Friday, May 24, 2024

Unfrosted @ 3QD: More than a blooper reel [Media Notes 119 G]

I’ve now got a piece about Unfrosted at 3 Quarks Daily:

Pop-Tarts Re-frosted: An allegory about creativity in a corporatized world?

I keep thinking about it. My central idea about the movie is that it doesn’t hold together. Seinfeld is fundamentally a miniaturist and, alas, he seems to have conceived of the movie as a bunch of bits which are strung together and placed into a world that is based on early 1960s America. The result is a whole that is less than the sum of its parts, to invoke an old cliché.

There’s also a failure of world building. While I associate the phrase with science fiction, it applies to all kinds of fiction. On the one hand, we have the events in the story. On the other hand, we have the world in which they take place. The world of Unfrosted is not coherent. Note that I’m not using “coherent” as a synonym for “realistic.” The world can be as wacky and unrealistic as you wish, but it has to make some kind of sense. This world doesn’t make sense.

But enough of that. It turns out that my favorite part of the movie is the blooper reel, which is more than a blooper reel. The main story ends with the triumph of Pop-Tarts. Then we have a segment that’s common in biopics, the segment where we learn what happened with various characters after the main action is over. Finally, we close the frame tale, where the runaway kid comes into the diner and finds Cabana/Seinfeld sitting at the counter. Seinfeld finishes the story, the kids parents retrieve him, and then we get the blooper reel.

As far as I can tell, there’s not clip of that on YouTube. All we have is the song to which it is set, “Sweet Morning Heat.”

So, as we hear the song, we see a bunch of bloopers, but they’re intercut with the cast dancing to and lip-synching to the music, in ones, twos, threes, and more. It’s great fun and pulls everything together. They should have stuck something like this into the film itself, like that crazy-ass “we’re going to war” production number in Duck Soup:

There’s nothing realistic about that. As for coherence, it’s a music video fercrissakes!

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