Monday, May 29, 2006

A Manifesto

Hello, About Films enthusiasts. Jordan was kind enough to invite me here and it's been fun reading your stuff and getting some new recommendations.

As you may know, all important movements in film history began with a manifesto: Francois Truffaut and his article on "A Certain Tendancy in French Cinema"; New German Cinema and the Oberhausen Manifesto, Lars Von Trier and the Dogme 95 (not so important, historically, but a good read nonetheless). And so, in honor of Memorial Day, and everything that this holiday implies in the film world, I think it's time to publish my own manifesto.


Here's a list of what's showing at the local theatres this weekend: X-Men 3, Mission Impossible 3, Poseidon, The DaVinci Code, Over the Hedge, Akeelah and the Bee, The Sentinel, Just My Luck, RV, Stick It. Not a human moment to be found in the whole lot, just a vast wasteland of forumlas, charicature, and well-polished turds. Of course, that's just one weekend, and there are brighter things on the horizon (Superman, A Prairie Home Companion, Marie Antoinette) But even still, where's the spontanaeity? Where's the imperfection? Where have you gone, John Cassavetes? A Nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

Therefore, when the time comes (and it will come) to make our own films, we present the following Code of Honor:

The Lawson Code: We, the Lawson Brothers, will only make movies that F'ing rule*.

The Lawon Law: A movie that F'ing rules should contain at least five of the following:
1. a kick or projectile to the groin
2. male nudity
3. gratuitous use of the S word
4. Rowdy Roddy Piper (or any 2 professional wrestlers)
5. mutants, vampires, elves, or zombies
6. family members in the cast, playing themselves
7. A complete disregard for the 180 degree line.
8. holding hands and maybe even kissing.

9. A discussion of which is the best album by ________.
10. Shirtless guys (similar to, but substantially different from rule #2)
11. A shot of someone wetting their pants
12. A complete disregard for "continuity" and "suspension of disbelief"

The following strategies should also be implemented:

1. Cut the pretentious crap. Every film festival is full of boring pretentious crap. Don’t add to it.
2. Lighten up. I mean it. Don’t make excuses for boringness by saying, "it’s transcendental." That’s like saying, "Um, I meant for it to be a little out of focus." Or, if it is serious, then go for it, man. None of this wishy washy stuff.
3. "Am I going to enjoy the process of making this?" If the answer is no, refer back to rule #1.
4. No special effects. Unless you don’t care that it obviously looks like a special effect.
5. Overestimate time and budget
6. No fancy camera movements just because you want to have a fancy camera movement. Stick to what fits the moment
7. Get Diego's for catering. Or Demae, if it's Tuesday.


The Lawson Brothers:
Brandon Arnold
Hubbel Palmer
May 29th 2006.

We are currently taking applications for induction into the Brotherhood of Lawson. If you desire, please post any suggestions or addendums to the Code of Honor.


Blogger Jordan said...

Brandon - your manifesto is excellent. It is time to do something isn't it.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Bryan Summers said...

Yes. Good manifesto. I just saw Cries and Whispers last night and it was transcendent. By which I mean the characters should have kicked each other in the groin more. Actually this movie was transcendent for the first half and I nearly turned it off and then it became even more effed up then Straw Dogs. Has anyone seen this? I'm not being hyperbolic - it was more disturbing than Straw Dogs. More disturbing than The Exorcist. I wasn't expecting that last half.

I know that didn't sound like a recommendation but it was. It was a pretty good movie.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Ahh, Cries and Whispers. So beautiful in its varying shades of red, and yet so so awful. I watched that one a few years back with my friend Peter Baumann at his house. We were in his front living room, praying that a certain few scenes would end before his parents might happen to come in. Yes, a good kick in the groin is exactly what this film needed.

8:31 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home