Friday, March 9, 2012

American Splendor

In both the movie and the comic books it's about one guy named Harvey Pekar. Even so much of the truth he doesn't make himself look remotely good or spice anything up and he doesn't take out parts where he's actually writing a comic book. This blind truth is what makes at least the original comic have a certain uncensored genuine feel which includes a aspect of self reflexiveness. This self reflexiveness in the original comic book is not an added on aspect it is just Harvey's life. In the movie they try to add that bit of self reflexiveness towards the movie making process by having the director say "cut" and bring us to a "set" and have us see this strange sense of in between real and fake although it is very fake. We then explore real Harvey and Toby discussing on set jellybeans in this strange world. I think that they could've just stayed with the story, the self reflexiveness of Harvey writing his comic books etc. I think the scene with them cutting to set is trying a little bit to hard to create the feel of what I am sure is hundreds of comic books in one movie. With cutting to on set that is not really a set it just makes it feel not genuine and staged and a little bit not "American Splendor" to be honest. Besides that some good things that they did do in the movie to give the movie it's own Harvey Pekar "truth and self reflexiveness". For example: I think that having real Harvey and having the interviews was good because it gave it the feel, but still going for what they wanted, to make the film different from the play, the comic book or anything else that had been done. It doesn't feel insincere during interviews because it feels honest and is far from perfection which is good because the imperfection is what it's about. All in all the movie was okay with this aspect although the cutting to a "real" world and there was also animated Harvey's and his comics which just didn't seem to fit.