This weekend I watched Ich bin die Andere, in which precious angel fallen to earth August Diehl plays an engineer who becomes enthralled by a woman after a chance encounter. And by chance encounter, I mean after their private parts high five.

So much of this movie left me utterly flummoxed. First of all, is the red dress/blonde hair look Carolin sports supposed to be ~sexy? Because it reminded me of this:

And I couldn't understand why Robert, August's character, found her so intriguing. Then there's the age thing. I just processed that as part of the story when the movie began, like, "Welp, he's attracted to an older woman." Then it became clear that they were trying to act like Carolin and Robert were around the same age. Nope. No.

This would have been ridiculous enough, if the audience weren't also expected to accept that Barbara Auer's character is old enough to have been Carolin's nanny. Barbara Auer is 4 years older than Katja Riemann, but she doesn't look markedly older, especially in this movie, where she actually looks younger.

On top of all this, the shocking twists were telegraphed well in advance, except for the ones that I think were supposed to be shocking, if they were comprehensible in the slightest.

August was pretty, though.

TL;DR: As I said on Tumblr, the fuck did I just watch?


Um, I also watched The Runaways, which was basically a love letter to Cherie Currie from Joan Jett. It was gorgeous (Duh Aficionado: Floria Sigismondi knows her way around the visual medium) and I liked it a lot.


From a teenager on tumblr: "Look at billboard charts from the early 90s; look up the songs; listen to them. Most of them have meaningful lyrics or are trying to relay a message. It wasn’t about the hottest beat, getting wasted, or talking shit about other rappers."

I knew their burgeoning interest in Nirvana would come to no good. I feel like Tom Haverford.

Okay, I was already unnerved by the most recent issue of Out because the last time I saw that kid, he was literally, a kid--the kid in About a Boy. (I haven't seen Skins, sorry. I'm only now getting caught up on It's Always Sunny in's gonna be a while before I can get to Skins.)

Shortly after my hip stopped creaking at that, I saw this picture from Nowhere Boy, the John Lennon biopic, and who is that second from left playing McCartney? Oh, just the little boy from Love, Actually. Whoa, okay.

So, since then I've been poking around looking at other photos from the movie, the trailer, and whatnot--as George is my favorite, I wanted to see the kid playing him, for one thing. Then a stray bit of gossip concerning the lead actor and the director caught my eye.

This is too much for me. I need a Bex and a lie down.
So let me get this straight: Kanye West is excoriated--Pink called him the "biggest piece of shit on earth" (on earth*!)--for essentially, interrupting an awards show and hurting the feelings of a voting adult. Michael Jackson, who went to court (albeit dressed as Cap'n Crunch, TM Chris Rock) and stood trial--don't even get me started. But Roman Polanski? He fugitived for our sins.

*These ladies were like, you're right, Pink. What a jerk.
Why so defensive, man? I don't really understand either side of this--I don't get why he's so freaked out about critics, who by the way, do serve a valuable role in art and I don't understand the vitriol aimed at freaking Paul Blart. Well, okay. I do, to an extent. Pop culture bullies. What it is that I actually don't understand is people who seem surprised that Paul Blart is a hit and has been since it dropped. Lemme mosey on over to Ebert's review and steal something...I'll just have to put you on hold for a second:

"Chocolate bears and gingerbread cats, All dressed up in whipped-cream hats. Danced in the garden under the moon, Beat sweet rhythms with a wooden spoon, Whirling, turning, jumpin to the beat, Melting down to their ice cream feet."

Okay, I'm back. Here it is: "Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a slapstick comedy with a hero who is a nice guy. I thought that wasn't allowed anymore...And he's in a PG-rated film with no nudity except for a bra strap, and no jokes at all about bodily functions." I can't imagine why families would find that appealing.

Okay, back to the first point. Critics are important and this "those that can't, review" nonsense is about as compelling an argument as "No, you are!" Critics can help you make choices and they can serve to educate the reader and illuminate a truly masterful work of art in a way that one never considered. Critical thinking is something they used to teach in schools. Judging by the discussion answers I've read in one of my classes, though, it got left behind.

For more words on this subject than I care to write at the moment, I highly recommend my man Ebert's post Death to film critics! Hail to the CelebCult!:

"The celebrity culture is infantilizing us. We are being trained not to think. It is not about the disappearance of film critics. We are the canaries. It is about the death of an intelligent and curious, readership, interested in significant things and able to think critically. It is about the failure of our educational system. It is not about dumbing-down. It is about snuffing out."

No one is saying that you must live and die by what the critics say, of course. In fact, before Dennis Miller drank the Flavoraid and shrugged off everything he used to say, he said this:

And I agree with it now, as I agreed with it then. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for liking something simple. But don't let them make you feel bad for liking something smart, either.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch White Dog and vote on the hottest Congressional freshman. Good day.



October 2012



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