Thursday, March 4, 2010


It’s so funny how two people can look at or watch the exact same thing and come up with two completely different opinions.

Straight up, I’m not a massive art appreciator. I mean, I can see a painting or a photo and tell you whether I like it or think it's rubbish. For Instance, this one below won a $10,000 prize this year.


What the fuck? Seriously a) this makes absolutely, NO sense and b) it’s just words painted. Probably with a template - hardly art.

I mean, is this the emperor’s new clothes of the art world? If one guy who is respected in the Art World says throwing shit at a blank canvas is brilliant, do the rest of his peers simply agree with him for fear of looking like a an uneducated fool?

I only ask, because today I wrote my take on Tim Burtons Alice in Wonderland. I absolutely loved it. Loved it and to be honest, I really didn’t expect to. I thought it would be crazy bonkers and full-on Tim Burton/Johnny Depp batshit craziness. Plus I'd read reviews like this “a wildly inventive film straight jacketed in conventional narrative...that grows increasingly one-dimensional and simple-minded.'' Or “So let me call it now: Alice in Wonder- land - the most disappointing film of 2010” So polar opposite to me. What does this all mean?

Every Friday night, we go to the video store, ok ok, the DVD store. I know this is very rock star and you are all wildly jealous but it has to happen to someone. You've probably seen us there. The errant family paying $56 in late fees, whilst swatting the 3 year olds grubby kindy fingers away from the Freddo Frogs. Anyway, we (my husband and I) generally get a new release. One for me, one for him. Occasionally there is one we both will watch together. Often I just look for the most violent one I can find for him. Something that has zombies, high violence and naked beetches. Then he’ll go off, watch it and without doubt, walk back in 2 hours later. I will say “So how was it”. His response is ALWAYS “Shit”. Why in the hell did he sit through it then? Because that’s what he does. So he will sit and watch Shit but refuses to sit through PS I Love you, even though it will probably, at the end of the day, be far more entertaining than any of that crap he’s been suffering through.

My idea of a good movie is to be entertained. I don’t expect to find the meaning of life inside a cinema. Great if I learn some new stuff. Fantastic if I walk out with a new resolve to join Yoga or volunteer more. But at the end of the day, I get reality stuffed down my freaking throat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I just want to escape.

I find it funny to find some people hated movies I loved or vice versa.
Take Bruno for instance. Recently we discussed this with my brother and his girlfriend, who LOVED it. Texted me to tell me they were watching it and it was hilarious. Phil and I had seen it not long after it came out on DVD and whilst he sat through it (as he does); I got, oh, about 20 minutes before I had had enough.

But on the flipside, Couples Retreat came out recently and I absolutely thought it rocked. It was funny and escapist. It got nailed in the reviews. Barely anyone seemed to like it.

Perhaps it’s me? Actually, reading back, I think it may be. Sometimes I’m a bit of a slow burner. I remember seeing Zoolander for the first time and thinking it was shite. Then I went back a few years later and it cracked me up. I now consider it in my top 10 of favourite movies. Along with Kindergarten Cop, Napoleon Dynamite, 50 First Dates and Juno.

So, now I’m off to go paint my own $10,000 winning canvas. I’m thinking


It’s certainly mental enough. Think I've nailed it.


Thea said...

Bloody brilliant!

Kylie L said...

Everything's subjective. I've had a couple of bad reviews and that's what I tell myself to stop the sting- that nobody loves everything, and there is nothing in this world that is universally adored... even kittens piss some people off. That's what makes life so interesting; that we are all unique and unpredictable.
... But of course when the good reviews come along all that guff goes straight out the window. Those good reviewers really know their shit!

Angela said...

I wasn't really interested in Alice but maybe I'll give it a go. I do like your sense of humour.

kbxmas said...

I'd rather hang your art in my office. Personally. :-)

babyandsofia said...

I was wondering about the new Alice in Wonderland...I think I will either love it or hate it. It looks pretty wack-o. Love the blog!

Anj (1writergrrl) said...

Laughing my arse off! And as it happens, we have very similar taste in movies. Why do people expect "ground breaking cinema" for every film? Personally, I just appreciate a couple of kid-free hours watching adult humans talk/laugh/find themselves in crazy situations. We like what we like, so stuff the snooty reviewers! Gonna check out Alice...

Cate Bolt said...

I have a really messed up theory about how all this works, but it would take 1,000 words to explain. Who am I kidding, it takes me 1,000 words to explain eating breakfast...which I just realised I haven't done yet.
I would love to see Alice, but alas, I will probably have to wait for the DVD. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory is one of our family's favourite films "Hello Doris"

Msshoegal said...

I cant believe what you said about Zoolander!! I too was exactly the same!! I hated it!! Yet I now own a copy and infact watched it last night for the 20th time!! As for Alice, well that was brilliant and I cant rave enough about it!! Might go again this weekend. Now on another note....I have been putting off watching Couples Retreat as it got scathing reviews, now seeing as we have similar taste, Im going to hire it. If by some chance, I dont like it, well lets just say I wont be lending Clooney to your husband for your birthday present!! :D

actinglikeamama said...

arrghh i just commented then forgot to press submit - duh!

Anyway, I love the Burton/sepp craziness so I am hoping that I will enjoy Alice.

I love quirky films that offer something a little different, perspective, humour etc - I love zoolander (hubby cannot stand it!), napoleon dynamite, Almost Famous.

Sue (just_Leithal) said...

Much prefer your makes sense..well almost..well no, not at all really but it just looks/sounds so much nicer. :)

Agree totally about how weird it is what people like. Never been able to figure it out either. I have sometimes questioned friendships with people who hated my favourite-movie-of-all-time (it changes).

Like you, I want to be a bit of non-existentialist fluff goes down a treat.

In Real Life said...

Funny and true!

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
I am doing an Art subject at Uni this semester and it is definitely in the eye of the beholder. We have similar taste in movies (as do our partners) I thoroughly enjoyed couples retreat but he wasn't fussed. Will have to try to fit seeing Alice into my nutso schedule but then there is always dvd to wait for and buy..
Loved the blog - as always!

ijogthereforeiblog said...

I've become obsessed with TRYING TO WORK OUT WHAT ON EARTH THAT PAINTING MEANS. The rabbit. that is the weirdest part of all.
and i'm 8 month off becoming a qualified art therapist. go figure.
I think painting is about intention and communication. That may mean truck loads to the artists but I STILL DON'T GET IT.

Aussie-waffler said...

You just made me snort a wee bit of champagne out of my nose as I giggled at your post. Zombies, high violence and naked beetches, *snort* I just can't believe they are always "shit". I love Tim Burton/Johhny Depp madness so I can't wait to see Alice in Wonderland, movies that are visually dynamic just make me squee with delight.

Carly Findlay said...

Bern, I'm wanting a bit of both from movies. If I go to an arthouse film, I want to learn something, see a different perspective or think a bit. If I want to escape I go to see a blockbuster at Hoyts.
As for that art work - I don't get it! Yours is much better!
You write so well. Love your work.