Monday, 15 June 2009

The Importance of Being Self-Important

This summer, 11 years ago, awesome had a new name:

Max Fischer.

I'm a little giddy. This movie's made me happy. Made me smile inanely as only a movie can.

I'm not going to pretend too hard to be reviewing this movie. It's about a 15 year old painfully precocious kid whose life revolves completely around his attendance (by scholarship) of his elitist private school - not actually the studies, but all the politics and clubs and school plays - and his relentless pursuit after the unattainable affections of a 1st grade teacher there, and this ridiculously long sentence doesn't come even remotely close to describing what this movie is actually about.

Let's see if I can. First off, drop everything and rush off to see it. Not even my earth-shattering sagacity is reason enough to have this film (or even its themes) spoiled. Plus the following frothing gibberings would make even less sense than they otherwise might.

Oh well.

It's curious how whenever I'm beginning to consider an idea, some work of art comes along and highlights and emphasizes the point out of any doubt.
The magnificently, flabbergastingly awesome thing about Max Fischer is how unabashedly head-over-heels in love he is with himself.

Realistically, he's probably an arsehole. He actually destroys a guy's car brakes at one point in the movie, so realistically he's an attempted-murderer. This isn't a realistic kind of movie.

Max realizes that if something's important to him, then it's important. The word "pretentious" does not feature in his considerable, wildly over-elaborate vocabulary. That's a good thing. I realize I just had a go at whoever translated The Count of Monte Cristo for pretty much the exact same thing, but I guess this is the flipside. Hell, I myself am the flipside. If "pretension" serves not to cultivate our feelings of superiority over others but instead to allow us to plunge head-first into whatever gets us excited, fuck what people think - then instead of disgusting it becomes something closer to heroic (in continuation of my My Left Foot thesis).

It's not just Max. This whole movie is saturated with this. Max's young protégé Dirk being a prime example. These guys have no sense of humour whatsoever, and this enables them to not observe how ridiculous they look. How ridiculous they are, I suppose. Nothing would be easier than ridiculing these dudes. But they're amazing. They are forces of life. They put us all to shame. They realize fully the importance of being who they are.

This is a little long (6 minutes), but it's too on-topic and astonishingly brilliant to not be posted:


  1. Wait a minute. Am I to understand that you're praising this character's arrogance and self-centeredness? That would be a bit disturbing.

  2. I think you might need to watch the movie before you have a right to be disturbed.

    Seriously, it makes an excellent case for this more than a little weird notion.