Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Thumbsucker Proxy

What an interesting film. This kinda snuck up on me, I don't even recall where I heard about it. I think it popped up on "you may like..." thing from Netflix or Amazon, maybe it was an old Ebert and Roeper podcast.

Whatever it was, good choice.

The casting is excellent: Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio, and (get this) a tolerable Keanu Reeves (as the orthodontist/philosophical guru).

The music is better: The Polyphonic Spree frontman Tim DeLaughter composed the original score which gives us brief background snippets of their orchestral work and some good songs mixed in. I am not a fan of "TPS," and can't really tolerate their work in most settings, but it really works in a movie setting. All of the other music comes from the late, great Eliott Smith.

The movie works a lot like many other movies of the past couple of has shades of "I Heart Huckabees," "Garden State," and "The United States of Leland" (featuring the music of Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Fire Theft). If you've seen any of these movies you'll know what I mean, maybe not Garden State as much but the rest are a little heavy on preaching a philosophy of some kind, even though each of the movies seems unsure as to what that philosophy is.

Anyway, Thumbsucker is a great existential movie (Being and Becoming).
Here's a link if you feel like reading one take on basic existential philosophy.

The film follows a teenager through a series of changes, developments, experiments, and lifestyles not too unfamiliar to anyone who has made mistakes in life; it shows how uncomfortable he is in his attempt to BE until he learns (from our whoa! philosopher) that one must BECOME.

It puts a finger so directly on that uncomfortable time in adolescence when we wanted to have the answers, when we needed to know the RIGHT course for our lives, when simply letting the journey happen was not an option. IDEALISM. That's it.

I'm now no longer writing from the top of my head, but writing to try and sound smart...and doing a poor job, so I'll spare you.

Watch this movie.

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