IMDb and the Meaning of Everything

Posted by Prince Gomolvilas
ON Friday, May 18, 2007
I love IMDb. Whenever I watch a messy Japanese horror film that eschews logic and clarity in favor of what snooty critics hail as "atmosphere," like in 2004's Infection (Kansen), I log onto IMDb after the movie is over so that the teenagers who hang out on the site's message boards and who have nothing better to do than to deconstruct Asian fright flicks can explain to me what the hell I just saw. Infection involves a fast-moving virus in a creepy, poorly lit hospital that kills its victims by first making them go crazy and then dissolving their organs into green liquid goo that seeps out of their orifices and burns through their skin. The last fifteen minutes of the movie hurls about eighteen dozen twists at you and basically renders meaningless everything you thought the movie was about. Instead of going through the rest of my life with a big "HUH?" seared onto my brain any time Infection is brought up, I now can explain to you exactly what happens in the movie, the significance of all the twists, and the metaphorical meaning behind it all, thanks to those teens. I'm mostly grateful that America's youth watches foreign films—even if they do involve melting green hearts.

With any luck (or ambition), I will actually make it out of the house this weekend to see (in order or importance): Fay Grim, a new film by Hal Hartley, who made my number one favorite movie of all time, Trust, which is still even after 17 years not available on DVD; Once, an Irish movie about Irish musicians that Loren and his Irish-lovin' company have been creaming their pants over for months now; and 28 Weeks Later, which I hope will be as confusing as Japanese horror films so that I have an excuse to stay connected to the teenagers.

Next week, I intend to post a long overdue and epic entry about the aforementioned Trust, which I own a tattered video copy of; about Hal Hartley, who answers my fan mail to him; about his wife, who was in a play of mine once, which Mr. Hartley attended and suffered through because he had the flu; and about how great or not great Fay Grim is, a movie whose fate in my court of opinion remains unknown, given the fact that I rail against popular opinion and do not think Henry Fool is Hartley's most accomplished film. But I've seen the trailers for the new one. Parker Posey in an espionage movie? I am so so rooting for it.

—Reporting From Glendale, California
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