…and the quest to see everything

Archive for September 13, 2010

Matt Weiner’s “A Single Don”

“More and more everyday about Vietnam. Hope it’s not another Korea.


“I sound like a little girl, writing down what happened today.

“Sunday is Gene’s birthday party. I know I can’t go. I keep thinking about him.

“He was conceived in a moment of desperation and born into a mess.

“A list of thing I’d like to do. One – climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

“Go anywhere in Africa, actually.

“Two – gain a modicum of control over the way I feel.

“I wanna wake up. I don’t wanna be that man.”

“If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there.

“How he forgot where he was going, and then he woke up.

“If you listen, he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel.

“Dreamt of being perfect. And then he’ll smile with wisdom.

“Content that he realized the world isn’t perfect.

“We’re flawed because we want so much more.

“We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had.”

– Matt Wiener

TIFF: Beaver Dam/Fubar II

ph. TIFF

Last Saturday afternoon, I treated myself with a short called Legend of the Beaver Dam, a horror comedy musical. It’s nice to see national treasure Sean Cullen play the worst, most potty mouthed camp counselor to a nerdy kid with amazing vocal pipes, bullying twins, a few Asian girls and the nerd’s blond love interest with braces. There’s also post-production work so seamless I had to learn they used CGI in the credits.

Now on to our feature Fubar II, the sequel to the mostly improvised mockumentary of eight years ago or something. As director, Michael Dowse said on the Q&A, the willing suspension of disbelief is somehow broken by the first film, which means this time we get a film with a more fictional glaze and with one or two fantasy scenes.

Nonetheless, Dean, Terry, Tron and Trish aren’t people I wanna be stuck in a house with, as we clearly see in the first few minutes of the film. The gang celebrates Dean’s health with a party where Terry and Tron demolish the house while Dean, high on acid, accidentally sets his room on fire. This party foreshadows the tests both on Terry and Dean’s friendship as well as Dean’s health.

Like men, they have to get jobs. The gang then heads to Fort McMurray to work on the pipelines. Antics ensue. Did anyone expect a documentary about the Harper era worker exploitation? The movie does touch on those issues, but its Terry and Dean’s oblivious resilience despite their circumstances that has made the audience laugh with them and not at them.

Despite of their redeeming qualities and how immersed the cast is with their work, the Catholic boy within me just can’t love these guys. I’m thinking about exceptions to my ‘I hate crass male characters’ rule, and I came out dry. I gave this a 3/5, but there’s a little part of me that thinks I should have given it a 4.