Wednesday, October 16, 2019

fall into it

"People being bullied and hurt isn't funny.  You'd probably spend your whole life giggling at other people's hurt."

I watched a Russian torrent of the Steve Bannon Joker movie because I didn't want to support the Steve Bannon Joker movie because the endeavor of remaking King of Comedy without Sandra Bernhard is a fruitless endeavor at best.   The only thing that makes King of Comedy King of Comedy is Sandra's agency.  Without a strong woman at the center and the edges, you end up with a Steve Bannon biopic.  Who wants that?   I don't.  I'm not an incel.  

The whole debacle bums me out because I love movies that look like money, and the Steve Bannon Joker movie looks expensive!  It's got amazing costumes, a great performance from River Phoenix's brother and a New York City backdrop that actually looks like New York City, but it ultimately has nothing to say because it's a movie made for straight white men who feel persecuted by society and not a movie commenting on the their role in society because the movie is made by a straight white man who somehow still feels victimized despite being the absolute worst.

The Urban Dictionary defines incel as "involuntary celibate," a person (usually male) who has a horrible personality and treats women like sexual objects and thinks his lack of a sex life comes from being "ugly" when it's really just his blatant sexism and terrible attitude. 

From Psycho to Fade to Black (and even Texas Chainsaw), horror has had its fair share of incels - but one Canadian movie (filmed in Wisconsin) manages to rise above the faggoty fold.  Almost forty years before Joker, we had a far superior film about the clown prince of crime.  The Pit.

"I can't see anything, it's just a big hole."

The Pit is a movie about a tweenage boy named Jamie who gets bullied by an entire town so he starts to act out by sexually harassing his babysitter and by throwing his oppressors in a pit where they get eaten by monsters.

I get it.  Middle School sucks.  We all do weird shit when we're figuring out our hormones.  I once made my neighbors parents watch my rented copy of The Doors because there was a sex scene in it.  A college friend of mine used to rub herself on the swing-set for hours at a time.  We're all just animals at the end of the day.

The Pit has fun with its subject.  It's never saying "look at this - aren't we twisted - never-mind you don't even get it!" like the Joker movie does.  Even at his most unhinged and unwell, Jamie's villainy is relatable.  He's 13.  Life sucks when you're 13.  This behavior (killing your enemies, whining about being misunderstood to potential sex partners, blaming your fucked up childhood on your inability to adapt to hardship) spewing out of a 44 year old man is less charming. 

The team making The Pit understood that this story is a parable.  Jamie's inability to integrate speaks to a broken society.  Turn on the news and you'll see an America that's judgmental and ugly at its core.  Maybe people deserve to get shoved in a pit full of tra-la-logs.  

There's so much to love about The Pit.  For starters, it's set in Autumn.  For seconds, we get to see Jamie goes through puberty on camera as the movie progresses.  From it's deranged score and side characters who are obsessed with aerobics and never miss an opportunity to use the best coded-homophobic slang, it's a gift for this or any season.

No comments:

Post a Comment