Nostalgia porn

28 Apr

I only made it through 20 minutes of Adam Green’s “screwball tradgedy [sic]” The Wrong Ferrari. I like Adam Green’s music and I like the idea of Macaulay Culkin dressed up as Luigi, but that wasn’t enough to sustain my interest. You know when you say something is “hipster bullshit,” and then someone else says, “What does that even mean?” This movie. This movie is what that means. I can’t offer a full review because I didn’t watch the whole film—not even close—so I’ll comment on what I’ve seen so far and wait until I can muster the energy to watch the rest.

From the get-go, The Wrong Ferrari is nostalgia porn. It takes a bunch of familiar images from our childhood and assembles them haphazardly. And while I guess there’s supposed to be method to the madness, the end result is Adam Green holding you by the shoulders and shaking you. “Do you remember Nintendo cartridges? Do you remember the AOL dial-up sound? Do you remember Teddy Ruxpin?” On some level, of course, it works. I see Macaulay Culkin as Luigi and I want to watch Home Alone and play Super Mario Bros. (Or the Home Alone game on Gameboy, because I NEVER BEAT IT.) I see Garfield bedsheets, and I remember how I used to have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ones.

But that’s cheap. It’s easy. Meanwhile, the dialogue is absurd and sexualized enough to get your attention. I’ll admit to laughing at, “That’s like the night your penis turned into the devil,” but I can’t say why. And everyone says “faggot” incessantly, which seems kind of edgy until you remember that it’s still one of the slurs you can get away with. Especially if you’re Adam Green, because his sexuality is fluid or whatever. My beef here isn’t with Green in particular, because I think this speaks to a larger issue in (forgive me) hipster culture. Just remember—wearing skinny jeans and kissing boys every once in a while might get you called a faggot, but it doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy heterosexual privilege.

Anyway, I want to watch The Wrong Ferrari again in 40 years. (I’m definitely going to forget, so do me a solid and remind me, yeah?) I say this in part because I watched 1970’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls again last night. It’s one of my favorites, but I think maybe I love it for all the wrong reasons—it’s so ’70s, it’s so Russ Meyer. I appreciate it as a product of its time, and I don’t even mind that it tries too hard to be hip. As is the case with The Wrong Ferrari, I’m not even sure what’s intended ironically and what’s sincere. (And is the sincerity ironic? Is the irony sincere?) So, yeah, all the shit that annoys me about Green’s movie might be totally charming in 2051—assuming we make it that far as a species, which is obviously kind of iffy.

You can watch The Wrong Ferrari in its entirety on the website. Do it. Tell me what I’m missing. Explain why I just don’t get it.

2 Responses to “Nostalgia porn”

  1. blacklisted April 30, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    I tried to watch it and also turned it off after about a half hour. When I don’t understand the point of something like this and then start thinking that it’s just lost on me, and then actually pay it some more attention and it still doesn’t make sense, I conclude that it’s just pretentious. Maybe you don’t get it because there’s not much to it to get? I am definitely for attributing blame on this one.

    By the by, I had Home Alone 2 on Super Nintendo. I never beat it.

  2. snokiedeathsnokiedeath May 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Great review, or not-review. I like your honesty. I got that movie waiting for me for half a year now and still haven’t gotten into the right mode to put it on. Maybe I never will. For the exact reasons you turned it off. The Mac and Adam Green being drugbuddies is as a fact already way better than any movie plot they could come up with. I think it would suit Adam Green to keep it simple and just be awesome together, be more lowbrow about their deal, keep it real. Maybe they should have a YouTube channel with their surreal adventures. A feature length film of total randomness is just…… well…. what it’s always been….. a pain to watch. Cheers, thanks for the good read!

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