Friday, July 01, 2005

Bang Bang You're Dead

The movie Bang Bang You're Dead is based on the play of the same title, by William Mastrosimone. (You can download the play from the web site.)

The play is about a high-school aged boy who confronts the ghosts of the people (his parents and classmates) that he killed earlier that day, exploring the question of what drove him to such a horrible killing spree. The movie centers on a high school production of the play, with the lead role played by a student (played by Ben Foster of Six Feet Under) who was expelled the previous year for threatening to blow up the football team. There's only one passing reference to homosexuality, so this really isn't a queer film per se, even though it has Randy Harrison (Justin on Queer As Folk [US]) in a major supporting rĂ´le. Still, the underlying theme of being driven to violence by relentless bullying will undoubtedly speak to many people's experience of growing up queer or otherwise "different."

There are a couple of other amusing cameos: the lunch lady is Dolores Herbig from Dead Like Me (do I sense a trend, Ms. Willes?), and one of the teachers is Janel Moloney (Donna Moss on The West Wing). The chief bully, played by David Paetkau, will be a familiar face to anyone who watched Final Destination 2.

Go Grizzlies! (thump, thump, thump) Go Grizzlies!

Long live the Trogs.

My favorite line: "Can we talk? Outside? Outside. Outside! Go. Go, go, go, go, go!"

Seriously, this movie is on my lifetime top-ten list. It also won 4 daytime Emmys, one Directors Guild of America award, a Peabody award, and the audience award for Best Feature at the 2002 Nantucket Film Festival.

BANG BANG YOU'RE DEAD, dir. Guy Ferland, 2002 USA/Canada, 87 min. video, distribution: Showtime/Viacom. (runs occasionally on the Showtime cable channel, and is also available on VHS and DVD in several countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and Japan) (IMDB entry)

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