23 January 2010

quote of the day/week/month/possibly year

"Ian Balfour, an English professor at York University, postulated, in the journal Camera Obscura, 'A principal effect of Pee-Wee's histrionics, whatever the outcome of the episode, is to unsettle cultural codified notions of masculine and feminine, indeed to twist them around.' [Paul] Reubens [who plays Pee-wee Herman] shrugged. 'When people write stuff like that, I want to go, like, "Duh." '"

from Michael Shulman's Talk of the Town article about Paul (Pee-wee Herman) Reubens, The New Yorker, January 18, 2010

5 comments:

Vicki said...

If only I'd known! And to think I was watching Pee Wee's Playhouse as a delightful kid's show (actually, it was that, too).

pjwv said...

Well, I think the point is you did know, because even without the labored academic jargon it was obvious that's what was going on.

pjwv said...

I know I told you how shocked and horrified I was (in a good way) at Pee-wee's Big Adventure, which was the first time I saw him -- it hit me the way those Bunuel/Dali films are supposed to.

sfmike said...

The audacious success of "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" owes as much to Tim Burton, the director, who was making his first film, as it does to PeeWee. It was a perfect match of character and filmmaker, and using "The Bicycle Thief" as an underlying motif was some kind of brilliant, too.

I saw "Un Chien Andalou" for the first time on a homemade screen in the back of a hipster bar in Lake Tahoe around 1970. Since I knew my film history, the eyeball slicing wasn't as big a surprise as it was for the rest of the bar. You should have seen the reaction. It was way cool.

pjwv said...

I have mixed feelings about Tim Burton (except for Ed Wood, which I think is great), but I'm fully prepared to acknowledge his contribution to Big Adventure, since the other Pee-wee films/shows are different in style and tone.

I think already knowing about Un Chien Andalou and L'Age d'Or as well as knowing that they're supposed to be shocking, has really lessened their shock value, so I was glad Pee-wee gave me a taste of what it was supposed to feel like.