Is Avi Impressed?
Welcome to a new feature called Is Avi Impressed?, where I sit down with my dad and listen to him critique some of my favourite videos, which are likely made by people I know.
This feature, which I intend to post on a monthly basis, isn’t about taking the piss out of people’s work. No, it’s more about sorting through my dad issues, which includes constantly vying for the approval of a man who is so ridiculously impossible to impress.
Some background on my dad: He’s a retired editor who spent most of his career working on highbrow CBC TV programs like The Fifth Estate, The Journal and The National. He started 40 years ago making his own weird, experimental films, one of which was a hit on the international film festival circuit. Then he moved on to editing influential Israeli cult movies, like Metzizim. After that, he interned with Norman Jewson on Jesus Christ Superstar, did a few episodes of The Littlest Hobo, then surrendering his life to the Mother Corp., which earned him a good reputation and a bunch of awards, including two Geminis.
It’s also worth mentioning that my dad’s a huge snob. If he’s going to critique something (which is always), he rarely starts with positive feedback. Then, after berating your hard work with his honest, harsh opinion, he’s always quite tickled with himself. Hopefully that will come through in this segment so you can see what I’ve been dealing with my whole life.
For this inaugural feature, I showed him a video by Mister Heavenly, which was directed by Corey Adams and Alex Craig.
I know the pair from Vancouver and admire their work, which includes the mesmerizing, low-budget-but-you-wouldn’t-know-it skate fantasy film Matchotaildrop. (I wrote about it a while back for Dazed and Confused magazine.) At least two of the top 10 fun-est nights of my life have been spent partying at Alex and his wife’s house.
When I saw their video, I was impressed by how much chaos they could cram into four minutes. The images are captivating and speedy and it kind of gets you riled up like a 14-year-old boy playing a videogame. Plus, it has serious hipster approval. Well, that doesn’t mean shit to Avi. Here’s what he had to say (in his poor, ESL English.)
Avi’s summary: “The scenario is well-known. The little boy has his little dreams and his father is more monstrous than his dolls. He fears more his father than his fantasy or his dolls and it turns to be his fantasies win in the end.”
Initial Thoughts: “It’s violently entertaining. I cannot sync to the head of who made it. It’s a poor man’s Clockwork Orange.”
Overall: “For this day, it’s cliché. If I saw it 30 years ago, it’d be original but it’s been done over and over and over.”
Say one nice thing: “As filmmaking, it’s well done. I was too occupied by the images to listen to the music.”
Were you impressed? ”It’s well done. But I don’t know what it’s all about. They’re breaking the house?”
Want to try and impress Avi? Send me a video at email@example.com or leave a link in the comments section below!