‘Disaster Artist’ Review

December 28, 2017

The Disaster Artist is a fun romp yet a continuation of a tired exercise in Hollywood narcissism which creates a general banality. There is no blemish per se with the film – its production quality is terrific, from the intimate direction which works to give a raw aesthetic, to the acting talent which are cast strongly to represent the making of a film which should have never been created, to the screenplay itself which is top-shelf and worthy of an Academy Nomination. The subject matter is what is most disagreeable.


Where cinematic advancement can be had with captivating storytelling of the infinitude of human drama, where all the gifts of James Franco can be concentrated, it instead is prodigally exercised on the story of the making of a terrible film. While there is certainly embedded inside of this narrative the essence of the human condition, such as the virtue of courage in overcoming the perils of fulfilling one’s dreams, it is discarded like a hamburger wrapper to instead valorize the catastrophic filmmaking process.


Perhaps this is timely in this age of narcissism, wherein the effort itself is worthy of admiration rather than whether the effort is meritorious. This is then a dangerous precedent; as it inculcates culturally a celebration not in the birth of a new insight in being human, but the very sake of acting how one aspires. This is not to claim a slippery slope of this insinuating ultimately a condoning of immorality, but rather the condoning of mediocrity. Yet reality does not celebrate the mediocre. Even the film that The Disaster Artist is predicated upon is extraordinary, just in an unconventional manner (being extraordinarily awful). In effect, there was great fortune that the delirium of the protagonist combined with his bottomless wallet was able to make such a terrible, irredeemable work which is only appreciated by juvenilia.


Its authentic success then, is itself a statement of the arrested development of the Western World. Quite frankly, do the cult film followers have nothing better to do? They are not consuming art but kitsch. Indeed, an entertaining social experience, but an idle one nonetheless. Is this concept itself worthy of filmmaking attention?


Such a question indicates the further corruption of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences toward rewarding films about films, to the point where such cinematic quality is now wasted on a subject matter of cinematic trash. The fact this film will predictably be lionized by the film industry is testimony to the current catacombs cinema subsists within.




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