SUICIDE SQUAD - Letter to David Ayer

Dear Mr. Ayer,

You are an asshole director….and I would like you to listen to Harley Quinn and, “OWN THAT SHIT!”

I learned one good lesson from film school: there are two types of film makers, pussies and assholes.

Pussy film makers, follow characters who feel all sorts of emotions and who meander around their environment making little or even no action based on those feelings. The audience watches their characters suffer great pain, or even great pleasure, but because no action is made in reaction to said feelings no story is to be had, and the audience is left unable to invest.

Asshole film makers, follow characters that act out so quickly, so loudly, and so frequently, that the audience has no opportunity to identify what those characters are feeling, and fail yo empathize with said characters. Any story is then left feeling like a series of events. The punches characters make are like hollow ghosts flying past the audience. Words come out of these characters like thin air with no substance.

Yet, I believe many of the critics who are panning your film, do so because they are afraid of ghosts. They have never been to a haunted house. Yet, haunted houses are a fucking thrill aren’t they?

The scarier, the more gruesome, the more daunting, the more challenging, the better. The less context, the more the spectacle, the more tricks, the more slight of hand, the better.

Fuck story, fuck narrative, FUCK CONTEXT.

Just look at Viola Davis’ character, Amanda Waller. She’s THE scariest asshole of the entire film. Why? Because we have absolutely no or the bare minimum context as to why she personally is creating this task force, seeks power, or is willing to destroy anyone who gets in her way. Yet, she does it like a boss gruesomely without a hesitation.

Why is not every character as OWNED as hers?

Jared Leto’s character is similarly owned. Again because we have no explanation as to why the Joker is the Joker. He just is.

Why does every other character NEED an explanation to be an asshole? Why can’t they just be an asshole, and we the audience infer why. You invite hints for the audience to infer with flashback at times quite well, Harley and Diablo’s specifically. Their flashbacks act as incomplete vignettes of backstory, providing just enough context to keep the audience guessing exactly why each character does what they do. However, ALL of the introductory short-film introductions for many of the characters, debunk much of the power of your flashbacks.

Although, THE PUSSY in the room, is Flag. He is the Bill Murray to Enchantress’ Sigourney Weaver, BUT you’re not making Ghostbusters (unlike your final four man vs one powerful female spirit ending may suggest). His relationship to Enchantress ought to either have NO context until it is revealed till later, similarly to the reveal of Diablo’s actions of his past, OR just not fucking exist.

If anything this relationship is the remnant of appeasing pussy producers, executives, critics, and audience members who arrive into your film expecting emotional investment.

FUCK THAT, give me a ride, shove me around, scare me like the asshole I know you are Mr. Ayes.

And on that note I look forward to the next Suicide Squad. I hope you direct it Mr. Ayes and heed Harley Quinn’s advice.

Sincerely your fan,

Harry Bainbridge, Jr   -   HB no.2

HB no.2 Podcast: Ep. 5 'Paul Thomas Anderson'

Inherent vice in a maritime insurance policy is anything that you can't avoid. Eggs break, chocolate melts, glass shatters...

Enjoy this roundtable discussion of one of the most intriguing and respected contemporary filmmakers, Paul Thomas Anderson. The panel includes Harry Bainbridge, Martin Kessler, Jacob Sillman and Al Holm, and takes an unexpected approach to going through Anderson's filmography. 

HB no.2 Podcast: Ep. 3 'Film Canons and Our Favourite Films'

Because America

In this jumb-sized episode Harry Bainbridge, Martin Kessler, and special guest Jacob Sillman get together to discuss film canons and our favourite films. Tastes clash and controversial opinions are expressed by all!  We look at how film lists can create a film history narrative, and how our favourite films fit into our personal narratives.  We consider the issues that come with reassessing films that were not popular at the time, and mention a few films we think are due for a second look.

Our Lists:

Harry Bainbridge: 

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey

  2. In the Mood For Love 
  3. Drive 
  4. Rudy 
  5. The Birdcage (Mike Nichols version) 
  6. Good Morning Vietnam 
  7. We Need To Talk About Kevin 
  8. All That Jazz 
  9. K-Pax 
  10. Wall-E

Martin Kessler: 

  1.  Loves of A Blonde
  2. Alien 
  3. Daisies 
  4. Akira Kurosawa's Dreams 
  5. Letter Never Sent 
  6. Story of a 3-Day Pass 
  7. Starship Troopers 
  8. The New World 
  9. Andrei Rublev 
  10. Brief Encounter

Jacob Sillman 

  1. The Shining
  2. Once Upon a Time in the West
  3. 8 1/2
  4. Pulp Fiction
  5. M
  6. The Godfather
  7. There Will Be Blood
  8. The Lady Vanishes
  9. Seven Samurai
  10. On the Waterfront