For years now, the quirk has been building. Those "weird" films like Rushmore are a bit more main-stream. We've got Napolean Dynamite, Garden State, Little Miss Sunshine and many more that layer on varying degrees of the wacky. Now Michael Hirschorn has written up a piece for The Atlantic stating that "we're drowning in quirk." Yes, we've got more of the strange these days, but I'd argue that it's welcome, even if it gets terribly self-indulgent (and what I consider wonderfully, because I love some good, "self-indulgent eclecticism") -- like Steve Zissou and the Tenenbaums. There are two main reasons I welcome it:

1. Quirk is a welcome refuge from the mainstream.

There are innumerable flicks out there that tackle the same thing over and over again -- action, romcom, teen fare -- you name it. Quirk gives something that is at least a little bit different. In the world of the weird, there's space for the nerds, geeks and 'normal' people -- the ones who often become sidekicks and background fodder in the mainstream. (Unless yer a geek boy in one of Judd Apatow's features.) Thumbsucker, for example, completely relies on teen boy who can't stop sucking his thumb. While he'd be chastised in a regular film, in this indie flick he's the hero.

2. Quirk is sci-fi/fantasy for those who want strange worlds free of science or strange creatures.


For the most part, I'm not a fan of space stories, and they've got to be really, really good to get me into them. I'm a bit more lenient about fantasy flicks, but to me, both don't compare to the fantasy of quirk. The onslaught of the theme has allowed for strange new worlds to erupt. They tap into a lot of the same ideas, but in a much more recognizable format. Instead of elvish heroes, we've got strange heroes -- some fight to save their memories from a big brain eraser, others just like to wear silly caps and hunt down evil, friend-eating sharks.

So, bring it on, filmmakers! Give us more quirk, and take it further -- we still haven't seen Mark Leyner's insane literature hit the big screen! (Although he did co-write the upcoming War, Inc.) And how about you? What do you think of cinema's affair with quirk?

[via GreenCine Daily]
categories Cinematical