June 21, 2004
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!

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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