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Misunderstood Gems #1: JACKASS NUMBER TWO (Tonight at 92YTribeca)

They said it couldn’t be done, but thanks to the open-minded folks at 92YTribeca, the latest Hammer to Nail screening series, Misunderstood Gems, has arrived to entertain, electrify, and confound you! Here is my own description from the program’s page at their website:

Some films are so good they are objectively great. Some are so bad they are unquestionably awful. But every so often, certain gems emerge out of the cosmos to confound and disturb viewers into a state of befuddled paralysis. As we look back on the first decade of the 21st century, we’ve decided to celebrate this latter breed of messterpiece, which we will politely call, for these purposes, Misunderstood Gems. When it comes to this strange genre, born of an alchemy that has no logical explanation, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are adjectives that simply don’t apply. ‘Off’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘bizarre’ and ‘huh’? and ‘WTF?!’ are far more appropriate. Please join us in paying our respects to some of the decade’s most head-spinning work. In addition to the films themselves, we plan to have healthy discussions that burrow deeper into what makes each of these selections a true Misunderstood Gem. We also hope to have added surprises at each screening. It will be fun, we promise!

As for tonight’s first selection, Jackass Number Two, I really don’t know if any post-film discussion is necessary. All that needs to be said is this punishingly funny—not to mention screamingly homoerotic—home movie opened in multiplexes everywhere and grossed 29 million dollars on its way to becoming the weekend’s number one title.

The greater truth is that, box office success aside, Jackass Number Two might not be that misunderstood of a gem at all. Which leads me to the greatest truth: After many years, I simply wanted to experience the madness one more time in a room filled with like-minded souls. So please join us if you can tonight at 8pm!

If you aren’t in NYC or are unable to attend, you can always buy Jackass – The Box Set at Amazon.

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully was born and raised in Maryland and now lives on Tennis Court in Brooklyn. His most recent narrative feature, Septien, world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects. In addition to directing Cocaine Angel (2006) and Silver Jew (2007), he is also a proud alumni of Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" club (2006). Visit his indieWIRE blog Boredom at its Boredest——for more sporadic personal updates.

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