logo by user c1

basement
community

search

wall of shame

hey everybody - the basement blog is hosting this month's IndieWeb Carnival, this month's theme on "accessibility on the small web". Please go check it out and participate if you are so inclined!!!

tv, film, and video on second thought, american psycho is kinda pretentious

joined dec 4, 2022

avatar

joined dec 4, 2022

i wrote about it here: https://basementcommunity.bearblog.dev/american-psycho-rewatch/

the movie is a fun watch, but god dam did the director make the film a bit pretentious

posted 2/4/2023, 7:13 pm

joined jan 27, 2023

avatar

Did You Get My Message?

joined jan 27, 2023

What an interesting write-up! I also love American Psycho. And I agree with your thoughts about the ending! That it was a bit too open-to-interpretation, and that it would have been better if they'd been more explicit about the message. The topic you're touching on is something I think about quite a bit, though. Art ambiguity, when and how to use it. I'm a big believer in the death of the artist once the work is released, but I also recognize that completely ignoring the artist can be quite ridiculous. Ambiguity is a skill, a tool. It can be used poorly, and it can be used impressively. I would agree that too frequently it can be used in a manner that leads to "pretentiousness", in the sense of taking something that would otherwise be straightforward and giving it mystique as a sort of superficial spice. A good example of effective ambiguity might be at the beginning of an artwork, the mystery can invoke one's curiosity and promote deeper engagement. If you're going to do it at the end, I think it benefits from a being a bit more narrow.

posted 2/4/2023, 8:36 pm

joined feb 17, 2023

avatar

joined feb 17, 2023

The movie was good.. one of the ones I watch every year. Now, if you haven't, go and get the book. What a great piece of work to combine Bateman's life events and music.. all in one story.

posted 2/17/2023, 4:07 pm

joined feb 17, 2023

avatar

Ask your doctor about me. If they recommend me, they're a fucking quack.

joined feb 17, 2023

quoting partly_cloudy:

the movie is a fun watch, but god dam did the director make the film a bit pretentious

I figured the movie came off as pretentious because Patrick Bateman himself was both the epitome of pretentious 1980s yuppiedom and a parody thereof. Aren't we seeing the world as Bateman sees it when we watch or read American Psycho?

posted 2/17/2023, 9:16 pm

joined feb 16, 2023

avatar

joined feb 16, 2023

There were a lot of films in late 90's early 2000's that one could label the same. The kinds of films that, depending on which way you look at them, they could be seen as great works or over cooked student films. American Psycho and American Beauty are two great examples of this. Are they pretentious or just trying something a bit different? The Matrix can also fall into this category. I will defend 'Being John Malkovich' til the end however - that was just pure joy! ;)

Note all these films came out in 99-2000. One of those great periods of cinema so long as we ignore Star Wars Episode 1...

posted 2/18/2023, 6:29 pm

joined feb 17, 2023

avatar

Remember the funny imgburn status bar messages?

joined feb 17, 2023

quoting macguyvermectin:

I figured the movie came off as pretentious because Patrick Bateman himself was both the epitome of pretentious 1980s yuppiedom and a parody thereof. Aren't we seeing the world as Bateman sees it when we watch or read American Psycho?

Yes! That's very much how I see it.

posted 2/19/2023, 9:08 pm

joined feb 18, 2023

avatar

Apprentice keyboard warrior

joined feb 18, 2023

quoting NovaVeles:

I will defend 'Being John Malkovich' til the end however - that was just pure joy! ;)

I went into this movie without knowing who the hell John Malkovich was, and left entertained. Very solid

posted 2/20/2023, 12:26 am

joined feb 16, 2023

avatar

joined feb 16, 2023

quoting guites:

I went into this movie without knowing who the hell John Malkovich was, and left entertained. Very solid

Roger Eberts review summarized it perfectly.

"Rare is the movie where the last half hour surprises you just as much as the first, and in ways you're not expecting. The movie has ideas enough for half a dozen films"

posted 2/20/2023, 5:28 pm

joined feb 21, 2023

avatar

joined feb 21, 2023

hard disagree about it being "pretentious". it still holds up extremely well. beautifully shot, incredible score. christian bale does such a good job at doing his best tom cruise impression. i feel like you are too focused on the ending. my interpretation was always that he did kill all those people, he was keeping their decomposing corpses in the hell's kitchen apartment. it was just that the owner of the building knew he could make so much money renting it to yuppies that he cleaned it all up. paul allen is dead, the cop just doesn't remember who is who because they are all interchangeable white men in suits with personality disorders.

what do we mean when we call a film "pretentious"? we are saying that it has too lofty goals that it can't accomplish? I would say if anything, it is a high brow movie pretending to be a low brow movie. it isn't really about a serial killer, it's not a horror movie, not really. if you're going to respond to any kind of social critique with some kind of jerk off motion while you say "we live in a society lol", i feel like you are closing yourself off to a lot of interesting ideas and art. Hate to break it to you pal but we DO live in a society and the society we do live in rewards the patrick batemans of the world and punishes the prostitutes that he rapes and murders. not just the literal investment bankers and literal whores but those at the highest echelon of society who produce no value and those who are exploited. bateman gets to spend all day listening to shitty pop music on his walkman while he gets expensive lunches paid for by his company, pretending to care about being politically correct. those people are real and they run this country and every country in the world and always have!

what do you think would make it more effective in its execution of its thesis?

posted 2/21/2023, 4:06 pm

tv, film, and video on second thought, american psycho is kinda pretentious