Knowing Jennifer’s Body
Diablo Cody, the screen writer of Juno, talks about the neat balancing act it takes to bring horror with some ideas behind it to both young male and female audience in a New York Times piece written by Michelle Orange.
Modern Horror has been a decidedly female affair as far as viewership goes. Cody’s Jennifer’s Body, a high school retro horror film, starring recently voted number one sexiest woman in the World Megan Fox as a satanically possessed literal man-eater, tries to balance the violence, sex and the metaphors for the feminist and horror nerd. “It may be one of the best ways for a young male audience to experience a female story without feeling like they have been limited by a female perspective,” says director Karyn Kusama (Dogfight) in the piece.
The film is about how the innocuous girl shadow of Jennifer the man-eater, the very needy Needy (Amanda Seyfried), tries to break free of Jennifer’s toxic influence. How Needy establishes her own identity beyond sex and boys. It attempts to try to rescue the horror film from the pornographic violence that has been its undoing ever since the advent of the Saw franchise.
Rob Zombie (Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes) is quoted in the piece. “The ’80s are the decade that ruined everything for everybody,” he said. “The soul went away, and it became gore for the sake of gore, and kids were cheering at killings and yelling and screaming. It became a roller coaster ride. And of course once something becomes a roller coaster, all you can do is build a bigger, more extreme roller coaster. That’s where I think horror movies really got perverted.”
Michelle Orange concludes “Both “Halloween II” and “Jennifer’s Body” suggest that the best way to move past horror’s current fascination with excess is to take the slasher film back to its relatively character-based roots and regrow it in modern soil.”
Watch the red band trailer at http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/jennifers-body/red-band-trailer.
Claire Denis Takes “35 Shots of Rum”
Also in The Times today is a Dennis Lim piece about Claire Denis’ new film “35 Shots of Rum”.
Claire Denis talks about her love for the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, particularly his Autumn Afternoon, which was her first exposure to the cinema master. “I had been told he was a sacred master, so I went in with a sort of religious feeling,” Denis said. “But I was amazed to find something very pure and simple, something that could be shared immediately with almost no words. It was of another time and another culture, but the feelings were so familiar. It was like going home somehow.”
She mentions how she recognized an attachment between herself and Ozu after attending a screening of his Late Spring at an Ozu retrospective in Paris. The film about the deep commitment and love between a middle-aged widower (Chishu Ryu) and his grown daughter (Setsuko Hara), felt very much like her own childhood story about how she lost her mother at a young age and was raised by her widowed father. That feeling turned into “35 Shots of Rum, which is both Ozu homage and her most personal film to date.
Read more about how the film was made at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/movies/06lim.html?pagewanted=1&partner=rss&emc=rss.