our local video store to rent a movie. my choice was BARTON FINK. it was 1992 and i was reading 'entertainment weekly' like it was the bible and i read great reviews of fink and that it had won the palm d'ore at cannes. so i rented it and of course i didnt understand it. the film was a mediation on the dangers of pursuing cash windfalls rather spiritual and creative fulfillment. at the same time, it was a scathing indictment of creativity and how its stifled, inspired, clogged, and sold as commodity. barton fink is probably one of the more unaccessible coen brothers movies so this was definitely a little heavy for a 12 year old.

when my mom picked me up from justin's house, i told her we rented barton fink. she asked what would ever inspire me to rent it. i told her it won the big prize at CAN-NEZ (yes i pronounced it CAN-NEZ). this was my earliest memory of being a film snob.

and that was the last time i saw the movie until last week. because im into silly completionist tactics, i marked it as seen on 'lists of bests,' crossed it off the 'they shoot pictures' top 1000 spreadsheet, and gave it 2 stars on netflix but i had never ever seen the movie.

i actually liked the movie but not a lot and feel that my 2 star rating was a bit premature. i mean, i was 12. in reality...i gave it THREE STARS! however, i can walk away from the movie feeling good knowing that i watched, understood it, and even when i was 12, wasnt enthralled with it. in reality, its probably one of my least favorite coen brothers movies. im not sure it should have won anything at cannes (pronounced kahn. or sorry KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! yup, i just threw in a cheap, unrelated, and nonsensical star trek reference FTW. the 12 year old michael would be proud.