As a teacher, I'm routinely forced into situations where I feel hopeless and utterly trapped. Surrounded by strange people and screaming on the inside, it can get pretty desperate, if not altogether lonely.
And that's just in the faculty meetings.
A few years back, in one of these moderately inspired 'professional development' situations (likely the result of someone freshly Googling How to have a fun meeting!), my colleagues and I were handed a box of what appeared to be leftover scrap-booking pieces. Random shapes of various sizes, sea and farm animals, and of course, a shit-ton of bubble letters made of foam, were all cascaded indiscriminately in front of us. The directions? Make something that represents you and your educational philosophy.
With a limited supply of glitter glue, a 3 x 5 foam rectangle and all the feigned enthusiasm a thirty-three year old man could muster, I arted-and-crafted three simple words:
Respect the story.
And it's with those three words in mind that I tell you, quite sincerely, I f--king loathed the Bitcoin-funded Aimy in a Cage. Contacted by a member of the production company's public relations department for a review, I went in to this experimental film with an open mind and no bullshit, wanting to like it. Clearly, we're pretty small-time around these parts, so the fact that I could help anyone with anything would have been pretty f--king rad. But, alas, that wasn't the case.
And it wasn't even close.
Set in some weird mishmash of time periods, and during a mysterious world-ending outbreak, Aimy in a Cage tells the intimate tale of one young girl's struggle to fit in. No, it's not like Aimy is a tomboy in a house full of debutantes (anything that straightforward need not apply), no, she's just a vastly different kind of crazy than anyone else is. What exactly that means is anyone's guess, as the 79-minute runtime is composed of nothing but strange images, irritating f--kers and a cinematic record for shouting. And screeching. And impromptu dancing.
Apparently every single member of Aimy's family hates her, and with what we're given, this doesn't seem all that irrational. Yes, Aimy is a free spirit and doesn't conform to the rotten douchery her brood seems so fond of, but I saw nothing that made me sympathize with her. I mean, they f--king lobotomized Aimy and I was basically okay with it. Honestly, I thought Good. That'll slow her the f--k down, but that just might be me projecting a decade of dealing with middle-schoolers for a living.
While I respect that someone made a film that means something to them, designed some fairly rad sets (and set up some sweet-ass tracking shots to shoot them with) and dipped the whole thing in the largest box of crayons ever, the bottom line is this f--ker simply wasn't for me. I've watched some uncomfortably awkward movies in my day, but none of them have ever left me so thoroughly agitated. If that was the point, well, f--king mission accomplished, but otherwise, for me, this experimental film left me hating science. Forever.
Also agitating, is the overwhelming indecisiveness of the Yays and Boos. Even with six pages of notes to refer to, neither of them have any idea of what to say. Well, they know what to say, actually. They just don't want to say it.
- Whatever the Hell the Apollo Plague is, I like it. This mysterious event was my favorite part of the flick.
- There's a recurring use of title cards that's always appreciated.
- Aimy's Big Daddy helmet, even if looking like something out of a Marilyn Manson video, is all kinds of awesome.
- Aimy's eye-makeup, as featured on the poster, is totally impressive. As are a lot of the costumes, really.
- And finally, the end of the film. While I guess it wasn't totally unexpected, I appreciated the semi-mindf--k Aimy's ultimate fate turned out to be.
- You know what sets off this awful treatment and resentment of Aimy? The mistreatment of a doll. Macgillicuddy Bob.
- The soundtrack. Imagine you've just beaten Contra, right? Well that thirty-second 8-bit tune? We get that. For seventy-nine f--king minutes.
- Dude, they hype this one up as 'starring' Crispin Glover, but he's barely in it. And when he is, well it's pretty f---king strange (though that may be par for the course). Not only does he look like Marty McFly's dad and Chewbacca had a baby, but he's also sounding like a French pimp from back in the day.
- You can boil down any given scene to this simple truth: Weird people doing weird shit in a weird place...set to weird music.
- As I've said, even though they're f--king terrible, I felt for Aimy's family at times. I mean, there's only so much flitting about one guy can take.
- The one old lady looks like she's missing her floating twin-brother from the second Matrix flick.
- What was with that Boyfriend Guy and his lame thesis? Can you get a Doctorate in being a useless asshole? Cause if you can...I should probably already have one.
- I watched this one with my helicopter-pilot headphones on. Yes, seventy-seven minutes of PURE SHOUTING surrounded my skull.
- Maybe I accidentally took two giant handfuls of random opiates, but I swear this film seems as if it's being played at 1.5x speed. Not that I minded.
- And finally, even though it's entirely my own fault, I f--king hate being put in this position. I don't ever want to hate the little guy. Ever. This is the second film I've been sent that ended up being disastrous. Though to be fair, at least I finished this one. The other one? I'll tell you about that one when you're older. Much older.
When I showed my final project to the room full of teachers and administrators, they all kind of looked at each other and smiled politely. Someone whispered, what does that even mean? I thought it was obvious, but I explained myself anyway.
You're not getting along with someone? Consider where they're coming from.
Someone shares something they wrote in class? Shut your mouth and listen.
You don't like the book we're reading? Think about how long the author spent writing it.
Respect the f--king story.
Even if it's not for you.