Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thoughts on the film: Taking Woodstock

I offered a reward for my phone, and it does warm my heart a little to see how many kids were angry that someone had it and that if they had it they wouldn't take the reward. Nobody brought it back, though, even though they'd get more from me than from Paco the stolen goods dealer.

I ordered a new one through a legitimate Ebay dealer so it's a little less expensive than what I'd be paying to buy it at the store but I will be phoneless for the rest of the week. Alas. If I used to have your phone number, I no longer have your phone number. Shoot me an email.

Dammit, I had three ring tones on there.

Anyhow, I saw Taking Woodstock last night. I love Ang Lee, especially how varied his career is, but I get why this film didn't take off at a sprint. It feels like an independent film. I think in the era of Judd Apatow we've been conditioned to think comedies have to be raunchy and revolve around laughing at other people's pain. This film isn't like that. The laughter comes from victory more often than failure, although there is more nudity in Taking Woodstock than all Judd Apatow movies combined. Full frontal. Both sexes.

Anyway, I was watching The Man Who Came to Dinner the other day and I started thinking about how rare that kind of witty banter type comedy is anymore. Nothing is subtle, and I kind of miss it.

Taking Woodstock has one hell of a meandering plot, but I think one thing I love about it was the gay storyline for our protagonist. Dimitri Martin's character, Elliot, is gay, but it's not a big deal, which is absolutely perfect for the story. The whole attitude of all the Hippies in this movie is that everything's cool and nothing's worth worrying about, and the gay story ends up the same way. He's gay. So what? Moving on. Just like Liev Schiber is a cross dressing badass who I really wish had badded more ass. So what? He wears a dress? What's the big deal? Let's move on.

Anyway, I don't know if I've ever seen that before. Have you? A protagonist who's gay, but that fact that he's gay is barely even a B story? Kudos, Ang Lee and writer James Schamus. Very groovy.


  1. I wrote one. It's in indie production right now. Well, it's actually a couple.

  2. The gay kid on Glee is sort of totally out there gay and it only took them 2 episodes to get over it.

  3. I have no idea what happened to comedy. I saw COUPLES RETREAT when it came out, and it was like a comedy movie without the jokes - no funny dialogue, let alone *clever* dialogue. Over the holidays they were showing the old THIN MAN movies and those had a million great lines! When someone notices an obvious clue, Nick's response: "You have the nose of a bloodhound! (beat) But don't worry, the rest of you face looks fine." And the films are *filled* with those!


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