All the way from Velvet Goldmine to Napoleon Dynamite

Dynamite, get it?
Existing screenwriters/directors to whom Napoleon Dynamite writer/director Jared Hess owes a debt:
Alexander Payne, for his usage of the “everyday”, contemporary America as a cinematic template.
Wes Anderson, for imbuing the quirkiness of characters with a celebratory yet sentimental quality—though not going nearly as overboard as Anderson ultimately does in this regard.
Todd Solondz, for nastily ridiculing the above notions of “the everyday” and “those who are quirky”, as well as “those who are lunkheads”, “jocks”, or otherwise boring as all fuck; knocking them all down a peg or two, and somehow giving an anti-hero hailing from the geeky dregs of mundane life a reason for the filmgoer to actually empathize with them.
Chris Smith (of American Movie and Home Movie fame), for successfully (and effectively) conflating such ridicule and empathy.
Todd Haynes, for utterly nailing the ability to appropriate for appropriation’s sake.
Adam Shankman (of Bringing Down the House infamy), for relying on some really regrettable racial stereotypes. Wow…whites, blacks and latinos are different, get it? Haha!

6 replies on “All the way from Velvet Goldmine to Napoleon Dynamite

Thoroughly agree… how do they think this is original? Seems like each new Gen-(fill-in-the-letter)rediscovers IRONY. Wow. I so underwhelmed.

not that it really matters so much, but i actually thought it was a more or less great film.
save for some quibbling about the racial issues– but that i suppose can be chalked up to the idaho/isolation issue, maybe.
well, that and when you’re a white twentysomething idaho kid, and not directly exposed to other non-white twentysomething kids, you’re prolly going to be feeding off of existing stereotypes from other hollywood productions.

i liked it alot too.
and even though i want to call it nearly great, i cant for some reason. even though i laughed the whole time.

caricatures are made of characters across the board in this film. white nerdy geek as well as bootylicious black mama. I guess I don’t have a problem with it because I don’t feel any of this is done with a mean spirit.
I think the director is poking fun of all of these stereotypes and he’s definately not feeding off of any “existing stereotypes from other hollywood productions’ -like any independant filmmaker who just wants to make movies cares about the crap that hollywood makes or is significantly influenced by it.
Also, just because he’s a ‘white twentysomething idaho kid’ dosen’t mean he’s never been exposed to other cultures. i’ve read in an interview that Hess gave that he has lived in several parts of the country as well as England.

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