A Request to Jeff:

elph's picture

We're all awaiting your review of Bully!


I've not seen it... and all that I've read so far tells me that if I were to attend, within minutes I'd be obliged to get up and leave with tears streaming.

I hear it's a not-to-be-missed production, but my low tolerance for witnessing the discomfort of others strongly suggests that my attendance will not be a viable likelihood... :(

Just thinking about Alex's life from just this one review, does it for me...



Tycoondashkid's picture

ive got a request for Jeff

More one liner jokes

jeff's picture


Have I not been doing as many lately?!

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

jeff's picture


Typically when I review movies on Oasis, unless I'm at a gay film festival as press or somesuch, I wait for the DVD release, since that is when everyone on the site could actually go out and procure it. Not sure how wide of a release that one has...

Same with authors, tie it to a book release. Usually every interview has something actionable that is not limited by geography.

The only exception is Broadway reviews, but since NYC is the cultural center of the planet, enough people may get to town to make that seem like a safe option. I know previous reviews have led to Oasis members steering a class field trip to a particular show, etc.

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

anarchist's picture


I'm usually indifferent to the suffering of others. I'd probably be unaffected by the movie.

jeff's picture


I hate to prejudge a movie, but if it's marketed as an anti-bullying movie, one wonders about the point of seeing it. I don't need a movie to sell me on bullying being bad, really.

The interesting bit of the bullying/suicide stuff isn't the bullying, IMHO, but the suicides. There has always been bullying, but the suicide bit is the more recent addition as near as I can tell.

I think the Internet is causing suicide contagion amongst people sharing stories about how bad it is that a tragedy happened, but that sharing begets more. Now, that I'd go to a movie about quickly. Bully was on my radar culturally, but not personally.

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

elph's picture

I'm... truly perplexed...

by the comment!

I guess that I'm just too out of it

Regrettably, it seems that age can do that to one.

I'm indeed sorry if I've touched a raw nerve...

Very unintentionally... I seem to have been doing a lot of that recently! :(

jeff's picture


What part is perplexing?

No raw nerve has been touched, though.

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

Dracofangxxx's picture


How ~hardcore~ you must be
That's redick!

radiosilence95's picture

This movie might be nothing

This movie might be nothing more than Hollywood exploitation at its finest. Maybe. I don't know.

I've never understood the point of our anti-bullying campaigns at school. Let's get real. Bullying will never stop. We need to teach kids how to toughen up and face reality. I know that sounds harsh, but really. It doesn't matter how many Hollywood tearjerkers there are. People will always be assholes, so let's just educate kids on how to be strong enough to face it.

If a kid calls you a fag, unleashing a storm of press coverage and protests and illogical laws and candlelight vigils does nothing.

But that's just my opinion.

anarchist's picture


I just don't give a fuck about what others think of me. Like the other people at my lunch table (who sit on the other section of the table, adjacent to the cool people I talk to) used to always tell me that they hate me and that I should go, they'd throw stuff at me about every five minutes, etc., and they kept trying to make me feel uncomfortable by sitting close to me and touching me in unusual ways, but I just thought "fuck them," and ignored it. In the last given case, they completely failed and they ended up feeling mor uncomfortable than I did.

elph's picture

Your suggestion of possible exploitation...

...has obliged me to look more deeply into what I feel is the true objective of a movie that is guaranteed to anger and depress me!

Is it to "educate" adults and school administrators to the extreme physical and emotional harm that bullying inflicts on young victims...?

Or... is it intended to be viewed by the peers of the victims of bullying in the hope that they will suddenly experience genuine empathy and be so chastened that they will now willingly desist...?

Or... is its purpose to anger the young victims when they see that "responsible" adults acknowledge the tragedy in bullying... but are so conflicted by local social and religious pressures that they remain hamstrung from implementing policies that'd offer any hope of genuine remedy...?


So many imponderables... But I now readily acknowledge that Jeff's reticence to offer a review at this time for Oasis members is wise.

jeff's picture


You summed up why I'm not interested in seeing it, since you already know all of the moving parts of this topic. It's like going to a Michael Moore movie with the jokes and humor removed, you're just seeing something you agree with and walk out saying, "If only people would see this, then they'd know that blahblahblah..."

Similarly, I wouldn't go see a documentary on gay marriage. I'm sure they could find amazing stories there, as well. But I know all the angles already. I know the for side, I know the against side, I know the legal angle, I know the religious concerns, so... skip.

I go to fictional movies for entertainment, and documentaries to learn something new OR entertainment (in the case of Michael Moore, where I usually know the angles, but like how he tackles it and makes it funny enough to justify sitting in the theater). I can't see that I would learn something new or be entertained at this documentary. I might learn some horrible stories of kids who are bullied, and all of the stuff you mention above, but we know all of this before going.

That said, people LOVE seeing things that confirms they are in the right, and that other people are ridiculous. Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, and Judge Judy make millions of dollars a year doing this.

But for a movie like this, it's likely the wrong side of the bully issue going to the theater, people who empathize with, or who have been, the bullied, wishing the people who need to see it would go to the theater, too. But, they likely won't.

I doubt it's done for exploitation. I'm sure the filmmakers come from a genuine place, since this was a major issue recently, but more advocacy journalism typically fails because it works back from a shared and known conclusion, so it shows its hand before the game begins.

Without knowing his review in advance, I went to Roger Ebert's site, assuming he would say something that backs up what I said, which he does: "'Bully' is a sincere documentary but not a great one. We feel sympathy for the victims, and their parents or friends, but the film helplessly seems to treat bullying as a problem without a solution. I can think of one thing that might help. Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other “isms” grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity. Teaching prejudice to a child is itself a form of bullying. You've got to be taught to hate. "

So, even Ebert added his own solution, since the documentary lacks one?

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)