|The Townleybomb - 2012-09-12 |
I always thought that this was so much better than "Plan Nine".
It's not really that difficult to be "so much better" than Plan Nine.
Better as in "a more competent film", or better as in "a richer source of ironic entertainment"?
This one is more hilarious because it wants to convey a message. The other one is just goofy.
John Holmes Motherfucker
I'd argue that "Plan Nine" is better than "Glen or Glenda", or, for that matter, a whole assload of 1950s sci-fi snoozers like "Fiend without a Face" of "Killer Shrews" These movies have a tendency to pad out the space before the big climax with an hour of talk. "Plan Nine" actually has some pretty good pacing. It stumbles right along.
I may have said this before, but to me, Plan Nine is some kind of tragicomic masterpiece. I know that sounds pretentious, or pretentious in an ironic (hipster) way or something, but consider how "Plan Nine" paints a picture of an absurd universe driven by chaos and error. Stupid humans are on a course to destroy the universe. Aliens are dispatched to stop them, but they are, unfortunately, stupid. They destroy themselves stupidly, in a self-inflicted explosion during a stupid. fistfight. The humans escape, and seem totally oblivious to the significance of the Alien mission. Nothing is resolved, and the universe is still teetering on the edge of disaster at the story's end.
It all seems like absurdity on a cosmic scale, and all the chaos and error that are a part of Ed Wood's filmmaking technique make the theme more resonant. I suppose Ed Wood didn't intend to include this theme, but how much does that matter? I think he has some credibility as an artist for allowing chaos and error to work though him.
"Plan Nine" is cosmic. "Glen or Glenda" is more personal.
I sometimes like to imagine that Ed Wood was a postwar Kaufman, carefully cultivating his own public image and subtly "socially engineering" his audience so as to craft a broader metanarrative- in other words, he was perfectly aware of how his directorial technique made the story's absurdity all the more resonant, and indeed, that was the point. And, a true visionary to the end, he kept the joke to himself, carrying his secret to the grave.
I sometimes like to imagine that. Not often, though.
You're spot on about Plan Nine and Glenda being cosmic and personal respectively, although to me, I think that's what gives Glenda it's strength. There's more passion in Glenda, because it's ABOUT him. It's a subject he knows, it's a subject he cares about... very, very deeply. Plan Nine is just a trainwreck of meaningless bullshit Mr Wood cobbled together in a drunken haze. It's like... it's like Sonichu. Consider Sonichu's "titular" story arcs, against Chrischan's blatant self-insertion comics and personal video series. Both reveal something about the author, both reveal something about the world at large. But it's obvious that Chrischan is in his element when talking about himself ("Glenda"), adding a certain poignant honesty to the bitter stench of failure that his work gives off. When he tries to focus his energy on telling a story about something else, ("Plan Nine") it all falls apart. It, too, is a failure, but made all the more aggressive by it's total lack of honesty and humanity.
Now I'm not saying that Ed Wood is a one-to-one comparison with CWC; to his credit, Mr Wood was MUCH better at staying focused and keeping his non-biographical work from devolving into Mary Sue author-fulfillment fantasies. In this sense, we could say that Ed Wood was indeed a proper, "professional" artist, at least when compared to the seething masses of creatrixes who've been cropping up everywhere thanks to the internet. But Ed Wood really didn't have anything interesting to say about (or any interest in saying) stuff that didn't directly involve him, his self-identity, or what gave him a stiffy. In that sense, I'd say that Glenda is certainly the better film.
However, I think we can all agree that Ed Wood's appeal can not be measured in terms of how and when he manages not to suck, or suck only just a little. Rather, the Ed Woodesqueness of Ed Wood rests on just how low he can go- how irredeemably and unwatchably bad his work can become. By being a "better film", is Glenda not then undermining the very thing that makes Ed Wood noteworthy in the first place? It's not good enough to be a "good" film, but in this case, it's not bad enough to be a good film, either. Wood needs to sin boldly in order to hold our interest, and here, sadly, it's just not up to the standards set by Plan Nine. So maybe Plan Nine is better?
I honestly don't know which I prefer. I will say that I've seen Plan Nine a lot more times than I've seen Glenda (which I watched a grand total of once), so I guess my vote is for the Plan, too.
Also also, don't worry about sounding pretentious. That's what PoE is; when we get right down to it, we're all pretentious hipster douchebags. We merely happen to be the world's only legitimately awesome and amusing pretentious hipster douchebags.
John Holmes Motherfucker
I'm just going to brush by the references that are unknown to me.
>>You're spot on about Plan Nine and Glenda being cosmic and personal respectively, although to me, I think that's what gives Glenda it's strength.
Of course, but does it make it BETTER than Plan Nine? I don't think so, but there is no right answer, even if Ed Wood would apparently agree with me. The Plan Nine Companion quotes Ed: "If you want to know me, see 'Glen or Glenda'. That's my story, no question. But 'Plan Nine' is my pride and joy."
This is almost a "Captain Obvious" statement, but Ed Wood's movies are good in some ways and bad in others, and that's a big part of the fascination. They challenge our aesthetics. Wood fandom started out as ironic, but it became something I call "ironically unironic" An example of ironically unironic is Fargo. The ironic thing about "Fargo" is that it DOESN'T make fun of midwesterners, even as it highlights their peculiarities.
In the end, comparisons are pointless. Nothing that Ed Wood did would be nearly so interesting without the insights we get from "Glen or Glenda".
Incidentally, I used to have a copy of the shooting script for Tim Burton's biopic, and if you take that as literal fact (risky at best), a lot of the footage in Glen or Glenda was added by George Weiss the to fill in the running time. I have my own ideas about what this footage may be, but I don't know for sure.
Ed Wood was as counterculture as Kerouac. The crazy things he did and his determination to do absolutely everything on his own terms, regardless of actual outcome, reveal a man who no longer thought in terms of "other people". He was like a jungle panther in that way, running around, with zero concern for anybody else as long as his needs were met. In way, he embodied the true result of "rugged individualism," not where the heroic architect builds a tower that changes architecture forever, but where the self-absorbed and deeply damaged slob cobbles some shit together and it's wonderful from his skewed vision but genuine rubbish to everybody with even the slightest amount of taste.
Ed Wood, therefore, is the anti-Rand. He shows individualism for what it truly is: limited by a single perspective.
As shocked and appalled as I am about your hostility towards Dear Leader, cognitive, I have to admit, the Kerouac thing was spot on. Spirit bulbs! But given to the group, not to you, since giving them to a single Great Man would simply reinforce the toxic concept of individuality.
|EvilHomer - 2012-09-12 |
Wasn't this already here?
Am eagerly awaiting the next generation of visionary filmmakers creating a semi-autobiographical tell-all in which the director comes out as a Brony.
|Jet Bin Fever - 2012-09-12 |
PULL THE STRINGS!
|John Holmes Motherfucker - 2012-09-12 |
I don't know who I found this, but this is a link to a version of Ed Woods last movie, "Necromania", from 1971. IT IS A PORNO. A VERY WEIRD PORNO.
It was lost for years, and only resurfaced recently, first a softcore version, then complete. This version is essentially complete, though the opening titles are missing.
It's completely NSFW, so I'm not going to submit it, but I think the rules permit me to link to it here.
I don't know how I found this link. It seems like some kind of Google-based miracle that I have not been able to recreate, although I have since been able to locate and download a better quality version from a bittorrent at TPB. I'm currently working on .meticulously censoring out the nudity and explicit sex, frame by frame by frame, hoping to create a version that I can upload to youtube.
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