Little Verses: The Age Issue Pt.1 / Juno Review

I can't sleep. I fell asleep really early (accidentally), so now I'm up early. But that's not such a bad thing. When I woke up, my mind racing was with ideas.

Always makes me wonder what I was dreaming about. Which I actually sort of remember and will only bore you with by saying it involved: floats in a parade traveling in a Michel Gondry / Peter Pan style through the air, and I was a spectator up in a high wing, until I decided join them by reaching for a floating ribbon/string that I knew may or may not support my weight, but I could see that I would only fall into cotton (made to look like clouds) so I grabbed on, and sure enough fell.
A young girl was there, who shook her head and told me that I worry too much about men being "okay" and not enough about myself.

Anyway. I saw Juno last night. This is a film that bugged me from the minute I saw the trailer. "Oh cool, got it Fox Searchlight Pictures - It's Little Miss Sunshine meets Napoleon Dynamite meets Ghost World meets Knocked Up." Well two out of four isn't bad.

But mainly what bugged me about the preview was the music. No fair. No fair no fair no fair. Let Wes Anderson have Love and The Ramones (mine first), and let what's his face (Zach Braff) have the Shins and Nick Drake (mine first), but the combination of Mott the Hoople and the Moldy Peaches is mine. All mine.

I know. I'm a big baby. A big greedy arrogant baby.

The Moldy Peaches album came out right around September 11th (Yes that September 11th.) and changed my world. I listened to it over and over and over again and played it for anyone who would listen (not many). It got pretty awful reviews for the most part.
"The Moldy Peaches attempt to be humorous and fail miserably, thinking that using "turd" in their songs is tantamount to being funny. Picture Beat Happening without the charm and wit (and with even less musical talent." 1 1/2 stars -AMG
You kind of either love them or hate them. I was listening to the Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman, and well, Beat Happening, so they fell right in line with everything else lo-fi and playful, except, yay! they were young and new and playing live.

Allow me to be a whining pre-teen for just a while longer, so that I can explain that feeling of: "But, wait, I tried to tell you this was good and you wouldn't listen, and now that it's in a movie, you like it???..."

Anyway, word on the street is the director asked Ellen Paige what music she thought Juno listened to, and she said the Moldy Peaches, and he listened and liked them and asked Kimya Dawson to do the soundtrack and she did.

And it's great. Kimya Dawson writes about it on her (awesome and inspirational) blog:

“Some of those songs were recorded in my bed in Bedford Hills, under the covers, on the 4-track. And when people were coming up to me telling me I did a great job it felt weird because I didn’t do a job. I wrote a bunch of crap when my heart was hurting. Everyone else had to do a job. The songs were already there. Just floating around in space. I didn’t do anything specifically FOR the movie. Except record some instrumental versions of a couple songs that only have two chords. That was easy. so, yeah…”

Beyond the Kimya Dawson work on the soundtrack, I liked how music was used to develop the characters in Juno. I knew going in, that I was going to be smack in the middle of the two represented age groups in the film. (Or at least the actors who played them Paige: 20 Bateman: 38) And I think in a way, that did make it hard for me to enjoy parts. Lines like, "How about some tuneage?", "God, Banana! Shut your freakin' gob!"and "As far as boyfriends go, he's totally boss." distracted me. I mean, teenagers don't talk that way, do they? But then, how would I know? I'm not a teenager anymore. So thankfully Bateman's character spoke to my generation(?) with Melvins posters and Sonic Youth cd's and jam sessions to Courtney Love songs. I also liked that Juno's character liked Iggy Pop, The Ramones and Patti Smith, and that it's pointed out that they were making music before either character was born.

I can tell I'm about to enter a point in my life where it will feel like a complete waste of time and energy to pick apart and obsess over little things like this. In some ways I look forward to it. I think it'll be nice to be able to see (endlessly schematic) movies without having an emotional response to every shallow crowd pleaser that comes out. I'd like to be part of the crowd. In other ways, it's a little sad to me. Like it's one more thing I've given up trying to figure out.

I think I'll make coffee and go to work early.

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