Saturday, February 11, 2006

Guardian chats with DBC Pierre

His is a story I tend to stay clear of. He has the kind of past that can turn him into a James Frey character. And yet, I found it hard to put down Vernon God Little, and like the author of this interview/feature, found Pierre incredibly compelling. The narrator is just spot on, and I love how it gets at the fascination with violent fame in such a fresh way. Gus Van Zant's disappointing swipe at it in Elephant, being one end of the "bad" spectrum possible here. Van Zant is a great filmmaker, but Elephant is not a great film. Minimal in scope and often beautiful--especially the young boys, which is after all, Van Zant's specialty--the film, to my mind, unravels without purpose. I've become deeply suspicious of projects such as this that prod without suggesting something beyond the darkness unearthed. I'm willing to be suspended in a moment, and I'm willing, more than willing, I love to let go of narrative and all its flotation devices, but I insist on something in return. Some insight, some satisfying movement, something other. Elephant offered nothing. Not even the hard reality of no-hope, which would have at least given me something to work with.
DBC Pierre's VGL is a whole other project of course--a farce, a kind of Rushmore like romp through a Columbine-like scenario. Compelling. Not sure if I'll be able to trust him a second time...but I'll sniff around.

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