What in the world is it between me and the media I’ve picked lately? I swear that this has been the year of dark comedy in genre and change as a leading subject. What brings me to this point?
Tonight I watched Ghost World. I’ve had this movie in my Netflix queue for quite some time, not really having a full grasp on what it was, but thinking it seemed interesting. While I was in Austin looking though a comic shop there I saw Ghost World in a graphic novel. It was a graphic novel and the movie was an adaptation of said graphic novel. Long story short, it actually made me want to see the movie more. I didn’t really get the chance to see it till now, mostly due to accidentally sitting on a copy of The Departed for months. That movie is a dark comedy, pure and simple. Whether it’s the relationship between Enid and Seymour, or just some of the strange and sad moments (as in the man who sits waiting for a bus that has stopped running that route for 2 years), it meets a dark comedy criteria. It feels a bit off-putting, like I felt during Harold & Maudeback in Film Genres months ago, but it’s not to the point where I disliked the movie or caused me problems. It seemed to nail the sensation it wanted to express perfectly, that sensation being that of the uncertainty and uncomfortableness of being between one part of life and another. In other words, change, and it’s disconcerting sensations.
This is obviously where change comes into play. I actually wasn’t fully sure that this film was going to be about that change and its effects, but amazingly, it’s happened again. Now, it hasn’t necessarily been only within the realm of film that I’ve been picking this type of story in. Books have proven to point me into this direction, too. I’ve been doing my reading for the year (I’m so far behind at the moment that it’s not even funny), but the subject of change and the in-between has actually come up multiple times in my reads for the year so far. Looking back on it, it started with the first book of the year.
Juliet, Naked is the movement from an incredibly comfortable (if not unfulfilling) relationship that Duncan had with Annie (who is the actual focus of the book), to something of a complete unknown. There was a period in the middle of the book where there was literally an air of the in-between, and no real course as to where to go and what to do. It’s uncomfortable and it’s unnerving. I didn’t really pick up on that way back when, but it’s there now that I think back on that.
Blankets was the other story that comes to mind when change is a subject. I think I feel a bit closer to that one just between my ideas on religion have been changing a lot, and that book matches what I was thinking about damn near perfectly. Everything’s changing constantly, if slowly. It seems like things aren’t but they are. Even in an in-between era, there’s still change.
I know that looking back on the thoughts here, they do seem a bit jumbled. I’ve been jumping around in my thoughts since the movie ended and I wanted to get them down now while they’re still buzzing around in my head incessantly. When I think about the overall in this subject, dark comedy and change, it seems like it’s not the dark comedy in the equation that is bothering me. I laugh at things incredibly dark and off putting all the time. I think I just became accustomed to that over time. I can watch something like Dead Alive and laugh my ass off. I can enjoy M.A.S.H. and still feel like I’m getting something out of it, even if it is an incredibly dark lesson.
I don’t think that change is the problem either. If it was, I wouldn’t have made it through that summer between high school and college. I worked my first job then (temp working doing… well I guess it’s slightly assembly line work, and some of it was the worst work I’ve done to this day) which was a learning experience all its own. I went to orientation. I learned some new things. I tried to be social (at which I wasn’t truly successful at until about a year later in the village). Change isn’t the problem.
What is the problem is the waiting while change is happening. Not knowing exactly where the tide is going to take you. I think that’s what is incredibly unnerving to me when I watch movies and read books like Ghost World. The in-between is just that: being between one state and the next. Ghost World nailed it. It’s real and true sensation, and I just kind of wish that wasn’t the case.