/ Writing / Letters /
An email I just sent to bk:
|Shifting 4 letter sands
I loved so many things about Kick-Ass: recalling Matrix, and Kill Bill, and Hanna: chix getting to let the blood.
casting, conception, writing, execution …
One thing over at the edges:
Lo, Kick-Ass‘, adorable little tiny midget crooked sensuous mouthed Chloë hurls her war cry, “OK, you c-s”! And the slaughter begins. My darling Jan sat right next to me and didn’t flinch. The whole movie made her flinch, and me too, but not the “c-“.
In my life time fuck was a bad word, now the girls scouts can use it to sell cookies. but until yesterday c- was a no no.
we don’t have to explain things for them to be wonder-some.
Kick Ass scrapbook
The above is cited as a pk letter (e-mail), but actually I’ve had to alter a mistake in the e-mail: I’d said that Hit Girl uses the c-word repeatedly; actually she uses it once: to resounding effect.
It’s my impression that the English have been far freer with it that particular core English word than have Americans. bk replies that the French are quite casual with it: true in my (limited) exposure to contemporary French. That is, there’s a common French vulgarism, also a c-word: I don’t think bk means that the French salt their French with English obscenities.
My neighbors may shun me as they do even more because I’ve been heard to use that word: even more taboo than my freedom fighting, my objection to state serfdom, for example.
I still love recalling a moment in grad school where this gal, attactive gal, smart, extra smart PhD candidate, put Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale under my nose and pointed out all the iterations of the Middle English version of the c-word (quaint) down the iambic pentameter column.
I ordered a DVD of Kick Ass in time for Jan’s return from Nova Scotia because bk said that that flick was where he’d fallen in love with Chloë Grace Moretz. I’d liked her, seen some talent, but didn’t love her till I aw Carrie, just last week. I watched it again the following day, alone. I loved it all the more, revere it.
Mark Strong makes very good villains. KickAss’s girlfriend is very effective. I locked in on how they were using Moretz: first rate comix film making. I adore the final shot of her: two punks twice her height come up to mug her for her lunch money. She smiles that Chloë-whacky smile and cracks her knuckles: a foretaste of the mayhem she is about to unleash. Guys saying cuny (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 29) in English tough films is one thing, but when Chloë says it, it’s from the mouth of a babe! She doesn’t look much more than three feet tall in this movie: a cherub. Paired with Nicholas Cage, she makes a wonderful Mutt & Jeff. So too with Kick Ass. Real actors representing cartoon spirit.
Aren’t Chloë’s little tartan schoolgirl skirts adorable? Tarantino used such to great effect on his lethal little cute Japanese in Kill Bill: teen tush with katana. Watching twice also helps one see the creative choreography for the cartoon details of the violence. Hit Girl shoots two baddies with one bullet. Her knife throwing disarms by piercing the hand but then yangs the pierced hand on another vector and stabs the throat. I hope Jackie Chan sees how well the camera choreography pays homage to his running up walls before kicking people in the throat. That’s what this is; not just comix; Peking Opera!
Streaming movies allows me a number of new movie watching habits: I pause every other minute to check actor’s identity, recall them in other roles … IMdb, Wikipedia … Rotten Tomatoes allow me to compare all kinds of data: the order of release for related films, the chronology … In this case I surveyed “critics” reaction to Kick Ass‘s “violence”. One guy was accusing this fun film of violence porn. May I point out: there’s plenty of mistreatment in the film but it’s “all” against drug dealers, magiosi, murderers: or it’s against these self-imagined heroes themselves. The muggers are disable but not killed: it’s the killers that are killed. It’s comedy violence! Chinese opera violence. Slapstick violence: I’m all for it.
For kids? I’d say it’s more good for them than bad.
Another detail I loved: the druggies put one of their own in a closet-sized “microwave”. We see he’s distressed, but then suddenly he explodes like a nuked rotten tomato. These morons don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t understand their technology: hamsters with ICBMs. I was lovingly reminded, in awe, of Elmore Leonard dialogue. In fact Hit Girl makes a Leonard joke when she tells Kick Ass to hurry up and read the instructions for some weapon: he’s gonna need to use it immediately.
2014 10 31 Above, re: Hit Girl’s “OK, you c-s”, I’d originally written that she iterated the c-word at a machine gun pace: wrong, she said it once, but the effect was like a barrage. Well I just did see it used as a machine gun, with wonderful English comedy resonance in Bronson: Tom Hardy, God are they using him well: so funny: all the film arts, acting, script, editing coordinate: and Tom Hardy narrates at Peter Cook’s impeccable imbecile pace.
You look at Hardy, you think What a great actor: but, what is he doing? what is this “acting”? Nothing! He poses, holds still: the “acting” is in the situation, in the editing. What a collaboration between actor and every-thing-else.