Sunday, March 26, 2006

Brick

Brick sounds like a great movie; if it comes to the local theatre, I may even get a chance to see it before it comes out in DVD. I love the snippet of dialogue that was in this weekend's New York Times.

What is it about? Here are the first sentences from the IMDB Plot Summary:
Brick, the dynamic debut feature from writer/director Rian Johnson, won the Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision. Brick, while taking its cues and its verbal style from the novels of Dashiell Hammett, also honors the rich cinematic tradition of the hard-boiled noir mystery, here wittily and bracingly immersed in fresh territory - a modern-day Southern California neighborhood and high school.


Sounds cool, yes?

It also makes me realize how many film reviewers don't watch TV. I GoogleNews-ed Brick and noir and got 31 hits; adding Veronica Mars brought it down to 1, an article from the Guardian Unlimited.

Some people like movies; some like TV shows; some like both. I'm using this non-mention of VM as a starting point of a rant about why, still, watching TV is looked down on but watching movies, not so much. It's equally true inside the entertainment industry. Film stars are viewed as better than TV stars.

And the difference between film and TV is?

Yeah, I don't see a big difference either. Answers to the differences between the two may point to how the story is told, or the budget for the story, or production issues. But I cannot think of a single answer that translates into one format being inherently superior to the other. Yet as I read the reviews of Brick, and get excited about seeing it, I can't help but wonder that the reason Brick is described as a "genuinely inspired conceit" is because those who review film don't see what is on TV and even if they are aware of current programs, they don't see TV as important. If it hasn't been done on film before, it's inspired; it doesn't matter whether or not it's been done on TV.

Nothing against Brick; I'm can't wait to watch it. I think it's one of those interesting coincidences that it and VM are being done at the same time. But I think my viewing experience will be richer and fuller from knowing Veronica.

2 comments:

fusenumber8 said...

I was lucky enough to see "Brick" early when it screened at Columbia University. Ah the perks of having a husband in their film department! In any case, this is one of the smartest and funniest movies of the year. It's basically a hard-boiled noir thriller with lots of Dashiell Hammettish dialogue, but transferred to a high school setting. And it works seamlessly. The scene between our hero and the Assistant Principal plays out like a private detective getting hauled in to see a police commissioner. In any case, I'm so glad you mentioned it. It's the best film I've seen this year.

Liz B said...

OK, I'm officially jealous. I can't wait to see this!

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