Monday, October 18, 2004

Mops and Tops

I've been remiss in posting because when I'm not getting paid for my words I just clam the fuck up. That's a total lie actually, as anyone who's wished I would shut up could attest. I've been posting more frequently on Myspace which, when I read that, makes me sound like a 14 year old. Mood: giggly! Anyway, I saw I [Heart] Huckabees yesterday. Am I the only one who thought the black bowler hat sitting on a hat stand in the existential detective's office was an allusion to Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being? It seemed too deliberate not to have been. Actually, I think the movie was probably littered with little references and allusions to existentialists and philosophers. Like the thing with the melon? I don't know what that was but I wondered at the time if I should have. (except there's that joke q: "how many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" a: "cantaloupe" ... but I think that's too far-fetched). The scenes where Schwartzman and Wahlberg were holding the big red ball reminded me of The Red Balloon, though, which I only saw as a kid but now that I'm thinking back on the story, or film strip (was it a film strip?) it seems it could have been about more than what it appeared to be.


a. said...

No, you are not the only one thought about the hat and Kundera...and thank you thank you for noticing it too. I mentioned it to my friends after the movie and they thought I was crazy/dismissed it.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm going to go out on a pretentious limb on this one...
The bowler hat imagery bothered me throughout the film after I first noticed it.
When I first saw the bowler, Rene Magritte's painting "La Grande Guerre" came to mind. (Business man in a suit, wearing a bowler, with a floating green apple obscuring his face)

I figured that this was just a random image-memory response on my part, since Magritte was a surrealist painter, and the movie was about existentialism.

But the more I thought about it, the more I've settled on this conclusion (probably completely wrong.):
"I (heart) Huckabees" is actually a surrealist movie detailing several persons struggle with existential dilemmas. Think about it. How can this film possibly be considered an existential movie? It is knee deep in personal and interpersonal responses and reactions. All begging to be defined. This doesn't follow the existentialist model. Too much self denial.
"La Grande Guerre" translates into "The Great War"
Between that title, The imagery of a persons identity being hidden (By such a random element as an apple)
and the intentions of the Existential Detectives (Where the Bowler was seen) I feel even more drawn to this explanation.
I thought I would have more to say about this... But apparently, I'm dumber than I thought. So I'll leave you with a quote from Magritte, that I think also sums up "I (heart) Huckabees" pretty well (Because I know you really really care):
"My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question 'What does that mean?' It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable."

Thanks for waiting. Please tip the bellhop.

-AAA (Yeah, I'm still hanging around... I'm just real short, and people don't notice me too often...)