Monday, August 13, 2007

Rushmore









Ok, yet another movie review. This one, “Rushmore”, from 1998 I believe, stars Jason Schwartzman (son of Talia “Yo Adrian” Shire from the “Rocky” films) and Bill Murray in another one of his reserved, bored, tired (and hilarious) roles. Schwarzman's Max Fischer is a student at the Rushmore Academy, and is either president of or involved in the BeeKeeping Club, Fencing Club, Wrestling Team, Chess Club, Numismatic Club, Debate Team, Cheerleading, a playwright, and on and on and on. His life is completely absorbed by Rushmore and its extracurricular activities, but he is on the verge of flunking out due to his absolute disinterest in what might be termed the core curriculum of the school, things like geometry. In comes Murray as Herman Blume, who as a rich industrialist who has endowed the school, makes a moving speech to the students in which the poor students on scholarship, like Max, as well as old Herman himself was at one time at the school, are to always remember that heart and passion can never be bought, and are to always remind the rich kids of just that. The speech is the start of a bond between the admiring Max and the industrialist Herman. A young teacher, Miss Cross, who is somewhere around 30 yrs. old, becomes the love interest for both the 15 yr. old Max as well as the 50-something Herman Blume. What follows is an absurdist tit for tat struggle between Herman and Max for the attentions of Miss Cross, with Max ultimately losing out. Max finally comes to realize that he and Miss Cross can never be, reconciles with Herman, and arranges for an apparently multi-million dollar aquarium to be built for Miss Cross and her students, as a gift from himself and Blume. At the end of the film, after a performance of his latest play, a Vietnam War tribute to Herman Blume (Max writes the play after once asking Blume, "...so, were you over in the shit? Blume replies in the affirmative), Max finally goes for the girl that has been noticing him for the longest time, little Ms. Margaret Yang. This, as I said wonderfully absurdist cult film, comes from Wes Anderson, noted for other such quirky films as “The Life Aquatic” and many others, is a film which I've seen several times now, and will probably see several times again in the future, whenever I need to see the quirky guy pull it all off in the end. A great little film.

Another film I've seen Schwartzman in recently is “Shopgirl”, with Clare Danes and Steve Martin, as the straight man to Schwartzmann (Martin also wrote the book from which this film was made). An older now mid-20's Schwartzman plays another oddball in this one, with a little bit of a different angle, but he is also wonderfully quirky here as well, in addition to being a tiny bit frightening at first. Turns out he's just weird, not dangerous. Another well recommended film.

2 Comments:

Blogger willowtree said...

Beekeeping club?? haha. That movie sounds quite humorous Schwartzman was also in I heart Huckabees right? I've seen the advertisement for shop girl and it came on HBO a number of times. I just never got around to seeing it. I just hate when that happens.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

If you listed all of his activities out in full, they'd come out to about 40 or so, I'll bet. BeeKeeping Club, believe it or not, was probably one of his more "normal" activities. I think he was in Huckabees, but I haven't seen that one yet.

I'd describe Rushmore as: off-kilter, dry, and hilarious. For Shopgirl, in one word, it would be "bittersweet". So there's the tone for each, dependent upon one's mood as to which to possibly view.

10:54 PM  

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