MMI: Django Unchained
Django Unchained has depth that’s swallowed up by its Tarantino-isms. Tarantino-isms being violence and comical dialogue. And hasn’t Tarantino become part of pop culture? Pulp Fiction, the Kill Bills, and Inglourious Basterds. To me, of any director working today, he’s “pop”. If we’re talking about equivalents to pop music, Tarantino isn’t shitty pop music like...Chris Brown. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is silly and catchy, but it also...really captures an emotion. In the song, someone has the courage to approach a stranger and say, hey, call me, maybe. Which is something we’ve all wanted to do at some point. And quite often we lack the courage to follow through. Which makes the song as much fantasy fulfillment as Inglourious Basterds and Django.
Cinema Beans: Step Up Revolution
OK, I guess it’s confession time: I’m a Carly Rae Jepsen fan. I know people like to call me a hipster, but I swear on my entire Modest Mouse vinyl collection and Portlandia DVDs that I’ve never listened to music ironically. I mean, who would do that? What a shitty life. To listen to music for the sake of saying you don’t like it when you actually might...does that person even exist? Can’t we just do away with “guilty pleasures” and admit we’re capable of liking music that wasn’t written by Bob Dylan or composed by fucking Beethoven?
Anyway, I wholeheartedly believe that Jepsen’s Kiss is one of the most intelligent and lively pop records I’ve heard in the past few years. I’m in the midst of writing a dissertation on it (in my head anyway). People love to judge a book by its cover, and an album discussing cute boyfriends, dancing with strangers at the club, and dropping your cell phone in the pool is something people will inevitably scoff at. But sophistication can be found in unsophisticated material, andKiss is living proof of that. It’s a beautiful embrace of the shallow, finding poetry through the influence of pop culture and extraneous technology. I mean, what other record has used a cell phone break-up so endearingly (“I’m breaking up on you/You’re breaking up on me”)?
The most obvious choice for this award is Vamps, since it uses many of the same themes and devices explored in Kiss(and “Call Me Maybe), but Step Up: Revolution wins because, goddammit, that movie just makes me happy. It makes we wanna fuckin’ dance! And I love when that happens. It’s utterly aware (much like Kiss) that it’s not exactly Shakespeare, and instead chooses to travel magnificently in the opposite direction. It embraces shallowness and the suppression of first world problems and doesn’t give a flying fuck what anyone thinks about it. I spin Kiss whenever I want to feel good—same goes for any film in the Step Up series.
FilmEd's 2012 50 Awards in 50 Days: award 35: Best Equivalent of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me, Maybe"