Gigantic

Posted on April 24, 2009

1


(cursory acknowledgment that it has been 1.5 months since I last wrote in here and that said hiatus precisely commences with the start of my relationship. now, on to business)

Your Body Is Your Soul is getting its official, physical, digipak CD release in just a week or two, with gorgeous art design by Fiona Logusch, who painted the cover, and Dave Kiersch, who helped with layout and such. As it has now become a relatively large investment for me, the free download will be coming down from the website soon. I am pretty conflicted about this, but I’d like to get out of this debthole and I’m sure you can find a way to download it for free anyway, so this is more of a symbolic gesture than anything

The other day, as part of the absolutely massive CPH:PIX festival, I went to see the quirky indie comedy Gigantic, after tickets to the quirky south-american indie comedy The Artist were sold out (actually, there was an improbable one ticket left when we arrived at the front of the line).
I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect coming in. I’d read the synopsis awhile ago and thought it looked okay, in the melancholic, apathetic young brooklynites with distant fathers and fractured yet busy love lives school of indie filmmaking. For awhile this was pretty much exactly what it was. There was the zany best friend (too zany to be a main character) dispensing coarse advice on women (this is actually a device used in films across genre and budget lines), the gorgeous love interest who spoke only in childlike observations (“I fell asleep”), the comic relief coworkers (chatty sex-obsessed black guy & guy who only says “what’supnotmuch” slurred into one word) at the dead end job (mattress warehouse), and of course, the straight man: Brian, the pensive, damaged lead with the sad eyes. There were also the characteristic long, long pauses between every line of dialogue, so as to indicate a wearily hip inertia.
But, Gigantic turned out not quite to fit into the box I immediately threw it into. There was the homeless guy turning up at odd moments and in different costumes to beat the ever-loving shit out of our sad-eyed hero, and John Goodman’s fantastic role as the father of the love interest (the painfully beautiful Zooey Deschanel), crazy in that particular way that belongs entirely to Manhattanites (expelling a cancerous tumor through sheer force of will and meditation, refusing to ride in cabs, etc.). The hero turned out not to be a ennui-laden non-character, as I’d feared, but just a quiet, steady, slow developing person, and in the second half of the film, when the families of the young lovers are brought into the focus, they become comprehensible as something more than just blank-faced youth. The expected disastrous melancholy and self-destruction is ultimately met and defeated by the warmth and love and absolute fucking weirdness of family. For once in the indie cinema, family triumphs. A small triumph, but still. “Nothing is fucked up, and nothing is ever beyond repair,” says Brian’s mother near the end, and it is not a dramatic cry but the wry wisdom of someone who knows it to be the truth.
It is probably optimistic to hope that this is one signal of a sea change taking place, in which love is no longer important only in its tortured and doomed form and self-destructive indulgence isn’t glorious, but I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway.

P.S. Upon reading other reviews, people seem to be taking this movie mighty literally. I’m pretty sure the homeless guy is allegorical, dudes. Also, what is it about animal collective and melancholy young people that makes everyone so damned angry? A lot of these reviews are written by people who clearly resent anything that appears to be hip because they are afraid they won’t “get it” and will be relegated to obscurity. The worst things about this film are that its jokes don’t all work and even as a pleasant viewing it’s still largely inconsequential. Calm down. Maybe Ed Asner and Jane Alexander signed on because they…liked the movie.

I have to stop updating this, but this person for example probably put as much effort into hating this mild film as the directors put into making it, and he also misrepresents (or misunderstands if we want to give him the benefit of the doubt) 95% of the plot.

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