CINEMA OF KIRSTEN DUNST
It’s all about the dimples and the eyes, is what The Duke would
suggest. Pasolini had a face like a walrus’s arse. Goddard liked
to think he was hip, but truth be told, he just looked like a
smug motherfucker. Eisenstein was handsome, for sure, but I’m
guessing he just arranged all those sailors in such a way that
their burly machismo reflected onto him.
“Stand a little further to the left, various communists,
especially you, with the top off and the muscles. You stand right
over there, parallel to me, is what. You fuckers with no teeth
can hide behind that boat.”
Probably when he went out, though, he took all the no-teeth
folks with him. The sailors were told to stay in the damn bunks,
is what, like when you go to a nightclub or maybe the
discothèque or a barn-dance, and you take the most pathetic
looking people you can find, so as you look all the better.
Imagine wandering into that damn club with three topless sailors
either side. A motherfucking walking illusion is what you’d be.
So anyway, whilst The Duke is far from a body-fascist or any a
that shit, I have consulted various diagrams, pie-charts,
astrological measurements, and have discovered that it is,
indeed, the dimples and the eyes that ensure The Motherfucking
Cinema Of Kirsten Dunst is preferable to even the most inventive
of Italian fare.
Not that there aren’t parallels with these masters of yore. Both
Eisenstein and Kirsten, for example, have a Strike! in the
filmography, although Kirsten’s concerns an all-girl boarding
school that’s about to be integrated with nasty boy-types who
probably don’t even know a thing about cannibal cinema or say
motherfuck, whilst Sergei’s 1925 epic has all to do with the
factory’s and the rebellion and a fella hanging himself and then
next thing anyone knows baby’s are getting flung off of
balcony's and cows are being slaughtered in close-up.
There’s no slaughtered cows in Kirsten’s version, nor indeed any
baby’s being flung from balcony’s. This, however, is the fault
of writer / director Sarah Kernochan, and Kirsten couldn’t have
helped even if She wanted to, I’d imagine.
Although how anyone could see fit to refuse Her requests is
beyond even the interstellar intelligent of yours truly, i.e.,
Bounding into the barren atmosphere of Earth back in April 1982
(beating The Duke by a month) Kirsten started out acting as a
child in various flicks, being just a child Herself, and
therefore suited perfectly to the roles in question. Most
famous, probably, are the likes of Interview With Tyler Durden,
wherein Kirsten plays a pre-teen vampire, running rings round
Tommy Boy Cruise and Brad Anniston, and Jumanji, about Kirsten
and some other kid of some kind find a board game and then next
thing anyone knows Robin Williams shows up followed by a buncha
hilariously cack CGI monkeys.
There’s a sequel to Jumanji on the way, even though the studio
maintain that no, it hasn’t a damn thing to do with the flick
about the CGI monkeys, so don’t go telling folks it’s a sequel,
cause it isn’t, you sonofabitch.
The sequel, however, seems to be Kirsten-free, and therefore
irrelevant not only to this intellectual discussion, but also
just about anything you might have going on in your life.
1997, though, heralded the arrival of Wag The Dog, and a sign of
the greatness to come. What the flick concerned itself with, was
that the president’s been getting up to the old in-out with some
woman or other, and so a buncha media types are hired for to
create a “war”, that they might distract the voting public.
Kirsten is drafted in to play a young lady in some war-zone,
except really it’s just a studio, and Robert DeNiro and Dustin
Hoffman discuss whether or not to have some CGI cats in the
Thank fuck they stay away from CGI monkeys.
Wag The Dog is just one example of the subversive political
thinking going on behind Kirsten’s dimples and eyes and smile.
For sure, She may have provided the voice of Young Anastasia
for Don Bluth’s film about horrible evil Russians, but there’s
a socialist heart beating under that remarkable chest is what
The Duke would guess.
Social critiques abound in the likes of Fifteen And Pregnant,
Crazy / Beautiful, Mona Lisa Smile etc. Politics are debated in
the likes of the aforementioned Strike! and 1999’s Dick, about
two girls including Kirsten who meet Richard Nixon. Small-town
America is satirized, parodied in the masterful Drop Dead
Gorgeous and Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides.
The Virgin Suicides, released in 1999, is an incredibly
important entry in The Motherfucking Cinema Of Kirsten Dunst,
since not only is it fantastic, but also ushers in The Golden
Age, when Kirsten produces Her finest ever work, an age which
has yet to reach conclusion. Perhaps this age will never end,
and Kirsten will continue offering masterpiece after
masterpiece to unworthy slovenly lowly hounds like The Duke
who can do nothing but weep with gratitude and raise both
hands skywards, screaming unto heaven that God might note how
happy his work has made humanity, specifically The Duke.
Any the fuck how.
The Virgin Suicides, Dick and Drop Dead Gorgeous all surfaced
within months of each other. Maybe you think Takashi Miike is
the only one capable of flinging several masterpieces into
the ether within a twelve-month period, but what you need to
do is reassess that motherfucking assumption right the hell
now. To be fair, Miike usually has more swimming pools filled
with shit and also singing zombies and bullet-time cock-
fights and so on, but still, The Films Of Kirsten Dunst more
often than not have Kirsten Dunst, so fuck you Miike, is what
Kirsten no doubt thinks about it all.
Drop Dead Gorgeous is fairly unique in Kirsten’s canon, in
that it adopts a pseudo-verite approach, being a mockumentary
concerning a small-town beauty pageant. Absurd, you would
think, since the outcome can be deduced from nothing more
than the knowledge that Kirsten is an entrant in said sexist
charade, but the film has less to do with the “plot” and more
to do with the “satire”, the “social commentary” and so on.
For example, we get one of the participants dancing with a
crucified Christ on wheels, on account of she wants to appeal
to the old-time religion so favoured by the township. Even a
crucified Christ on wheels, though, can’t detract from
Kirsten obviously felt that Drop Dead Gorgeous didn’t go far
enough in tearing down these kindsa sexist rituals, and so a
couple flicks later She appeared in Bring It On, being a
brilliant skewering of cheerleader tomfoolery.
Bring It On can be noted as an example of Kirsten’s
occasional neo-surrealist flourishes. If you thought there
was no place for a couple musical numbers in a teen comedy
about cheerleaders, then think the hell again, is what
Kirsten would suggest, since look, here they are. These neo-
surrealist tendencies are also exhibited beautifully in other
works, such as Michele Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine Of The
Spotless Mind, and the earlier Small Soldiers, wherein Joe
Dante offers a critique of the declining influence of male
tradition in contemporary culture. I.e., it’s about tiny
little soldiers. We can see this as probably Kirsten’s way of
discussing issues addressed by Film Noir, back in the 1940’s.
Occasionally, Kirsten’s surrealist artistry gets mangled by a
useless fucking script (which She didn’t write) and a cack
director (who She isn’t). Examples of this can be found in,
for example, 2000’s The Crow – Salvation, which promised to
be best of the three, since it had Kirsten and everything,
but then shocked everyone by being crap, except for Kirsten.
Thankfully, there’s still animated features for when live-
action just can’t match Kirsten’s ambition. To this end,
Kirsten provided the voice of Kiki (also Kirsten's nick-name)
in the English dub of Hayao Mayazaki’s sublime Kiki’s
Delivery Service. She also voiced Kaena, the heroine of the
2003 CGI-feature Kaena – The Prophecy. Then of course there’s
1998’s straight-to-video The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, for
which She gracefully provided the lung-work for Becky
Of course Tom Sawyer isn’t the only literary source enlivened
by Kirsten, and is in fact merely one example of what The
Duke will refer to as The Post-Modern Literary Classicism to
be found in The Motherfucking Cinema Of Kirsten Dunst. Get
Over It harbours both explicit Shakespearian references, and
also borrows the mechanics (no motherfucking pun intended) of
his A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In addition, Kirsten’s
fondness for modern literature is illustrated by her roles
not only in Interviewing Some Vampire Or Other, but also
1990's The Bonfire Of Vanities and the aforementioned The
Whilst some might see this as a sign of a cultural snobbery
of some kind, what you want to do is note the source of not
only Spider-Man, but the sequel, Spider-Man 2. In case you
didn’t know, these are based on the picture-books, a medium
oft scorned in literary circles, but which Kirsten knows to
be of utmost merit. To this end, as with all involved in Sam
Raimi’s films about a fella turns into an arachnid-demon,
Kirsten invests in the role of Mary Jane Parker the kind of
gravitas She would offer Marion Davies in Peter
Bogdanovich's The Cat’s Meow, and will no doubt administer
in the forthcoming Marie-Antoinette, Her second
collaboration with Sofia Coppola.
The Cat’s Meow is important not only because it features one
of Kirsten’s best of all ever performances, but also because
it provides a rare outlet for Her musical talents. Not only
does She sing beautifully in this most gorgeous of pictures,
but She sings beautifully in Get Over It, too. God willing,
those fucking screenwriters will forget about historical
battles for ten damn seconds and write a film about Kirsten
sings and sings. I could listen to Her for a fortnight. She
really is fucking fantastic.
Incidentally, Kirsten, I’m working on the third internet-
released EP right now, and I know you probably loved the
last one, Stuff I Learned In Clinchy, so why not maybe Email
Me some singing or something, since I’d be honoured for to
maybe write you a verse or two. Maybe something about;
“I need a man
With vast knowledge of Pasolini
For only cinematic knowledge
Can sexually please me”
Who knows. We’ll improvise.
What it all amounts to is that The Duke honest to God
respects Kirsten above any other film-related individual, up-
to-and-including any damn one. She’s intelligent, funny as
all hell, and also has the eyes and the dimples, which, if
you recall from a few paragraphs back, were so lacking in
the work of Felini or De Sica. She’ll do a blockbuster like
The Spider-Beast, but She’ll make sure it’s got the right
director, hopefully someone who spent his adolescence
flinging Bruce Campbell around the forest, and then when you
think She’s gonna get predictable and do nothing but films
about things explode, She’ll offer us Eternal Sunshine Of
The Spotless Mind. She recognises the classic narrative
paradigm, as evidenced in the slightly-underwhelming
Wimbledon, but She’s excited by the unconventional, non-
linear possibilities for cinema, even keeping an eye on the
techniques explored in the likes of Spider-Man 2 – The
Computer Game, which She lent Her voice to, also.
She’ll offer her beautiful services to a surrealist work
like Bring It On, but She’ll explore classical Hollywood in
The Cat’s Meow.
And She’s even worked with Woody Motherfucking Allen, who
gave Kirsten Her first role, playing Mia Farrow’s daughter
in New York Stories, yet another reason why Woody’s section
is the only thing that saves New York Stories from a
Look at those eyes, man, that smile. She knows all about
humanity and the soul and so on, and She chooses to explore
this via the most incredible, left-field decisions in all of
Hollywood. Kirsten doesn’t play it safe, is what. Fuck you,
Lohan and those twins and such, is what Kirsten says. Yeah,
I’ll do a teen comedy, but if you think I won’t voice a
French CGI cartoon a second later, you can think the hell
The only worrying thing, in fact, regarding Kirsten and Her
cinema, is how She wants to hang around with that Darko
The Motherfucking Cinema Of Pier Palo Pasolini
The Motherfucking Cinema Of Woody Allen
Drop The Duke A Line And Make Him Smile