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Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
 
Being a movie fanatic, one of the things that I've had to accept over the years is that there are no new stories. Everything has been seen before, everything has been said before, everything has been done before. Unless your movie rhymes with Smeeing Smohn Smalkovich, it is going to resemble a story that we've seen several times before.

Like Roger Ebert has said before, a movie is not what it's about, but how it is about. What you say is not as important as how you say it. I received proof of that last night. If you told me a story about both the joys and pains of aging, I would simply nod my head and say, "Oh, yes, I fully agree, I've felt that way for a long time." Unless you happen to be Miranda July, and your story happens to be the Cannes and Sundance award winner "Me and You and Everyone We Know".

This is the funniest, most beautiful, most inventive, most poignant, most honest film that I have seen in a long time. It is a story told through small vignettes, featuring characters that connect in both likely and unlikely ways. The plot develops as easily as unfolding a piece of paper, and yet with each fold comes a surprising development. The dialogue is both very natural and exceedingly funny. The characters are all very human people with thoughts, motivations and feelings, and the actors who portray these characters are pitch-perfect. The photography is so beautiful that often I forgot it was done with a digital camera. The music is unconventional, and yet so strikingly perfect. It is one of the most flawless works of film I've seen.

All I will reveal about the movie is that each of the characters, from the six year-old boy to the elderly man, are dealing with getting older. Each character faces this theme in a different way, and yet they all fit in the same world. To see these characters interact with each other is one of the most profound joys that I've had in a movie theater. That is all that I will say about the plot. The least that you know going into this movie, the better.

Miranda July, the writer/director/star, is 30 or 31 years old (depending on her birthday) and a performance artist who has worked in several different mediums. She is beautiful, funny, fiercely intelligent and above all, an incredible storyteller. This was her first feature-length film, and based on the strength of it, I cannot wait to watch her career.

The amazing thing about the film is not just that it entertained me and moved me like few other films have, but that I left the theater feeling a little changed. Lately, I have been in a funk. I have constantly been tired and exhausted, and have consequently been frustrated. A late night talk with Brey a couple of days prior helped pull me out of that funk, and this movie only enhanced my newfound spunk.

While trying to leave the theater, there were couples blocking me on either side. Instead of pushing my way past them or jumping over a row of seats, like I probably would have done a week ago, I sat it out, taking bets on which one would move first. Then walking with Brey back to the car, we planned and executed a beautiful simultaneous hop on Wilshire Boulevard. The transformation that Brey started and this movie finished is quite amazing.

Right now, I'm listening to clips of the music on the movie's website (www.meandyoumovie.com) and remembering many notable images in the film (a goldfish teetering on the roof of a car, a woman with socks hanging from her ears, the word "fuck" written on the windshield of a car) while turning my latest play "Orange Alert" into a screenplay. On Sunday, I was approached by a woman from a production company who had just seen my adaptation of "Marat.Sade" and expressed interest in any screenplays I had. Looking back at my crappy screenplays, I decided to try to give her something more substantial. I'll keep you updated on how that goes.

Comments:
Hmm,I just had to write and say wow... your comments about the film brought on a lot of "yeah's and exactly's!" You felt the way I felt when I first saw it all together at Sundance. I am so happy that FINALLY someone has made a movie where you leave and it actually changes the way you feel on so many levels. I tried to find words to the feeling that I felt after the first screening and you captured it perfectly with the Mary Poppins reference. HOW EXCELLENT!

Thanks for your support (on yours and the MJ's Blog) and your beautiful words on both sites! Also thanks for using such "big words" (as Brandon says). It gave me an excuse to make Bran pull out the 'ole webster! He also got a good kick out of the word BS on your site after looking up pretentious! HA

Tonni - AKA Brandon "Robby's" mom

Good Luck with your writing and screenplays! HIKE YOUR OWN HIKE!
 
Well, I hope that you come back and take a look at this message, because I just wanted to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed Brandon's performance. Robby was one of my favorite characters. Not only was the moment where he first described pooping back and forth the funniest part of a very funny movie, but the moment near the end on the park bench was just so beautifully and poignantly executed. I'm sure you're very proud, and you have every right to be. Bravo, Brandon!
 
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