Reviews written by registered user
|2 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Many comics react against anything 'politically correct' to get us to
titter nervously and to push boundaries. We enjoy feeling like adults
in a world already jaded with everyday shocking behavior.
Unfortunately, the spirit and meaning behind Louis C.K.'s material in
this show belie the ugly underside of his prejudiced opinions. What's
shocking is how naked he is with it.
He starts off calling for a revival of the word 'faggot'. He likes its pejorative use and cites examples. This discourse is a silly gambit for him to scream the word out over and over. "Faggot! faggot! faggot!" He goes on to say he does not mean to use it as a slur towards gay men. Well, guess what? That's what it is - a slur used towards gay men. And he affirmatively approves using the word toward annoying, effeminate men. Is this a fair distinction for a straight, white guy to make?
To cap it off, he adds that every time a person performs fellatio it must take something out of that person. His assurance of respecting gay men is weak as he laughs and shouts a slur he admits he feels holds validity. No respect there. He does, however, respect the butterfly beauty he sees in female genitalia. Okay we get it, Louis CK. You're straight. You're also homophobic.
Next in the shocking-word-as-funny-gambit tirade is the big one . . . the "N" word. Like overuse of the word 'faggot', it's like a South Park episode where he seems intent on using it over and over as if he gets points each time he does. He goes on to tell a story about how a white guy makes him coffee and he thinks of the guy as a 'nigger' (and a good one no less).
The problem is - despite the coffee making guy's being white, he is in a position of servitude. The "N" word applies to both black people and people of servitude interchangeably. That's the problem with it! (One of many actually) Duh. It is offensive because people of color and people in service positions are not interchangeable. Not realizing this is at the heart of racism. Thinking of anyone as 'nigger' in your head, as Louis CK says he does, is an ugly thing. Not funny.
I think Louis CK has over shared. I do not like what I see - which is too much of his intolerance, lack of empathy, and inability to fully reason out his act. At best he has exploited words and concepts, which are shocking and taboo for a reason, just to get a few cheap laughs. I loved his short-lived sitcom, but this one act has permanently left me with an aversion to watching any of his future work.
I grew up in Nashville. I laughed myself sick when I first saw this
film. It is funny start to finish. Sometimes, the humor's cruel,
sometimes it falls flat, sometimes it is tongue-in- cheek, sometimes it
is outright hilarious.
There is a scene where there is a multiple car pile up on the interstate. People get out of their cars and start selling things and fighting and going on with life with an utter unselfconsciousness about themselves - like they have no memory about the situation - it's like watching a dog lick its own ass ! They don't think, they just exist in the moment. That scene is at the beginning of the movie and the movie just gets better.
I was twelve when "Nashville" premiered in Nashville. It was a BIG DEAL of course. And it was a huge scandal afterwords because Nashville had put out the red carpet for Altman to make the film. . . and then to see it - it was scathing! It makes fun of bumpkins and the superficiality of country music and the pettiness of people and their sad delusions of fame and talent and the exploitive nature of the music industry (and politics). It skewers Nashville. Thing is - many Nashvillians came out of the theater not quite getting it.
It's like the joke was over their head. THAT'S HIS POINT - RUBES !!
To be fair, this is a movie which could have been made any number of places. A number of times Altman tried to do just that. After all, how many communities center around self- important people who believe they are more righteous and more important and live better than anyone else or at any other time ? Plenty, that's how many.
It's just that In "Nashville", everything came together. The country music industry was at a nadir; its product was falsely folksy lyrics set to over-produced sound. All (but one) of the actors in this film wrote their own songs so convincingly that the parody is not obvious. For example, Henry Gibson's "For the Sake of the Children" relates directly to Lorretta Lynn's "One's on the Way, which was a #1 hit in 1971. How do you parody something which already seems a parody of itself (or at least those who listen to it)?
Country music seems to glorify being uneducated and poor, just like mid-1970's fashion produces the ugliest and most awkward clothes imaginable. (We knew that at the time, right?) To top it off, the hoopla of the upcoming 1976 Bicentennial broadened the scope of the message to apply to America as a whole. The movie anthem "We must be doing something right to last two hundred years," resonates today as we exclaim "We're #1" as if we are playing (and winning) some big football game with the world. We make our deals and exclude outsiders and live in the ignorant belief no one else could be so wonderful.
Robert Altman's "Nashville" is if nothing else a comedy. It tells us this - from the scope of our national psyche to the most personal aspects of our own egos - when we take ourselves too seriously and can not laugh at ourselves, then we are just sad.