Wednesday, December 08, 2004


What's the deal with quirky? I dunno, I just like it. 'I 'Heart' Huckabees' is the latest, not the greatest, but still pretty good. 'The Royal Tenenbaums' is the greatest and in good company with 'American Splendour', 'Lost in Translation' and 'Arrested Development'. That's the films (and a tv show), but there's also been some great quirky comics, anything by James Kochalka and Tom Hart and Scott Pilgrim by Brian O'Malley. So, really, what is it about quirky? What I like is something which feels personal and unique, I like something that has sense of humour but isn't just about the laughs. All these quirky stories have great characters that seem real and interesting and not just constructs to further a plot. The plots seem to be there to entertain and push the creator instead of 'making a point'. Interestingly all the examples I've come up with are American (except Scott Pilgrim, Brian O'Malley's Canadian I believe) but I think of quirky as a very British state thanks to classics like Winnie the Pooh and Monty Python, 'Little Britain', 'League of Gentlemen' and 'Black Books' are more modern examples. These all just tickle me in a way 'straight' comedy or drama doesn't always manage. Some of these things have been called 'wilfully quirky', as if that's somehow wrong, should we criticise horror movies for being wilfully scary? Of course not, quirky seems to rub some people up the wrong way, but that's okay, it just means there's a test to find out if someone's got no sense of humour or not.
Next in the top ten..... dunno but you'll all be the first to know.

1 comment:

Danny said...

I get the feeling people get 'quirky' confused with wacky, which does indeed suck. Quirky, to me, simply means something that presents itself with all its idiosyncracies upfront, and is perhaps defined by them. Take it as you find it. It's true from 'Ed Gorey' all the way up to 'Northern Exposure'.