Tag Archives: quirky

“He Lives in a Horde of His Own Personal Peculiarities” Burt’s Buzz (2013)

22 Feb
Burt Shavitz, namesake of Burt's Bees

Burt Shavitz, namesake of Burt’s Bees

I’ve been using Burt’s Bees products for as long as I can remember, but until I saw the documentary Burt’s Buzz, I had no idea that Burt was a real person. This documentary takes an intimate look into Burt Shavitz’s life as the poster “boy” of Burt’s Bees products. He travels all over the world, passing out samples and meeting superfans (yep, he has those). He is just as rustic as the photo to the left suggests.

Some Burt's Bees superfans in Taiwan

Some Burt’s Bees superfans in Taiwan

April Ludgate is similarly not amused

April Ludgate is similarly not amused

Trevor Folsom is known as “The Majordomo,” aka Burt’s handler, who makes sure he gets his packing in order and to his appointments on time, but mostly he helps Burt with things around his house and in his life on a daily basis. He is the darling of the documentary, in my opinion; he made me laugh until I cried. Folsom’s deadpan sarcasm and obvious annoyance with the one man pony show that is Burt would put April Ludgate (Dwyer) to shame. In the first shot in which he faces the camera, interview style, he states, “Burt’s a very interesting guy that I spend every day with. And sometimes I wanna throttle him,” and later he delivers my favorite lines, “He lives in a horde of his own personal peculiarities…He does not have the range of conception that allows him to see what he has become…He’s like Colonel Sanders, and he simply does not understand that.”

I will always love documentaries about peculiar people. They are uplifting alternatives to the depressing docs I watch about climate change, religious extremists, and hegemonic US international policy-making. Burt’s Buzz is one of the best I have seen in some time, although there is a bit of a sad twist to his story as well.

My favorite scene from the doc at the end of the following video: https://thescene.com/watch/presents/burt-s-buzz-meet-burt-and-his-majordomo-trevor

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The Future (2011)

12 Nov

I finally found the time to watch Miranda July’s newest film, The Future. You may have seen in a previous post that I am quite a fan of hers, whether it’s her book writing or screen writing. I love her over-the-top awkward, quirky, emo, indie, hipster ways. Though in my image search for things to include in this post, I found that there are a lot of people who cannot stand MJ and her unconventional ways. I even had to wait for my boyfriend to be out of town to watch the movie, because I am allergic to haterade.

In this movie, married couple Sophie and Jason are about to adopt a cat. They have one monthbefore they can bring it home. This sudden deadline of responsibility falling upon these two thirty-somethings shakes them into living this month as if it were their last. They quit their shitty and unfulfilling jobs, and set out to explore new and exciting territory. Jason becomes metaphysical, taking everything as a sign from the universe that he’s on the right new path for him. Sophie loses faith in herself and her ability to act upon her new goals as a recently liberated and unemployed dancer. They both develop secret habits and secret lives, which serves to drive them further apart than when they were stuck in their mono

Paw-Paw

tonous daily rut. Their story intertwines with the narration of Paw-Paw, their rescue cat. This is an element that might be hard to take by those who have a weak stomach for July’s quirk. I flinched at some points of this odd narration, especially in the choice to open the movie with it. In the end, Paw-Paw’s monologues were the most heartfelt parts for me.

I approached this movie with my thoughts on Me and You and Everyone We Know. I expected a subtly humorous account of real life trials and tribulations through that uncomfortably intimate lens that July uses in her work. I expected a chronological narrative  bringing together a myriad of characters, and I expected to take the events of the film at face value. The Future is not that kind of film. It starts off realistic, but as it goes on, you have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality, the real from the imagined, and the literal from the metaphorical. It stirs up your consciousness a little bit, and I like that. It’s a thinking wo/man’s movie, not to be watched distractedly out of the right eye. It requires a certain amount of engagement, and I liked that. All of the necessary themes are here: relationships and fidelity, life and death, time and space, “mid-life” crises and our attempts to find happiness and fulfillment.

Grade: B+
I liked it better after it was over and I had time to reflect upon it. It’s a movie I would prefer to watch alone.

I leave you with July’s “Shirt Dance.” Love the song: Master of None by Beach House. Toro y Moi does a bitchin’ cover of the song as well. Doesn’t get much more emo/hipster/indie than that!