If a self-proclaimed lover of the arts doesn’t acknowledge how pretentious the world of art can be, they just might be a total hack. As the winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, the event’s highest honor, Ruben Ӧstlund’s The Square is a dissection of the human conscience, served with a dose of mockery directed at the pompous attitudes of the artistic world.
As contradictory as it sounds, it’s difficult to make a film bad on purpose for the sake of parody. On top of needing to be cheesy and ironically bad, such a film needs to be genuinely well-made and well-written to boot. Films such as Airplane! (1981), This is Spinal Tap (1984), and Hot Fuzz (2007) are prime examples of a movie that’s made hokey and awkward on purpose. Similar to these films, Scott Sanders’ Black Dynamite (2009) is a parody of both action movies and the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s, which is not only completely self-aware in its ridiculousness, but has the quality to back it up.
The third installment of Michael Winterbottom’s “Trip” series, The Trip to Spain is pleasant and genuinely funny, with darker undertones than its predecessors.