my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Convention Girls
Director:   Joseph Adler
Year:   1978
Genre:   Drama
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   12.21.05

Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Revenge is My Destiny

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
12.21.05Weird Wednesday One last weird wednesday before i head off to cold northern virginia to spend xmas with the parents and have to live with mall cineplexes for a couple weeks. I'm really glad I went too. Not only did i get some time to chat with Wiley and hang out a bit afterward and talk about the movie, but it was a really surprisingly quality movie! With a name like Convention Girls (great poster art too), i completely did not expect to see what I saw.

Everyone afterward called it Robert Altman's best movie. Yeah... I mean i get that since it doesn't really have a main protagonist and the scenes are all short and kind of loosely stitched together in a Short Cuts/Nashville/about half of Altman's filmography kind of way... but still. First off, it's about a doll-maker's convention. Like, a weekend in a hotel with all these people who buy, sell, and make dolls. With that kind of gripping subject matter you HAVE to think that the convention is just your typical excuse to string together a bunch of softcore sex scenes. It's not though. The movie is ACTUALLY about the doll convention. In fact, there is almost no exploitation of the titular girls at all. Don't let that fool you though, it's still not Altman. This movie made absolutely no sense to me. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it. It just didn't make any sense. Like... not just in a big picture way but each individual scene made no sense to me. The things these people say are so random and stilted that it's either pure crap or real genius (either way it's great). I'm really overwhelmed though... so many things going on in that movie and none of them really sound or feel natural. The last scene sums it up best when the uncompromising Hungarian doll-maker turns down an offer to sell out and make enough money to keep making dolls and his schoolgirl wife, who was sitting there the entire time, asks him what happened. He says nothing, something good and something bad, nothing. And she asks what happened and he says he didn't do something and she asks him if she should be happy or sad and he says happy and she says she's glad.

Yeah...

So anyway... that was a real unique experience... a really weird movie that is so normal and restrained that it should be called something much less suggestive. Once again though, it's great that I got a chance to see this. A complete pleasant surprise... that made absolutely no sense.

Also, in his intro Lars mentioned that another film of Adler's, Scream, Baby, Scream, is a great one of those weird-artist-who-paints-horrifying-yet-genius-portraits-of-freaks-and-weirdos-who-turns-out-to-have-real-freaks-and-weirdos-chained-up-in-his-basement-so-he-can-paint-them type movies... and it's funny because it is so true. there is like a whole subgenre (presumably all spawning from either The Picture of Dorian Gray and/or Lovecraft's short story Pickman's Model) where some artist finds great success with his morbid art and turns out to really be messed up instead of how Stephen King swears he is normal in real life. I'll have to see Scream, Baby, Scream now because I loved Bucket of Blood (even though I guess that's technically sculpture instead of painting... but whatever). It also fits nicely in with that next short story that was supposed to be ready for Halloween but kind of got put on the back burner for the time being (where I take Pickman from Pickman's model and put him on his own Lovecraftian adventure). Hopefully I will finish that soon.

As a side note, Lars approached me after the movie and told me he reads this site. That is pretty cool to me so hey Lars, how's it goin? my email address is brian@medialife.org if you ever need to drop me a line.

He also mentioned liking to talk about the movie after he watches it which i completely agree with. I'm still a bit new in town to have a posse so I sometimes feel goonish and creepy just standing there alone listening to everyone else talk and throwing in a line here and there after the movie but, and this is especially true with stuff like Weird Wednesdays, it's so much better to share your experiences afterward... I always feel like an overinflated baloon or something whenever i see a really good (or bad) movie and just leave... i need to let it out somehow (hence this site) and it's always cool to hear what other people think about it. I think that's one of the many cool things about going to the movies... you all sit in the same theater together but have completely different experiences. It's kind of social but at the same time incredibly personal... to the point where you are pleased if you laugh and someone else laughs or if you jump and hear someone else scream.

It reminds me of the few times i went with a film school girl to see movies at the independant theater up in Rochester where they would hang out in the theater after the show and the professor would moderate a discussion about the movie. I always thought that would make such a kickass weekly thing to get into... I guess what normal people do is get something to eat or coffee or a beer or whatever and talk there and it's understandable that the theater would want to either get the next show started or close up shop for the night but still... I guess the old romantic thoughts of Truffaut and those guys in their cinema clubs screening movies then talking about them all night creeps in too, but it'd be cool if there was a quiet place near the alamo where groups could go to talk about what they just saw... and there would be regulars and people would drop by and join in the discussion or whatever. ok now i'm mixing in romantic thoughts of the algonquin roundtable.

This has been extra long because I doubt the next two weeks will bear much fruit. I also wanted to try and get across how i can like a movie that's still technically not good (sorry Trapper. maybe someday I can make you understand) but oh well.

Man, lars will read this. that is so freakin cool.
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