I just realised I haven’t written a blog post all of June. This is a bit hard for me to believe since I’ve had about 300 ideas for them – however, like the true spastic with ADD that I am, I’ve been unable to ensure any of these ideas make it to final fruition. However, since I’m going on holiday for a month from tomorrow, I felt I should give y’all at leats one post. And today I want to talk about Project X.
No, not some top secret government experiment that I found after I broke into the CSIRO labs. I’m talking about Project X the movie.
By now, I’m guessing most of you will have at least heard of the movie if not seen it. Short summary for those who’re getting Wi-Fi from under a rock – teenager’s parents go away on his birthday, he throws a party while egged on by best mates, party goes completely out of control with sidekicks fueling the fire, he’s fucked when he gets home, and it’s all filmed in Blair Witch pseudocumentary style supposedly by one of their mates following them. Oh, and there’s plenty of boobs, drinking, drugs and dubstep to keep the shit rolling.
I’m not interested in reviewing the movie. While I enjoyed it, I did so not because I cared for or about the characters in the way I did with American Pie (I didn’t) or because it was particularly well written or directed (it wasn’t).
No, when I watched Project X I was enthralled because I realised that I was basically seeing the concept of the “party movie” taken to its ultimate conclusion. I enjoy party movies, but what I don’t always enjoy is the undercurrent of sentimentality and morality that often permeates even the best of them. Project X has very little of that – when it tries to squeeze some in at the end it falls flat on its face. What it does better than any movie I’ve ever seen is take the teenage party concept to a level previously unseen in any movie before. At the end young protagonist and party host Thomas suggests to his dad that nearly two thousand people showed up to his party (with the house and neighbourhood in ruins) and this figure seems totally believable. I can't imagine how you could ever have a house party (on the big screen or in real life) that could top Project X. Well, maybe the same without the psychotic drug dealer and his flamethrower at the end. But still.
Again, boobs, booze, drugs and dubstep are not new to the big screen. But never before have they all come together with the complete lack of moral core and decency like they do in Project X. This lack of morality within the main characters is what most of the critics have been tut-tutting over before handing out one star reviews – but that’s the point.
Now, I freely admit that I’m not a very good human being. In fact, by most estimations, I’m a complete cunt. And most of the people I know, who I grew up and went to school with, are complete cunts as well. The guys in Project X are the same. I know I was and still am a lot like Costa. I had friends who were like Thomas and JB. There’s no artificial sweetness to them the way that so many other teenage lunatics in movies (yes I’m looking at you Superbad) are seemingly given in post-production. This is today’s teenager/young adult laid out for you. Don’t like it? Well, adults raised us and the media they created babysat us.
Project X is of course loosely based on cunt prince Corey Delaney and his party of a few years ago. I haven't met anyone between 16 and 25 from Melbourne who hasn't either claimed to have been at his party or at least had a friend who went, which just goes to prove that for our generation obsessed with fame, a brush with infamy is sometimes more than enough.
There's a particular scene in the movie when Thomas, on the roof with the news chopper flying overhead and all the partiers surrounding the house, flips them off. It sums up not only the movie but our entire generation - the finger given in faux-anger while reveling in the attention, knowing that this moment will live forever.