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devincf

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!

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Since this movie became such a heated topic in the SLACKER episode I figured we could have a thread where folks - if they've seen it - can weight in without creating too big a tangent in the main SLACKER thread.

 

I loved it! I'll link my review in here as soon as it's live.

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Full disclosure: Dazed and Confused is my favorite movie.

 

I saw 'Everybody Wants Some!' this weekend, and I completely agree with what I have heard from Devin on the podcast and on Twitter. Linklater has a history of examining young male bonding and the fragility and performance of young masculinity in a subtle way. He celebrates the camaraderie that can be built even while criticizing the actual methodology by which the camaraderie is established (ie: hazing, driving around and destroying mail boxes, etc.) In Dazed and Confused this was a minor but significant theme, but here he has decided to bring it to the forefront to great results. Linklater is a rare filmmaker who understands masculinity and male friendship in a way that neither fully celebrates it nor fully condemns it.

 

The dialogue is obviously fantastic, the characters are fully fleshed, and it is another Linklater film that I look forward to watching over and over. Like Devin said, Linklater movies are perfect for rewatching, as he does a great job weaving in so many themes and ideas that you're unlikely to notice on first viewing.

 

I do think Amy's criticism of 'Everybody Wants Some' is totally valid. The lack of depth to any female characters was impossible to ignore, even if you want to argue that was intentional to just give us a story from a very narrow perspective. When Linklater does give women fully-fleshed out personalities, they often end up being the best parts of his movies (Patricia Arquette in Boyhood and Julie Deply in the Before Trilogy) and I do think the movie could have been strengthened by developing a few female characters more to be a necessary disruption of this privileged viewpoint we are given with our main characters. But I do think Linklater knew what he was doing in this case and I understand the intention, even if I don't 100% agree with it.

 

End of the day, this movie is fantastic and I will probably see it again in the next couple of weeks.

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Thanks for creating this thread, I was scared to talk too much about it in my Slacker response.

 

Everybody Wants Some really worked for me. Am I a white 21 year-old college student who used to play baseball? Yes. Do I smoke pot? Sure. Do I absolutely adore upwards of ten Linklater movies? You know it. So take my review with a grain of salt, and hopefully I can talk about the big picture stuff, even if there are better people than I to discuss it.

 

Linklater knows how to create moments better than any filmmaker working. I think the scene towards the end, on the lake as the main character Jake (a rarity for a Linklater ensemble) is talking about his personal statement essay, comparing his life to Greek mythology, but more importantly, he is also listening. That is what makes the last scene of Boyhood so god-damned potent. That boy had strictly one-sided conversations with his girlfriend in high school, and now, in college he is ready to listen and conversate like a more mature person. In Everybody Wants Some!!, Jake is all ears for 116 minutes. When people in this movie talk about how they were the best in their high school at baseball, acting, or whatever, and are now being shown up by all of these more talented people, it provides a motivation as to why even the most cocky characters will set aside their egos and listen to what just about anybody in this movie has to say.

 

Now, here's where it gets problematic. Why are we only listening to what a woman has to say for that one scene? Because this is a movie about a baseball team. Could there have been more women creating actual dialogue with the players? Sure. I think if Linklater made a longer film, and didn't want it to be a comedy, and truly stuck to the idea of it being a spiritual sequal to Boyhood, I think we would see lots of these dudes having real conversations with developed female characters, or at least ones that have names. But maybe that's another movie that we'll get in the future. In high school, the seniority circle-jerk which is portrayed in Dazed is very two-sided, which is shown by the gender division in that movie, but in college, it's not like the baseball team and the softball team are meeting up at parties after hazing their freshman players in different ways.

 

I think it's important to talk about problematic representation in any film, but I don't think it holds Everybody Wants Some!! back from being a truly great film.

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Listening to the Slacker episode, it almost felt like being asked to vote for Everybody Wants Some!!, given how much it dominated the conversation. So, I almost voted for Tangerine. Otherwise, I fall pretty squarely on Devin's side, though I think Amy's concerns are legitimate. Linklater can write terrific women. It'd be neat to see more of them in his movies. Definitely pro-representation.

 

Also, Vampire Academy is fine. Was pigeon-holed for being a movie about young women and vampires. So, there are probably some latent Twilight comparisons. It's okay, but it's NOT better than Everybody Wants Some!!.

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They should both pick their favorite female coming of age film to face off.

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While Amy is not completely off the mark, I just think Linklater wanted to make a different kind of movie than Amy wanted him to. And I liked it a lot. I was young and dumb once, and this movie is about what young dumb men do and say and think about in that first weekend before classes start. It was astoundingly relatable to me. They're nervous, they establish their place in the pecking order on their team, and engage in f---withery.

 

Do I also want to see Linklater make the film that Amy wants? Hell yeah, I hope he makes it. But there's still a place for this one for people like me.

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I just wanted to say I thought Devin's obvious trolling was really tiresome.

 

He was taking the argument to absurds (which is a legitimate thing to do, to clarify intent), and then ignore when Amy would clarify her point and jump to another ridiculous argument.

 

Trolling like that is usually tiresome, but acceptable. Sometimes it's even funny. If this was about him not giving Amy skittles, I wouldn't be making this post.

 

But when the topic Amy's being trolled on is women's representation in film, and it's being done in a public debate, it's just stupid.

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I will reserve judgment until I see the movie, but just wanted to say I hope the eventual late-80's/early-90's follow up is "Birth Ritual". I just wanna see what Linklater does with that movie title. Or "Kuntz" (apropos to Devin's album recommendation).

 

... because the movies are named after era-appropriate song titles, you see.

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I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm not going to rush off and watch it. I'm sure it's great, but I am just so tired of movies about straight white men. For me, it's not the isolated incident, it's the pattern. Most times when a filmmaker wants to make a movie with a specific point of view, that means "straight white men."

 

They should both pick their favorite female coming of age film to face off.

 

Or maybe two whole episodes dedicated to female coming of age movies so that we don't have to pit women against each other. If there are separate episodes for Gunga Din and Temple of Doom, then Clueless and Heathers should get solo episodes too.

 

Most movies directed by women do feature interesting or at least colorful guy characters like Donald Faison in Clueless. I've never seen a female oriented movie where the guys are just props or sex objects.

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While Devin might have started getting a little juvenile in his rebuttal of Amy's arguments, I think he is entirely in the right on this one. I don't think it is valid to criticize a movie because it is not telling the story you want it to tell, you have to engage with the story it is telling. Amy is right in that this film is much more narrow in scope than his earlier films but that is not inherently a bad thing. I would love to see a movie about the sorority girls who call the guys fags when they get catcalled but that's not the movie Linklater is making.

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While Devin might have started getting a little juvenile in his rebuttal of Amy's arguments, I think he is entirely in the right on this one. I don't think it is valid to criticize a movie because it is not telling the story you want it to tell, you have to engage with the story it is telling. Amy is right in that this film is much more narrow in scope than his earlier films but that is not inherently a bad thing. I would love to see a movie about the sorority girls who call the guys fags when they get catcalled but that's not the movie Linklater is making.

 

It wasn't that he was being juvenile, he was being intellectually dishonest. He'd prop up an extreme version of a misrepresentation of Amy's argument, Amy would clarify how her argument differed from his characterization, and then instead of engaging with Amy's clarification and moving the discussion somewhere Devin would flit off to another exaggerated misinterpretation. As he continued to do it without ever engaging Amy's actual points, it became obvious he was trying to attack instead of debate. He was trying to make her arguments seem silly and baseless by lampooning them as opposed to disproving them. He was bullying instead of discussing.

 

Which, like I said, is pretty played out. It might be funny if your'e hassling a buddy over beers. But it's not funny in a public forum. It's just boring and annoying. It doesn't add anything to the discussion. It's a waste of time and, if Amy wasn't patient enough to clarify each point, it would be actively bad.

 

So it was just a bad bit of podcasting in the abstract, but what made it problematic was the subject matter. Devin was repeatedly trying to turn all of Amy's arguments [1) women are underrepresented in major movies 2) when women are represented, they're oftentimes reduced to objects or extremely simplistic characters and 3) the critic community is much more drawn to male coming of age stories (which are almost, by definition, extremely misogynistic) and is quick to dismiss female coming of age movies as unimportant] as strawmen. Again, without the intent of ever actually debating a point, just repeatedly trying to mischaracterize the argument and then move on when Amy corrected his version of her stance without honestly engaging.

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A lot has been made about Linklater centering on straight white males in his last two films, because this is somewhat regressive when representation in film is more important than ever. At the same time, I think that focusing on the lowest common denominator is sort of the point. In Boyhood, Mason is the blankest, least descriptive character. In a way, he falls under the Campbellian trope of being a hero of a thousand faces. By using the most undefined individual, we don't have to worry about Mason's journey so much, because the point of the film is to see everything else around him, and how it influences him.

 

What I think Everybody Wants Some!! kind of does is examine straight white male privilege, and says how to use it well. This is a film for a dominate demographic, not just to relate to, but to learn from. Linklater knows how to craft human stories. He knows how this stuff works. I think he's totally aware of the social landscape, and is trying to get at the core of patriarchy and male privilege. Heck, he even sets this before the next four years of Jake's life are about to begin, as if he knows that whatever anyone learns here, there's still a ton to learn and understand. Maybe it's not Mad Max: Fury Road-level politics, but I think some of that is definitely there.

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I'm glad Devin included the greatest bong rip in film history -- with some of the best looking movie weed ever

*looks at user name, nods*

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*looks at user name, nods*

 

 

oh boy do i have to start justifying my name now that i've posted on more than one board?

 

 

it's a reference to the earwolf show HOLLYWOOD HANDBOOK.

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oh boy do i have to start justifying my name now that i've posted on more than one board?

 

 

it's a reference to the earwolf show HOLLYWOOD HANDBOOK.

Oh haha, just appreciating the comment/username synergy. I've heard that's a great podcast, gotta check it out.

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Oh haha, just appreciating the comment/username synergy. I've heard that's a great podcast, gotta check it out.

 

 

if you enjoy satire, hollywood handbook will take over your life as it has with mine

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I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm not going to rush off and watch it. I'm sure it's great, but I am just so tired of movies about straight white men. For me, it's not the isolated incident, it's the pattern. Most times when a filmmaker wants to make a movie with a specific point of view, that means "straight white men."

That's because the filmmakers are straight white men. This reminds me of when people criticized Girls for focusing too much on the lives of the white, urban upper class. Well, yeah. That's where Lena Dunham is coming from. When you have someone forcing a perspective, you end up with something clunky like Crash.

 

The solution to this problem is to promote more diversity *behind* the camera. It's that simple.

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This is an interesting read on the topic. Sorta goes along with the theory mentioned by Joel...

 

http://polygraph.cool/bechdel/

 

"There’s this thing called the Bechdel Test. It measures just how male-dominated our beloved Netflix nights really are. To pass, films need to satisfy three requirements:

 

 

#1 It has at least two women in it

#2 Who talk to each other, about

#3 Something besides a man

 

It’s a low bar, but many good movies don’t pass. Birdman fails. Avatar fails. Fucking Toy Story fails. On bechdeltest.com, a site for crowdsourcing Bechdel Test results, about 40% of films don’t pass. It’s a sad state since women exist in life, like, half the time."

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This is an interesting read on the topic. Sorta goes along with the theory mentioned by Joel...

 

http://polygraph.cool/bechdel/

 

"There’s this thing called the Bechdel Test. It measures just how male-dominated our beloved Netflix nights really are. To pass, films need to satisfy three requirements:

 

 

#1 It has at least two women in it

#2 Who talk to each other, about

#3 Something besides a man

 

It’s a low bar, but many good movies don’t pass. Birdman fails. Avatar fails. Fucking Toy Story fails. On bechdeltest.com, a site for crowdsourcing Bechdel Test results, about 40% of films don’t pass. It’s a sad state since women exist in life, like, half the time."

The Bechdel Test is really interesting, but from what I read even the creator thought of it more as a conversation starter than a be-all-end-all sort of thing. You can find lots of examples of arguably feminist movies that fail the Bechdel Test (like Run Lola Run, or Gravity). But totally agree with your sentiment.

 

I can see what Amy's saying; not that everyone necessarily needs representation, but how does the film handle the people it represents? ... just as soon as a local cinema carries the movie, I'd love to see for myself. (why won't you show the movie, WHY??!?!)

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