Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who directed that?, Part II

When Kevin Smith released Cop Out in early 2010, I was inspired to write a post called "Who directed that?," exploring directors who seemed like an unlikely match for the material of one of their films.

I probably should have waited for Smith to direct Red State before writing that post.

In fact, so blown away was I by Red State that at first I was going to write just a single word as my entire post on it:


But if I did that, it might have left you wondering if I really liked it, or was just disturbed by it in some way.

The answer is, both. But I'm not going to tell you a lot more about the movie, if you've avoided learning anything about it to this point. (This poster hints at certain things, but believe me, it leaves a lot of surprises yet to be discovered.)

See, I knew nothing about Red State before watching it yesterday. We often say we "knew nothing" about a movie, but that's never really true, and indeed, it isn't quite true in this case. "Nothing" in this case is that I knew that Kevin Smith had directed it, and I knew he wanted to hold an auction for the distribution rights to his movie. When that plan fell apart, he ended up self-distributing in a very limited way. Suffice it to say, almost no one who has seen Red State has actually been able to see it in the theater.

All of this led me to believe it was either amateurish (not true) or polarizing (true). But the plot? I knew literally nothing.

Knowing Smith's politics and knowing what (until now) I perceived to be his limitations as a director, I assumed (mostly from the title) that this would be some kind of wimpy liberal whining. (For the record, I'm a liberal -- but that doesn't mean I don't recognize wimpy liberal whining when I see it.)

Uh uh.

And that's all I'm going to say, really, except to repeat that this movie floored me.

If you think you know Kevin Smith, think again, and see this movie.

As soon as possible, please.

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