FTF Boo Rating
1 is good, 5 is bad.
You know those flimsy magazines women read in order to prove to sexist men that they really shouldn’t have been given the vote? The ones with pictures of celebrities just being alive and fascinating real life stories about a woman who married her sister’s husband’s dog. If you’ve ever read one of them you’ll have probably come across an article that bemoans the fact the media promotes an unnatural image of women at the expense of “real” women. Accompanying these articles is almost always a picture of a fat woman, instead of a woman who is genuinely a healthy weight. They show images of the unhealthily overweight in response to images of the unhealthily underweight; one extreme position countered with the opposite and equal extreme.
To me Birdman was the cinematic equivalent of this. It was the extreme opposite artistic reaction to Transformers. Transformers was all entertainment at the expense of art, this was all art at the expense of entertainment. In both cases I think the result was a genuinely bad film, because a film typically needs to have both in order to be engaging. At every stage this film rubbed in my face how brilliant it was, and I’m sure if I wanted a demonstration of difficult and clever things to do when making a film I would have loved it, but I didn’t want that, I wanted to be entertained.
I guess the important thing I said there was “I wanted”. I accept that this film was only bad to me because I wanted something it wasn’t trying to give me. If you liked this film, I completely understand why you do and I’m happy for you to enjoy it whatever way you found possible. But the thing is I’m pretty sure you’re not going to do me the same courtesy. You’re going to be a smug twat about it, and that is why I hate this film. Because of you. You’re going to think I didn’t like it because I didn’t get it, and that if I were as clever and arty as you then I’d have loved it. But the truth is I did get it. I promise you everything you got about this film, I got too. I didn’t dislike it because I didn’t get it, I disliked it because I found it boring and self-indulgent. Films like this, much like almost every Tarantino film post Pulp Fiction, always attract these unbearable people who feel the need to explain why it’s so good in the most patronising way possible, usually completely missing several key points that make it clear they didn’t really understand the film themselves.
My opinion is that this film wasn’t made for the audience, it was made for the people who made it. You may disagree, but if you want to have a go at telling me what I didn’t understand about it, please be aware of the following things I hated about this film: The music was unbearable. The plot was non-existent, the dialog was generally really tedious, there was a totally unnecessary bit of random lesbianism in it, it was preachy, it was hypocritical and it was dull. Oh and one point the drummer who was making the shit music was just randomly in one of the rooms, which was just shit. Really really shit, like the rest of the film. If you think it wasn’t, then fine, but be aware that if you try to argue your position with me I’m going to counter this by telling you Transformers is the best movie ever made, and that you just can’t see the genius of what Michael Bay was doing when he deliberately made the movie a barely intelligible mess in order to create a parallel between the problems the autobots and the human race had communicating with each other, and the problems we have as an audience understanding what the merry christmas is going on and why. It’ll be nonsense, but no more than whatever bullshit reason you’re going to give me that Birdman was anything other than a big circle jerk for actors.