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Thread: Christopher Guest's First Creative Failure.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    5

    Christopher Guest's First Creative Failure.

    While A Mighty Wind does have it's moments, it isn't consistently funny in the way Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show are. The major problem with Wind is the subject matter. For those who aren't familiar with the premise, a famous 1960's folk musician dies, and seveal other prominent musician organize a benefit concert.

    Unlike Guest's previous films, this subject isn't intrinsically funny. The pedestrian acting and general amaturish nature of community theater (Guffman) and the pompousity and delusions or grandure of dog owners (Show) are inherently ridiculous subjects which provide abudant comic potential. With A Mighty Wind, the subject of earnest middle aged folked musician participating in a benefit concert isn't inherently funny.

    To be sure, Wind does contain some funny momoments, but too often those moments are preceded and followed by several minutes of dead air. To often, Guest and Co recreate their source material with such uncanny similitude, it leaves the realm satire and becomes duplication. This is especially true when the reunion concert takes place towards the film's conclusion.

    Maybe Guest has too much fondness for the folksters he parodys. Some songs are funny, but too often they don't satarize the source material so much as emulate it; they're often catchy and reasonably well written, but just aren't that funny (one song about cathaters is an exception). With previous films Guest mercilessly lampooned his subject matter; A Mighty Wind is just too affectionate to be consistently funny.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    winnipeg
    Posts
    26
    I agree that AWM is the weakest of the Guest trilogy. However, I don't think this a result of the subject matter. AWM seems to have fallen apart in the editing room. The Catherine O'Hara/Eugene Levy characters are not funny enough to be given as much screen time as they were. Also Parker Posey and Fred Willard are tragically underused.

    A Mighty Wind is still too good of a movie to be considered a failure, although it is considerably weaker than BIS and Guffman.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    3

    Improvisational Guest

    Since Guest relies on improv for all his movies and lets his actors do their thing, I think that Levy and O'Hara got their characters right.
    Mitch and Mickie are melancholy lovers of the past.
    Remember O'Hara's character in "Guffman." She can be funny as well as tragic, so the fact that Mitch and Mickie are not drop dead funny like the characters they portray in "Best in Show" just means that Guest gives them the latitude to do whatever they feel like doing and trusts them implicitly.
    "Wind" is an homage to folk music and a wistful time for "baby boomers."
    The comic thread that Guest pulls through all his characters from 'Spinal Tap' to "Guffman" to "Show' to "Wind" is what keeps me coming back. He reminds me of a contemporary Chaplin or Keaton- so understated and so perfect at the same time.

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