Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Christian

Me, You and Everyone We Know

Recommended Posts

Landmark Theaters has sent out a personal letter from Miranda July, the director of Me, You and Everyone We Know.

I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know Christian, I kinda like the sentiment.

-s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weird.

This seems like garden variety ad copy mixed in with some amazingly trite Hallmark card sentiments -- I sincerely doubt that this is the work of the director, though it might be an attempt to "bottle", as it were, her personal vibe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I both really liked it. Quirky. Funny. Pathos. Human. Maybe even hopeful.

))<>((

..........;;;;;;;;;;

,,,,,,..........;;;;

;;;;;;;;;;;;........

Edited by Darrel Manson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That letter must have actually been written by the director. If it wasn't, she should be very upset and embarassed. It sounds like the vague, self-absorbed steam of consciousness pseudo-artistic scribbling of your average creative hormonal college-age person. I speak from personal experience, and someday she's going to look back on that letter and cringe with embarassment (if she manages to mature at all). I hope her script was more coherent than this note.

I'm not saying "don't put anything in front of the public until you're perfect", but that letter just seems deliberately juvenile.

On the other hand, at least SHE got her film completed and out the door! That's more than I can say for the two I was involved with in an "above the line" capacity. Of course she obviously had trustworthy partners who didn't exploit her and stab her in the back and run off with the masters and call it a tax write-off while she was out tens of thousands. No, I'm not bitter...

Neb (old and crabby)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My wife and I both really liked it.  Quirky.  Funny.  Pathos.  Human. Maybe even hopeful.
So much for the letter; what did you think of the film?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just watched the trailer for this film, and it looks like it might be kind of cute! I was also surprised to see that the director/writer/star is older than I would have thought going by the tone of that letter (which came off as pretty adolescent to me).

I may actually try to see this one...

Neb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For whoever sees this next: can you get the name or the first line of the hymn the boys sing? It seems like it would be a nice thing to add to Advent/Christmas repertoire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't remember the name of the hymn either. Sorry.

I'm not sure what to say about this film yet -- I want to let it percolate for a day or two and maybe see it again -- but it's far and away the best new American film I've seen in 2005, maybe the best new film period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if you go see it again, make note of the hymn. I give a simple little assignment, and you get to engrossed in the film to complete it. think002.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The hymn was called something like, "The Stone that Cries" or something like that. (Sorry, Darrel, I saw the film before I read this post.)

spoilers

Here are some random comments:

The film seemed to be an excuse to string together "performance art." That's a bit harsh. Perhaps, it is more accurate and kinder to say that the narrative wasn't so strong, but some of the scenes were worked like good performance art (i.e. the goldfish). A friend of mine commented: "She (the director) seemed to have all these great ideas for scenes in a film or performance art pieces stored up." The narrative served as a showcase for these pieces.

That's a bit unfair and misleading, too, because the film does have a story, but it's just not the strongest part of the film. Some of the scenes and moments are very good, even poetic.

There is one particluar aspect of the film that I want to comment on, and that is the episode with the two brothers on a sex chat room. I was amazed at the juxtaposition of disturbing and tender feelings in those scenes, particularly the scene when the young boy meets the woman in person. The scene is funny yet very touching. I was amazed at the way a crude coversation about sex could turn into something so vulnerable, intimate and loving. It was a tough scene to pull off, and I think the director did it. (The boy was really wonderful in this.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some brief thoughts from my website. Apologetically, I must admit that this was supposed to function somewhat as a review so there will doubtless be re-treaded information.

In the American independent scene, I have recently noticed a rather disturbing trend of glorifying the emotionally incompetent as

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sundered,

Wow, I'm a little surprised by bitterness and maybe even a little hostility towards the film in your review.

I agree story and characters were not developed well. As I mentioned, I felt like both were almost excuses to hold together performance art pieces. The pieces I connected with seemed poetic and effective to me. I would never describe these moments or the film in general as "preachy." By the way, did you feel like you understood all of those scenes? I feel like I would have to go back and watch them again to fully understand them. (Fwiw, I perceived the same sort of stringing-together-of-performance-art in the movie Songs from the Second Floor.)

As for the director, July, I didn't feel like she was saying "simply saying that everything is good." I felt like her film explored mysteries in life, and if I had to describe her stance towards life, it would be wonder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sundered,

Wow, I'm a little surprised by bitterness and maybe even a little hostility towards the film in your review.

I agree story and characters were not developed well. As I mentioned, I felt like both were almost excuses to hold together performance art pieces. The pieces I connected with seemed poetic and effective to me. I would never describe these moments or the film in general as "preachy." By the way, did you feel like you understood all of those scenes? I feel like I would have to go back and watch them again to fully understand them. (Fwiw, I perceived the same sort of stringing-together-of-performance-art in the movie Songs from the Second Floor.)

As for the director, July, I didn't feel like she was saying "simply saying that everything is good." I felt like her film explored mysteries in life, and if I had to describe her stance towards life, it would be wonder.

Well, my review is a little snarker than my actual feelings. This tone is mostly reflective of the audience I was trying to reach. However, I do have a bit of hostility towards the film; not only in its place in modern hipster cinema, but also for its shallow and paper-thin sentiments.

As far as the performance art-pieces, I only truly connected with one of them. The goldfish scene really did set the timbre for the rest of the film. At first, I really appreciated it as kind of a droll scene that was partly funny, partly upsetting, and partly disturbing. Once Miranda July began delivering that dreadful elegy and intoned "I love you" in spectral sentiment...I just couldn't cope. So I have only one moment that only half-moved.

I haven't seen Songs From the Second Floor, but I discussed this thread with a friend who has seen it. He says that there are several similarities, but SFTSF works because the performance art is better, and the film is bleak rather than ever-joyful. Regarding the mysteries of life...I didn't feel anything that connected with my perception of the world. I'd much appreciate it if you could tell which scenes moved you specifically though! I seem to be semi-alone in my dislike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...not only in its place in modern hipster cinema, but also for its shallow and paper-thin sentiments.

For my sake, at least, I think we'll have to settle on some definition of what "hipster" means. I tend to think it connotes an approach characterized by the ironic smirk, cynical distance, the denial of earnest emotional responses, nerdishness for nerdishness's sake and verbal cleverness unmoored to any larger thematic significance.

I don't see any of that here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple people have taken me to task in the comments section of my blog for liking this film, and they've all made the same complaint -- that July is indulging all the "quirks" and cliches of stereotypical American indie/hipster culture. One person hated the film because he felt July was trying too hard to be "liked." I suspect that some of the backlash is the product of a kind of uber-hipster snobbery, who think July is a poseur hipster. Or something like that. Whatever.

Russ, I think you're right. The characters here might look and occasionally act like people from a Todd Solondz film, but there's none of the irony or cynicism (or sadism). Me and You and Everyone We Know is full of big, genuine emotions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I caught this last night, and much of it bears the irony and truth that leaves a residue within the viewer's mind.

I can't decide if it works as a whole, I was especially put off by the final moment, that seemed a cute metaphor moment

(the boy tapping the quarter on the pole to "pass the time")

, but it had nothing to do with the rest of the film.

However, I was impressed by the unique voice. The annoyance voiced here at emotionally stilted characters in recent American film seems a bit silly. It's like complaining that bird photography has too many feathers. I will say, however, that these characters don't really exist. They are exaggerations of our insecurities and manic moments. But I believe they work, especially when it comes to the task they have to accomplish in the film. Which by the way...

By my math, this is one of the first films to explore the detatched nature of a digitial world. And it does so admirably.

I was so thrilled to see some of these sexual taboos and akward moments utilized for a greater purpose by a female voice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan, there's a deleted scene involving the younger boy hearing a clicking noise outside at night and his mom telling him that it is the streetlights coming on. I don't know whether that was supposed to set up the later moment where he finds that the man waiting for the bus is making noise (i.e., his mom's explanation wasn't accurate), but if there was supposed to be any narrative linkage for that last scene to the rest, that's all I came up with. As regards thematic linkage, though, that last scene fits right in to the larger theme explored throughout the film that we're all compelled to entrust ourselves to strangers, even to our peril. I'm in the middle of writing something about that, and I'll post it when I finish up.

Edited by Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suspect that some of the backlash is the product of a kind of uber-hipster snobbery, who think July is a poseur hipster.
Edited by MLeary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now you're making me doubt my memory!

No, no I remember it being part of the deleted scenes. Younger boy in living room with mom and dad post-separation. He asks about the source of the noise at night. Dad has no answer, mom answers matter-of-factly.

There's also a deleted scene where the boy poops outside and tells his brother. Finally, there's a deleted scene involving the dad and mom of the girl next door (with the hope chest) and they're criticizing the parents of a girl at school who models girls' underwear in print ads. It would have made an interesting addition to the portrayals of family and corruption and judgment, but without the scene, the girl's family situation is left more ambiguous, and we are tempted to jump to the conclusion that she's also the product of a broken family.

Of course, I think part of the point is that they're all broken families.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also remember the scene when I saw it in the theater. Time to go get that memory upgraded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha! I will not yield. I think maybe the cut you guys saw just differed from the one on the DVD. Dan, do you still have the disc at home? Can you check it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×