30 November 2005


saw "jarhead" for free last week while back in oxford. i drove down to hamilton and chatted with colin, who let me into the movie for free. rad.

it was a weekday and a matinee (and hamilton), so i was surprised at how crowded the theatre was. the crowdedness also contributed to the unease i felt while watching the movie. lots of homoeroticism, with simulated cock-sucking to piss off jamie foxx's character and a full-frontal shot of jake gylennhall.

that brings me to a larger point, and one that i haven't heard many people discuss: this movie is about sex. more particularly, its about sexual frustration. it reminds me of watching "irreversible" and then reading an article about it (in salon, i think). the reviewer wrote about how the whole movie is really about anal sex, and the assumption is that most viewers and reviewers don't allow themselves to acknowledge a theme that taboo. but that movie is about anal sex, from the angry admonishment of the killer in the first scene ("you're going to prison and then you'll get it in the ass!" or something like that) to the descent in the back door of a gay club called "the rectum" to the only slightly more obvious nine-minute, one-take anal rape scene.

that movie was about getting fucked in the ass, plain and simple. that's what made it difficult to watch.

"jarhead" is similar. its stewing in sex. and why not? the movie is about teenagers and twenty-somethings away from their family and away from their girlfriends. and everything points to these boys being sexually frustrated -- from their homoeroticism (similar to prison populations -- when women aren't around, fuck around with men), to their "wall of shame" with pictures of girlfriends and wives who've cheated to their relief of boredom being "constant masturbation".

and that last part hints at the main theme of the movie, a daring equation of sex and violence. in this case, the boys, whose rifles are extentions of themselves and their manhood, are stuck in a war that is going nowhere. to them, killing is the same as fucking, a physical act of release, and because they have no outlet for the killing, they are sexually frustrated. witness the scene where "squish-face" makes cunniligus motions to a passing car with a muslim girl in it. or when peter saarsgard's character freaks out because they aren't able to complete their first sniper kill -- he has a tantrum similar to young boys who are rejected by girls. and finally, when they are told that the war is over, everyone fires off their guns over and over, simulating climax and exhibiting one of the more overt phallic symbols since slim pickens rode an atom bomb in "dr. stranglove".

that's the thing that struck me most about this movie (beyond technical stuff, such as performances and roger deakins' beautiful frames): the absolute daringness it took to make a war movie that thematically compares this particular conflict to one big case of blue balls.

that's probably not how it was pitched to the studio, but that's what's on the screen.



hello bitch!

this blog is going to be about movies. the idea i had in the shower a few hours ago was that i could write and thereby comb through, solidify, explore, horse around with my thoughts on movies as i see them.

sometimes maybe i might branch off onto other topics, but if i ever start ranting too much about politics, then please make sure to give me a light tap on the balls to make me act right.

also, i sometimes post on the rock and roll democractic white boy jackblog. wanna be in the klewb?