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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

#85 The Wire

wire-poster.jpgThough white people have a natural aversion to television, there are some exceptions. For white people to like a TV show it helps if it is: critically acclaimed, low-rated, shown on premium cable, and available as a DVD box set.

The latter is important so that white people can order it from Netflix and tell their friends “they are really into <insert series> and I watched ten episodes in a row in the weekend. I’m almost caught up.”

If you attempt to talk about an episode they have not seen yet, they will scream and cover their ears. In white culture, giving away information about a film or TV series is considered as rude as spitting on your mothers grave. It is an unforgivable offense.

Recent series that have fallen into this category include The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and most recently The Wire.

For the past three years, whenever you say “The Wire” white people are required to respond by saying “it’s the best show on television.” Try it the next time you see a white person! Though now they might say “it WAS the best show on television.”

So why do they love it so much? It all comes down to authenticity. A long time ago, someone started a rumor that when The Wire is on TV, actual police wires go quiet because all the dealers are watching the show. Though this is not true, it seems plausible enough to white people and has imbued the show with the needed authenticity to be deemed acceptable.

The popularity of this show among white people has create a unique opportunity for personal gain.

If you need to impress a white person, tell them you are from Baltimore. They will immediately ask you about The Wire and how accurate it is. You should confirm that it is “like a documentary of the streets,” the white person will then slowly shake their head and say “man” or “wow.” You will be seen in an entirely new light.

If you are not from Baltimore but the white person you are talking to is, they might start asking you a lot of questions. In this situation, you should just say you left when you were young but you still have a lot of cousins there but you don’t like to go back to visit. This will remove all doubts and they can go back to telling you about how John from Accounting needs to “stop snitching” about their two hour lunch breaks.

Note: Tonight (Sunday March 9, 2008) is the series finale. It would be considered proper etiquette to ask a white person about the show on Monday.

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#74 Oscar Parties

One of the best places to gain a white person’s trust is at an Oscar party. An invitation to one these parties is basically your “foot in the door”.

Vocabulary is one of the first things to be aware of at an Oscar party. Never say “movie”, always say “film” and know which awards use the term “Best” and which ones use “Outstanding Achievement”. Saying “I hope Atonement wins Best Art Direction” will guarantee that you won’t be invited next year.

Attire is very important as well. Either dress in an fancy suit / gown or wear something that relates to one of the films nominated for Best Picture. So for the 2008 Oscar Party it might be best to put a pillow under your shirt and come as a pregnant teenager in tribute to Juno (by no means should anyone bring an actual pregnant teenager). You can impress white people even further by bringing in a food or drink item that relates to a film. Again using Juno as an example, if you were to come to the party with jugs of SunnyD, it would highlight your keen observation of detail when it comes to watching films. Then they will see that you watch films the same way that they do. Also be prepared to be involved in an Oscar Pool, but make sure you don’t win. If you do, just say that you were lucky.

However all of this preparation will mean nothing if one does not act during the most important part of the night: when the nominees are read for Best Foreign Film. At this point someone will get angry and state that some movie that no one has heard of, was snubbed. When this happens just nod and agree. Mention that it sounds interesting and that you will watch it tomorrow, even if you have already seen it and know that its boring.

Basically what separates Oscar Night from other party nights is that it allows white people to express themselves through their tastes in film. If they see that you are someone who agrees with a majority of their opinions, then they will be your friend and provide you with ample opportunities to sip wine and attend film festivals together

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#68 Michel Gondry

In putting together the canon of directors that white people like, we must include Michel Gondry.  He directed such white classics as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, and Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.  Oh, that’s right Charlie Kaufman, Gael Garcia Bernal, AND Dave Chappelle – could it get any better for white people?  Oh yes, it can.

You see, Michel Gondry got famous by directing videos for The White Stripes, Massive Attack and Bjork.  These are three bands that, at some point in their lives, all white people have thought were cool.

Between the ages of 16-20, all white people go through a phase where they aspire to become a music video director.  This is followed shortly by a phase where they want to become a regular director. But in both cases, they don’t want to produce generic content, they want to create art.  As a result, the two directors who have achieved this (Spike Jonez is the other) are universally beloved by white people.

If you look at the DVD collection of a white person (even those without a TV), it will contain “The Work of Director Michel Gondry” (pictured).

This can be used to help find common ground with white people.  Talk about how you wanted to direct music videos after you saw Michel Gondry’s video for “Around the World” by Daft Punk.  Then make a joke about how foolish you were at that age and everyone will have a good laugh. But they will also feel your pain about sacrificing your artistic dreams.

The observant among you will probably be aware that the white person wet dream “Be Kind, Rewind” is about to be released.  This might be the biggest event in white person film since The Royal Tenenbaums.

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#57 Juno

Juno, starring Halifax’s Ellen Page, is a critically acclaimed comedy about a wise cracking teenager, dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. As 2007’s Indie hit, it is alternative mainstream and white people love it when low budget movies do well, even though the $7 million budget is enough to feed thousands of villages in East Africa for a year. White people, especially ones over 30, also love movies that take them back to a time when there was zero hip hop influence in white high schools. So although the character of Juno and her high school are very unrealistic, older people identify with her and wish that their unappreciative children would be more like her.

On another note, the film takes place in a fictional suburban town in Minnesota, but imagine the same storyline in say West Baltimore or Socorro, TX. My guess is that there would be less qurkiness, less acoustic guitar and zero references to Dario Argento. Teen pregnancy is not as big a problem in the suburban midwest as it is in urban centers or border towns, therefore it is acceptable to not only green light a movie shedding light on teen pregnancy but it is okay to laugh at the situation and add a killer indie soundtrack.

It also doesn’t hurt that the screenplay was written by somebody named “Diablo” and that Jason Bateman and Michael Cera are in the movie as well.

p.s I’m not a robot, I cried when Vanessa got her baby


Just as funny as Juno

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#39 Netflix

We all know white people love film festivals, but what about movies that don’t make it to a film festival, or weren’t in the local film festival? How do you get accesss? Thankfully white people have Netflix.

If you don’t know, Netflix sends you DVDs in the mail and you get new ones when you send the old ones back.

White people are absolutely crazy for Netflix for a number of reasons. Firstly, because all of them are convinced that there is a global conspiracy to keep good, independent, groundbreaking film from mainstream distribution (multiplexes, blockbuster, etc).

To them, Netflix (in spite of being a for profit company) is a brand new way for independent filmmakers to find an audience. By subscribing, white people believe that they are changing the film industry, supporting innovation, and contributing to a cultural revolution in film.

If you see a group of white people and you need to break into the conversation, a good thing to say “hey, is anyone else thinking that Netflix shipping is getting slower? I’m doing this PT Anderson thing, and I’m only up to Magnolia! What’s that all about?” They will relate, and talk about their own Netflix queues and how they are trying to get caught up on French New Wave.

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#38 Arrested Development

Eventhough most white people prefer to say that they don’t watch television, one thing they agree on is that Arrested Development was the best show on TV. They love it so much!

The love it for a number of reasons. Firstly, since the show was cancelled before it jumped the shark, it’s effectively like a rocker that dies at 27. Also, the show got terrible ratings, meaning that it wasn’t ‘mainstream,’ which makes white people love it unilaterally. Other examples of shows like this are Twin Peaks and The Ben Stiller Show.

They also love it because there are a few references to white popular culture, and if there is one thing that white people love, it’s cultural references that they understand (see Garden State, The Onion, and Juno for examples).

If you are ever a white person’s house, and you see an orange box in their DVD collection, you should say “oh, you have Arrested Development, I love that show!” To which you will be offered a glass of wine, and perhaps an invitation to 80s night.

Also of note: the hip hop group Arrested Development is also loved by white people.

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#10 Wes Anderson movies

White people love Wes Anderson movies more than they love their kids. If a white guy takes a white girl to a Wes Anderson movie on their first date, and neither of them have seen it, they will immediately commence a relationship that is reflected in songs by Ryan Adams and Bright Eyes.

Wes Anderson movies have this way of being sort of funny and a little clever, so white people in the audience will laugh like crazy. Also, if they don’t get the joke and other white people start laughing, they’ll all join in. It’s pretty much the case that if one dude with glasses laughs, the entire theater will be in stitches within 15 seconds.

If you find yourself in a situation with a white person, and an awkard silence falls over you. Mention any of the movies below and you will have something to talk about, and they will like you. Here are some approved comments:

  1. The Darjeeling Limited (2007) “It’s so great to see that he’s back, Owen Wilson is just fantastic.”
  2. Hotel Chevalier (2007) “Can you believe Natalie Portman got kind of naked?”
  3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) “I know a lot of people said they didn’t like this film, but I thought it was fantastic.” (Note: it is acceptable to be critical of this movie).
  4. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) “This movie changed my life.”
  5. Rushmore (1998) “This is when Bill Murray really changed in my eyes, he’s so fantastic in the movie, and Jason Schwartzman is a true star.”
  6. Bottle Rocket (1996) “I saw this movie in 1994″

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