Roma sucks, and I need to stop checking out the purported ‘best flicks’ of last year

Jenn and I had both heard good things about this Roma flick in the last month or so. It was on a lot of lists as one of, if not THE best film of 2018 so we checked it out last night. It wasn’t awful but it certainly wasn’t great. What it was, was pretentious — in spades. Wowee. Black and white; tons of long, slow, panning camera shots; tons of scenes where nothing much happens and you wonder if it might be significant later but it isn’t; tons of recurring “themes” like airplanes, dog shit, and space men. I don’t have a problem with any of those things in and of themselves but when they are all done together and in a particularly boring way, I get a strong sense of someone trying really hard to be a classic annoying artist type.

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This works on a few levels.

The airplanes, dog shit, and space men were the most annoying parts to me because I think that inserting something a few times throughout a film is such an easy thing to do, and if it’s vague or pretentious enough, it gives the artist immediate cred with all the sycophants. Like, “ooohh, notice how prominent the dog shit is in so many of these shots. Ooohhh, notice how the car’s tire smushed that dog turd. What’s it symbolic of? Fascinating.” I don’t find it fascinating. I feel like I could make a film and toss a few random details throughout the film to create similar “themes” that people would gush and crow over, even though the things were emotionally and thematically empty. For example, here are some random things: umbrellas, incidental weather reports on the tv and radio, and a female character putting on lipstick in the background of some shots. Throw those into your snail-paced black and white flick and the Academy Awards would surely sing your praises. “The director’s take on female sexuality is at once disarming and challenging. Best film of 2019.”¬†I really believe it’s as easy as that.

Last year, I tried The Florida Project. This year, it was Roma. Well, fuck it. I’m not falling for this ‘best film of the year’ bullshit again. From now on, I’m sticking with the shit that gets lousy reviews yet still intrigues me. All reviews are trash. That includes this one.

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rich white trash

a few weeks ago, jenn and i watched a documentary called ‘the queen of versailles.’ it was a good documentary, but it was disturbing.

peggy bundy-onassis

it follows the super rich family of jackie and david siegel and their children as they struggle to maintain their lavish lifestyle during the most recent US financial crisis in 2008.

it’s really illuminating as to how out of touch with reality and gross jackie and david are. some of the stupid things they say sound like soundbites they came up with specifically for this movie, like they were really playing into the reality tv aspect of the film. i thought, “no one is that stupid or arrogant.” but it appears they really are. there is no irony in any of the giant paintings which depict the muffin-topped, 70-something david siegel as a muscular warrior.

oh boy.

throughout the film, you can see dog shit on the floor in the house. it wasn’t a once-off event, it happened lots. audiences reacted with horror but the siegels claimed a dog was sick once and the footage was spread throughout the film to make them look bad. that’s obviously bullshit though, just keep your eyes open for turds if you watch it. they’re omnipresent.

jackie is an aging beauty pageant queen, and she is clinging to that past in the most desperate, sickening ways. you can see it in the pic at the top of this post. she would look more natural in front of a mobile home park than a mansion, except most folks in mobile homes probably couldn’t afford her grotesque fake tits that she paid way too much for considering how awful they look. they’re actually pretty demure in that pic compared to the rest of the film but rest assured, they’re comical.

all class.

right from the start of the film, i thought “this family looks like your average wal-mart shoppers — gross, white trash. they just have limos and mansions.” then near the end of the film, the family went shopping at wal-mart and what do you know, they fit right in and even seemed to enjoy being there. it really confirmed to me that the only thing different between these rich pieces of shit and all the other poor and middle class pieces of shit in the world is the amount of money in their bank accounts. at their cores, they’re all the same physically revolting, empty-headed, resource-devouring cows.

so anyone who wants to have their faith in humanity violently shaken, check the film out. it’s not a good feeling but it’s a good film.

as an interesting side note, the financially troubled siegel family attempted to sue the filmmakers for defamation. the case was called ‘incredible’ and ‘bizarre’ by the judge before it was¬†thrown out. the siegels were ordered to pay for the filmmaker’s legal fees.