Parody of Getting High

Like the video essay made by Tamara, the topic of the film<The Boys and Girls guide to Getting Down> is the parody of the fact how a group of Hipsters living in LA.area get high everyday. The form of the film is a little hard to define, since it  is part is part documentary, part narrative, part instructional format, so it’s just an novel viewing experience to me.

If you could have a look at thefilm, you could find that the film is divided into several chapters such as drinking, taking drugs, dancing and talk,etc.covering nearly every aspect of getting high for the hipsters.By coincidence, there have been lots of heated videos on Youtube using the form of “XX Guide”, sarcastically imitating the iconic subculture group”Indie Rock”,”Emo”and so on, which might have given the director inspirations to do such a film.

However, compared to those Youtube video exaggerating the characters of certain groups, making you feel fake more or less, the film is smart enough to use the documentary style at certain time to convince the audience the authencity of its contents, while the introcution of each chapter suddenly reminds you of its parody, which constitute a strange and funny mixture. In this meaning, parody itself maybe not apparent, you have to feel it during your viewing, thinking over its contrast with the reality.

By the way, I think the paragraph Tamara wrties in her blog is worth reading and considering again, about Parody.

” Here, I also examine parody as a way of engaging in the kind of resistance to commodity fetishism described by Michel de Certeau — using the products of the dominant culture in unintended ways. While parody is useful in deconstructing commodity fetishism, it has its own limitations. Because it constantly refers to the status quo, parody must always operate within the bounds of the existing cultural system. By adopting the form of the message being deconstructed, parody is forced to speak in its language, to reinforce the ways of communicating on which the original message relies. In short, parody can tell us why the system is broken but only by reinforcing the formal limitations of the very system it criticizes. Marshall McLuhan would argue that this formal language is by no means “neutral” but laden with meaning and specific as to what kind of messages it can enable and constrain.”

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