Goofing off is the latest vein in post-9.11/ Iraq War cinema, according to Village Voice pulse-taker Anthony Kaufman. Three examples are cited: the grossly comedic Harold and Kummar Escape From Guantanamo, Morgan Spurlock‘s Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? and War, Inc., a satire of American imperialism in the Middle East that will have its U.S. premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month.
“Trying to be earnest about something…does nothing to explain it,” says documentarian Michael Tucker (Bulletproof Salesman, Gunner Palace). “That’s why the fiction films [about the Iraq War] have largely failed — because people are already in that emotional place. Yes, [the war is] tragic and horrible. Duh. What else is there?”
I’ve been meaning to write something about Spurlock’s film (and I will), but the most persistent thought I had while watching it was that he’s losing his hair. I kept saying to myself, “Wow, he’s either gonna need some plugs really soon or he’s going to have to just go with it and be James Taylor. Except he’s a little young to be James Taylor.” And I don’t he can do the shaved-head thing with that Fu-Manchu moustache — too extreme, too rednecky.
I realize that admitting to having thought mostly about Spurlock’s hair problem is a kind of comment about the film. I guess that’s what I’m doing. I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow.