Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Meta Month: Catch-Up Part 2: The Cinema Snob and Kyle Kallgren (2017)

Over the last few months, I’ve been noticing certain… issues cropping up in the Cinema Snob’s recent output. Ribbing on other critics and even his own audience has been part of his character gimmick since the beginning, but recently it’s been starting to turn down some very bitter corners. From Actual Lee and Tobe Fair to Jordan B. Matthews, the ribbing has been getting considerably more mean-spirited and, honestly, kind of pointless. Again, I don’t find annoyance to be funny but it doesn’t really do much for me, but even still, it’s starting to sour me on the guy’s work. And the worst part of all this? I am legitimately scared of even admitting to any of this because last time I did (in a now-deleted comment thread on his Glen Or Glenda review), I nearly became a gag in one of his videos myself. Thankfully, another series of comments landed in the crossfire instead, but still, that definitely shook me for a while.

However, with that said, he has definitely made some damn good videos in that time as well... and maybe it’s apropos considering his work on his latest film Jesus, Bro!, but his best work of late has been when looking at Christian films.

First off, we have Last Ounce Of Courage, where the Christiansploitation persecution complex stretches as far as the War on Christmas. You know, that thing that even professional loons like Kirk Cameron think is nonsensical? Through his trademark sense of humour and some well-placed car shots, he cuts the film’s First Faith Problems down to size in remarkable fashion.

Then there’s I’m Not Ashamed, AKA a Christian perspective on the Columbine High School massacre. In spite of potentially wearing out the collars on every single shirt he owns, Brad gives the subject matter the right amount of pathos without sacrificing his riffing abilities in the process. That’s a hell of a tightrope to walk but, as much as my misgivings may have led you to believe, Brad Jones is not hateful in any real way and this video more than proves it in my opinion.

And finally, there’s God’s Club, which combines the whining-for-the-sake-of-whining of Last Ounce Of Courage with a dose of misrepresenting depression. If you’ve been reading my stuff for any length of time, you’ll know that there are few things that I despise more than people who think along these heinous lines, and Brad seems to agree with me. It was around when I watched this for the first time that, even with the problems that are starting to niggle at me about his more recent videography, I realized that Brad is another one of those critics where the words “undying loyalty” still apply.

Now to look at Kyle Kallgren, and I see no potential problems with lumping him and Brad together in the same post. Blerg. It’s about here that I should mention that, much like with JonTron last time, I am purposely ignoring whatever e-drama may be going on with these creators because, you know, it usually has sweet F.A. to do with their actual bodies of work. Except in the case of Brad’s videos, where it actively became part of them but that’s a rant for another day. With Kyle’s increased output has come quite a few incredible works, starting out with a pick from his last Shakespeare Month: Jean-Luc Godard’s King Lear. A perplexing work that came about through an equally perplexing meetup between one of the most lauded French visionaries in film and a company synonymous with weapons-grade schlock, Kyle manages to forge a surprising amount of sense out of this work that itself admits is “no thing”.

Next up is his video essay based around From Caligari To Hitler: Imagining The Tyrant. Fresh off the heels of the election of Trump, this video is understandably very politically charged. And yet, it does so without directly mentioning the obvious impetus for the video, giving it a nice distancing from immediately becoming dated, and it ends up spiralling into a flurry of questions that legitimately made me take a step back and think about who actually constitutes a tyrant, both in reality and in the realms of fiction, and just who (if anyone) we should be rooting for.

And finally, we have his long-awaited (for me, anyway) review of the Hungarian body horror flick Taxidermia. Yes, I essentially paid him to make this review through Patreon (it has my name on it and everything) and he himself admits on-camera that he rushed through it a bit to get it done, but honestly, this is a lot better than I could have ever expected. A grotesque and frequently disgusting depiction of various stages of Hungarian history, Kyle once again manages to wring some real political sense out of a film involving a man shooting fire out of his penis. Yes. Not only that, he also brings it into his perspective with his own past and the usual reaction-comedy style he used to operate in, which is pretty appropriate considering I made this request back when that was largely the type of video he was making.

No comments:

Post a Comment