If you like some of the movies/videos by/from Michel Gondry, this interview is worth reading.

He’d be one of my favorites only for his music videos (like “Fell in Love With a Girl” by the White Stripes, which you can see a documentary on its making right here), but he also direct Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is in my Top 5 movies ever.

Anyway, I particularly liked this comment from the interview: “But sometimes they use the word “quirky” in the pejorative sense. I get frustrated, because they feel like I’m doing whatever I want, and there is no ground, and I don’t really care. They feel it’s cynical. But I don’t think I have any cynicism in me. And if I had some at some point… I hate cynicism. I wipe it from me. I don’t like cynical people. I don’t like cynical movies. Cynicism is very easy. You don’t have to justify it. You don’t have to fight for it.”

I totally agree with this. It’s so easy to be cynical, it’s what we lazily fall back to when posting on message boards or when discussing most “serious” things. It seems like everyone is in some contest to be more ironically detached than anyone else from the things that interest them. Like on a message board, someone will post how much they dig something and inevitably, some douchebag pops in to say how much he hates it. And then the conversation follows that path and much of the original joy is lost. It’s one of the reasons I rarely post to message boards anymore; I’m tired of arguing, of everyone trying to out-clever each other with one-liners, of “zings,” of having people pile-on because you dare hold an opinion counter to whatever’s currently in vogue with the hive mind.

Maybe I’m old or naive or an idiot, but I miss being able to be passionate in public about something without people pissing all over what I dig. Yeah, I could ignore them, but I’m kind of hoping all the cynical hipsters will realize that they’re the ones conforming now. Maybe positivity will replace it, and maybe that’s illustrated by the success of Juno, which doesn’t have a cynical bone in its pregnant body and has proved to be a huge hit. (And is now suffering some hipster backlash.)

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about connections, the ones you make and have with friends and lovers. Those people who finish your sentences, the ones who bring a bit of calm to the chaos. Ones that you’re there for, and are there for you. Those things Justine Frischmann was singing about in 1994.

I’ve always been a short-term pessimist but a long-term optimist. That is, I think tomorrow will probably suck but things will be better in the future. Despite this gloomily sunny outlook, I’ve reached the point where I’m afraid I’m unable to make long-term connections with anyone anymore. I have friends and acquaintances. Some people who might read this fall into one of those categories. And I love my friends, I really do. But I’m not sure I have a real connection with any of them. We all share some interests, and we might like hanging out, but something is missing. (more…)

When I wrote about “Grindhouse,” I commented that it was pretty silly to spend a ton of money to make something look like crap. This terrific article at the Entertainment Weekly website does a terrific job of summarizing some of the points I was making.

It also discusses something I’ve been noticing for years, that we’ve become a nation of collectors. “Well duh,” you’re saying. The existence of eBay makes that obvious. But we’re not just collecting things, we’re collecting minutia in our brains. The Internet has made it ridiculously easy—thanks to Wikis, blogs, etc.—to catalog and inventory everything in excruciating detail. (more…)