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Film

Lonely Hearts Club Video

Posted by Drew / December 16, 2005

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Bullshit is a strange phenomonen; not the truth, but not a lie, either. Nobody is going to say they like it, and Hemmingway claimed he had a detector for it. But I would miss it if it was gone. I think we need it. But we don't need a bullshit movie, which is what Heights (2004; Chris Terrio) is--a total bullshit movie.

The performances from an esteemed and not-so-esteemed ensemble cast are great, or, at least good enough; actors are not the problem here.

Writer/director ChrisTerrio obviusly created the entire film as a backdrop for a single exchange, a dull and dumb moment between a young Welshman and a young Manhattan-bred woman, in which the latter gets to display her privileged callowness by explaining that she, "flew over Wales once. On my way to London." Right. Then the welsh dude says, "Oh, you're one of those New York girls." Right, thanks, I wasn't getting it, thanks for that Terrio. Why am I cerain you must be ONE OF THOSE NEW YORK BOYS.

The potential problem with bullshit is not its lack of authenticity or honesty, and indeed, I would take a bullshitter over one of those radical honesty fanatics. Bullshit makes human communication difficult not because it is false communication but because it is a perfect form of communication. It eliminates all possibility of surplus meaning--the best part, the part we love. By being exactly reducible to the sum of its parts, bullshit always means itself, so it can never be wrong, or false, just meaningless by our usual standards.

The very meaninglessness of bullshit can be useful under the right circumstances; the international alphabet, for example. But in a film that is already working against with an unhealthy amount of preciousness, bullshit will sink it.
And it does.

So,instead of Heights, which is complete bullshit, check out P.S. (2004; Dylan Kidd). P.S is also set in New York, also featuring the efforts of a Wainwright offspring (Martha on the soundtrack), and is also directed by a young man desperate to be a big player. The film even flirts with a precious tone. But P.S. is no bullshit film; it's sexy, funny, a bit silly, even. You should watch it tonight.

Discussion

4 Comments

Mark Curry / October 28, 2016 at 11:34 am
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