23 Januar 2007

Running with Scissors - Krass.

Director Ryan Murphy, famous for bringing us the absurd adventures of two L.A. based plastic surgeons, found something else to bring to the big screen, which is indeed no less absurd.

The memoirs of Augusten Burroughs, titled "Running with Scissors" (Krass) made into a feature film and boy have we waited for that. Burroughs published five books so far (I couldn't find more titles on amazon, so excuse me if I'm wrong), of which four contain stories from his own life, so he claims. A life dominated by a crazy hippie-mother, wonderfully portrayed by Annette Bening in the picture, a drunk father, played by Alec Baldwin, and subsequent male father figures predominatly those of Dr. Finch (a hilarious Brian Cox), the psychiatrist - who takes over guardianship of 14-year-old Augusten - and his 31-year-old long-time patient (Joseph Fiennes), with whom Augusten has his first sexual relationship.

The story of the film starts in the 70s - Augusten's mother wanting to be a famous poet, his father working his ass off somewhere and himself stoically polishing every quarter of his pocket money. That Augusten isn't the typical boy can be seen from afar (yeah, he's doing as his mother does, so he's gay...). Years go by and the relationship between his parents grows colder for she'd not become, who she wanted to be and she also claims, that it's her husbands' fault, for not supporting her or even sabotage her efforts. His father seems to be drunk all day now.

At that point in time, Deidre, Augusten's mom, seeks out the help of the infamous psychiatrist Dr. Finch, whose counsel finally leads to the separation of the parents and Norman, Augusten's father, leaving the house.

A short time after this, Deidre - poised with drugs - signs over guardianship of her son to Dr. Finch. So, Augusten lives with the Finches and now things start to get real crazy...

The movie is filled with a kind of humor I like very much indeed. It's unconscious at times and sometimes it just arises from the occasion. Being as blunt as Brian Cox's version of Dr. Finch isn't a quality found in many psychiatrists (that might be why Dr. finch loses his patent somewhere along the way) he even suggests suicide - although, for it being a fake attempted one - just to keep a sense for adventure. He analyses his "family" to death, so his two daughters and adoptive son (although he wasn't really adopted) are fucked up all the way. They are very much like the Addams Family in behaviour - not so much in style or choice of color (the house is pink).

The strange thing about the movie is, that I am willing to believe, that everything really happend to Burroughs, even though the main story arc of the movie doesn't span so much time in his life. So many absurd and dramatic changes can only happen in real life - no one could ever possibly make that stuff up.

I really enjoyed the kind of black humor, so did everybody else in the audience, I think. Of course it's drama, because his family is destroyed and a lunatic takes its place, but strangely enough, that really produces the best comedy, which is based in real life. It's dark with all the thoughts of death and suicide, but it handles them in a light way, without becoming pretentious.

I almost missed the release of the movie, because I never knew, they would be taking the german book-title instead of the original film title. "Krass" (crass / gross) really describes the film in one word, but it doesn't necessarily attract any viewers. There aren't so many copies out there in Germany, so it's running only in a handful of cities. Watch it in theaters here.


- Drama - USA 2006
- FSK: 6 - still pending (ages 6 and up)
- Running Time: 116 Min.
- German Publisher: Sony Pictures
- German Publish Date: 18.01.2006

for further information visit:

German Sony Pictures Minipage
International Website

or read the books of Augusten Burroughs

You will find an interview with Burroughs about his life and the movie on amazon, next to the book.

03 Januar 2007

Still Alive.

So, now that the holiday season is finally over and the year has turned (2007 yay!), I hope, that I'll have more time on my hands to be able to write here again.

What happened during my little hiatus from blogworld?

Obviously, Christmas Time was upon us once more and the ever reoccurring madness of gift-shopping took hold of the people. I wasn't much of an exception this year, but to my very own surprise, had had all presents more than one day before Christmas Eve. In the preceding years I was known to always get them last minute.

Gathered under the tree were the typical male-tech-geek gifts, like Wii and iPod (Wii for my dad, the latter for myself) and the notorious bling for the lady of the castle. So we're surfing the web with Wiimote (I'll be writing blog entries from the couch as soon as there's a decent keyboard for Wii) and I'm finally getting my media portable on the iPod. Aside the gifts dad made gorgeous meals accompanied by my very own infamous fruit salad.

On 31st my best friend and his fiancé came back from their honeymoon in Malaysia and we had a 3-hour photo-tour after which we got drunk and greeted the new year with ancient music videos on MTV (ancient = from our teenage years). There are definately much less interesting ways to spend the turn of the years.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Even if it's belated, the first week of 2007 isn't over yet, so these best wishes still matter. I hope you all had a very good time, spending the last days of 2006 and an even better slide into 2007!

Tomorrow I'll be leaving the house the first time since New Years Eve. Hope the world hasn't changed that much. By the way, on Dec. 30th I got the chance to watch the newest Bond incarnation "Casino Royale" and I can only tell you, to go and watch it! It definately brings with it a much more realistic and needed perspective on the franchise and it's better than ever, in my opinion. The stunts are somewhat believable this time, so are the missing gadgets. Even the characters behave like human beings when confronted with situations, which they normally wouldn't be drawn into.