The books around him symbolize the breadth of his knowledge. His computer's there because this happens to be his living room.
"[M]y primary goal: to get people in nerd culture to explore highbrow culture."
Greetings, cinephiles!Brows Held High is a comedy review show about Arthouse cinema. It is hosted by Kyle "Oancitizen" Kallgren, who rose to some prominence on the That Guy With The Glasses forums when he wrote a dissertation on Nella'sMy Little Pony epic.His signature style usually involves a lot of high-brow intellectual concepts, but explained well enough that they don't go over viewer's heads.You can find these videos on That Guy with the Glasses and blip.tv.A list of films he's reviewed can be found here.
Oan: Ewww. "I use menstrual blood as makeup in my show." Oan:Ewww! "It's a period piece." Oan: Heh— [frowns] ewww.
Later, in his Tromeo and Juliet crossover review with The Cinema Snob, he admits that he thought the "see how she rests her cheek upon her hand." line (wherein the "cheek" was changed to be an ass cheek) was actually kind of clever.
Alliterative Name: Lampshaded in The Discovery of Heaven. Oan helpfully notes that the Messiah character has matching initials, a trait "common to many great men of legend!" (he then points out this applies to himself as well)
The reason Justine is so depressed is because she's a costumeless X-Man.
Aluminum Christmas Trees: He mentions that the fox from Antichrist was nominated for the Palm Dog, given out at Cannes to the best canine in a film, but lost to the dog from Up. The Palm Dog isn't simply a pun on Palme d'Or, but is an actual award, albeit one given out by an independent entity, and that was the 2009 line-up.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Oan quibbles over misplaced Shakespeare texts and inarticulate voice-overs ("Well, I just don't think that the gentleman from Motörhead is the best chorus...") while the Snob is left cringing at the real depravities.
The disclaimer at the beginning of the Ken Park review warns that "This episode deals with disturbing themes. Also, there are huge spoilers for season 2 of The Wire. And I horribly mispronounce 'Tagalog'."
Oancitizen:Ah yes, Botticelli's "The Birth of R Crumb."
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Oan's cameo in Atop The Fourth Wall consists of him trying to decrypt a conspiracy consisting of copious amounts of religious, political, and cultural mumbo-jumbo, which ultimately concludes with a nuclear explosion, followed by the Messenger from Angels In America appearing before him and telling him the Great Work is about to begin.
Ass Pull: Invoked when he gives a high-brow, symbolic analysis of the scene in Freddy Got Fingered that involves Tom Green jacking off a horse while shouting "Look at me, daddy, I'm a farmer."
Oancitizen: Perhaps this horse's phallus represents the onset of manhood. Nostalgia Chick: And this interpretation... Oancitizen: Extracted directly from my anus, yes.
Although in the Slacker review he does say he "might or might not be a hipster". He likes a lot of hipster stuff, but doesn't feel like he is one.
He also doesn't like being called a Brad Jones rip-off.
For the character, dead babies. Including piglets.
Starting with the What Is It? review, if snails are ever mentioned or brought into the equation, You may be in trouble.
Oan screaming his lungs out after The Nostalgia Chick summarizes the ending of Der Himmel über Berlin as "a long monologue" about "time..and loneliness...or something." Film analysis is Serious Business.
Also, don't deny him the chance to sing in your crossover.
Bilingual Bonus: After hearing the nonsensical first line of Exterminating Angels, Oancitizen asks any viewers who have an idea what it means to send their answers to "email@example.com". In other words, send it to bullshit.
He closed "The Discovery Of Heaven" by delivering a few lines (unsubtitled) in Dutch.
"<No, really. Why is the film not in Dutch? It's not like there aren't any smart, talented Dutch actors that can play these roles. And I think they would rather do this than shit like Spion Van Oranje! [a Dutch comedy film] And another thing...>"
For The Idiots, Oan encouraged his viewers to look past the film's shoddy execution. "Let's face it, Kickassia had better lighting."
(phone rings) "Hello. Oh, hi Holly. ....I'm SUSPENDED?!?"
While reviewing the Andy Warhol movie Vinyl, he explained that Warhol was an untrained filmmaker, who gave little direction to his equally untrained actors, and simply pointed a camera at the action with little eye for context. He then forced a smile and said, "By the way, shooting the fourth anniversary movie was a blast.
Body Snatcher: For the "Freaks" review, Oan's body is possessed by Diamanda Hagan, who proceeds to dye his hair and paint his face in her usual color scheme and then do the review in a faux-Irish accent. He also feels himself up and comments "So that's what one of those feels like."
And then, when the two have a Cross Over, Hagan actually cuts of Oan's balls. When he asked for them back, Hagan said she'd mail them to him.
The time travel duplicate of Oancitizen he stuffed in the closet in his Primer review shows up again (and then gets killed) at the end of the What Is It? review.
A very subtle one. When Obscurus Lupa tried to review Gerry (before switching to Hard To Kill), Diamanda Hagan tried to stop her by having her minions find every copy of the movie and destroy it. In his own review of it, he mentions it was hard to find a copy as all the local video stores had theirs stolen by Northern Irishmen in black masks.
A little while after he slept with his wastebasket at the end of Trash Humpers, he watched W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism and reached the conclusion that he needed to have sex or turn into a crazed murderer. While calling up candidates, he eyes his dustbin with contempt and says "You used me."
Broke Episode: The Idiots ends with Kyle pledging to follow the Dogme "Rules of Filmaking." No lighting rigs, no animations, no editing, and Kyle hums his own theme tune. "This is truth!"
Buffy Speak: His early attempts at explaining the plot to Primer results in him just calling everything 'things'.
In the review of We Are The Strange, Roo's notes refer to every single element of the surreal movie as "thingies." In all fairness, it's near impossible to get better terminology considering the subject matter.
Call Back: His moving announcement was full of them.
The mental break during the Eat The Schoolgirl review is the sequel of sorts to the breakdown from What Is It?
He refers back to two previous episodes in his review of 9 Songs:
Ed Glaser made two cameos in the review of A Serbian Film, first as his voice to joke about his resemblance to the movie's villain and as the NATO president who dropped fictional bombs in fictional Serbia.
Chekhov's Gag: In the Melancholia review. Diamanda Hagan posting Kyle's phone number on Twitter out of spite causes the review to end with Kyle receiving a flurry of admiring and supportive calls from his adoring fans, pulling him out of the deep funk he spent the review in.
Cliffhanger: Subverted at the end of What Is It?. As Kyle struggles to play another movie to escape the nightmares of this one, a narrator announces "Will Oancitizen escape his insanity? Will his next movie be a good one or will it be another Ken Park? Find out on the next episode of Brows Held High!" Then Kyle immediately shows up to say "My next movie will be The Fall, and yeah, it's pretty good."
Also in his co-review with Lupa of "Hamlet The Vampire Slayer," he tells a rapper to "Die motherfucker die motherfucker die!"
When Lupa hears that Oan is planning on reviewing Gerry, her reaction is: "Fuuuuck fuck fuck Gerry! Fuck fuckery fucking Gerry! Fuck fuck fuckery fuck fuck fuck Gerry! Fuck Gerry!"
From Vase De Noces: "So you're probably thinking: For fucking real, is there pig fucking in the pig fucking movie? Yes there's fucking pig fucking in the pig fucking movie! Look at all the pig fuckin'!"
Dead Baby Comedy: Defied, with strong effort, during his Antichrist review, where he mentions that normally he's above that sort of humor, but it's so hard not to make a joke like that when there's an actual dead baby five minutes into the movie.
This, by his own admission, is why he's never reviewed a Todd Solondz film.
I'm not sure how many jokes I can get out of abortion, pedophilia and sexual abuse.
After all, [menstrual blood]'s the only bodily fluid that has any stigma attached to it. *swigs from a wine glass* My semen is watery today.
Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. He struggled hard to snark What Is It? without invoking this trope, as much of the cast had Down's Syndrome and one member had cerebral palsy.
He says he's not even going to try to make a joke during the attempted rape of an Apathetic during Zardoz, though he does pull out of this depressing nosedive by making a joke about a scene immediately after that. "Here, have Sean Connery imitating Donkey Kong!" (Connery throws a barrel).
He and Diamanda view Eat the Schoolgirl. After spending a good minute responding to Diamanda's dare that he make a rape scene funny ("I don't care what George Carlin says..."), he finally gives in... and dubs the theme song toJemover the whole thing. Diamanda is both impressed and horrified.
Sweet Movie causes him to break down entirely on several occasions.
Almost averted with A Serbian Film. He spent the review explaining allegories to the Serbian nation that the director claims are there, looking and sounding like he's in excruciating pain all the way through, until finally he gets a nosebleed and snaps.
Subverted when the ending plays like a satiric deconstruction of the criticisms of the film.
Fan Disservice: After watching Ken Park, he says "I used to like sex. Now I can never touch a human being again!"
Fandom Nod: The Origin of Escargoancitizen, a live-action fan fic about Oancitizen turning into a snail, which was written In The Style OfUzumaki. Escargoancitizen has also made appearances in few other places, including a cameo in To Boldly Flee.
Snob:(rubs eyes) Wait a minute, wait a goddamn second... You're telling me that there's a 400-year old public domain script involving incest and murder called "'Tis Pity She's a Whore", and the intellectual crowd likes it?
Fridge Horror: In-Universe. He comes to the conclusion that the orgy in Perfume would have incest and sex with children due to people bringing their families to the execution.
Groin Attack: In the Zardoz review, Oancitizen takes "The gun is good! The penis is evil!" a bit too literally - he whips out a gun, walks into the bathroom, aims it at his crotch, we cut to black just as the gun goes off...
Humiliation Conga: Goes through a big one in his Melancholia reviews, where most, if not all, of the reviewers who make cameos insult him, and he appears to hold them in high regard—Obscurus Lupa sarcastically wishes his 50th video is awful, Film Brain chews him out for fixating on scientific accuracy over symbolic importance, and Diamanda Hagan posts his mobile phone number on Twitter as retaliation for not wanting to talk to anyone. He finally snaps when Jesu Otaku calls him up to suggest another crossover that would make him the butt of a joke regarding the Animation Age Ghetto.
Hurricane of Euphemisms: He ends up using a lot of terms for female masturbation ("flicking the bean," "tickling the tuna taco," "sampling the finger food," "petting the kitty") in his review of Exterminating Angels.
Hypocritical Humor: In the review of You And Me And Everyone We Know, Oancitizen introduces the main character as an amateur solo video artist, "which means she films herself alone in her room doing stupid stuff." Cut to Oancitizen, camera in hand, filming himself in front of a mirror going "Man, what a dork!"
The opening to W. But Kyle, tell us what you really think of the Bush administration!
In the review of Prospero's Books, he calls the movie pretentious for showing books that pertain to the plot before starting to read from The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
Black and White Thingy: Then we will celebrate with many scoops of iced cream! Oan: I... I can't make that line funnier.
Inadvertent Entrance Cue: According to the Revolutionary Girl UtenaThe Movie review, any time someone is confused by an artistic movie, Oancitizen is teleported to them against his will. Jesu Otaku notes that now that it's known, it's highly exploitable, and he then teleports away from the review, and once back, angrily tells her to not give fans any more ideas on how to misuse the spell. This could also be a meta-joke about how Kyle become the go-to guy for cameos about symbolism and artistic topics.
Kyle has sensitive ears and is very territorial about PHWOOLLIAM SHAXPAHR being reviewed by others. So much so, that he gets suckered into crashing Hamlet the Vampire Slayer.
Insult to Rocks: Freddy Got Fingered - The Chick starts to ask him how this film is "Dada", only for him to shriek, "THIS CANNOT BE DADA! IT'S TOO NORMAL TO BE DADA! IT'S TOO SHIT TO BE ANYTHING ELSE!!"
The Internet Is for Porn: In Exterminating Angels, Oan calls out his viewers for wanting raw footage of the French lesbians.
"You want porn (points upward), the address bar is up there!"
"[she is known for performing] extreme acts on scree. I went online, and believe it or not, I found some clips of her doing these acts. I had to pixelate some things though [cue entirely pixellated, flesh colored screen and loud moans]
In the Even Cowgirls Get the Blues review, Kyle says he wasn't able to do much research into the idea of cowgirls as a radical lesbian icon because "Googling 'lesbian cowgirl' got me nowhere."
Lampshaded Double Entendre: The Anatomy of Hell opens with its female protagonist getting slapped by a random man, who then just stands there looking sullen. Wordless apology, or is she just handing him a stick of gum?
[unzips fly] Oan: Hey, he did want some gum! ...'cause her gums are in her mouth.
Le Film Artistique: Aside from the films, and occasional film-within-a-film, in the show, the credits sequence is styled as one, including Gratuitous French credit "Kyle 'Oancitizen' Kallgren Presente:"
His film school movie PREtension, a parody of art films.
Narm: Oan bursts out laughing while watching the performance of the main character in Twilight of the Ice Nymphs when he monologues about trees, comparing the voice to a deaf cracked-out Bill Murray.
Never Heard That One Before: When Mario starts chopping off Dracula's limbs in Andy Warhol's Dracula, Oancitizen says the audience is probably already going through the Black Knight's dialogue from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in their heads, and says they really need to do some reading on media saturation.
"Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: An on-screen message pops up during '90s Kid's rant about the finer aspects of The Doom Generation to tell us that his words were actually part of the film's marketing.
Assuring that his MythBusters reference wasn't just random. Jamie Hyneman really did work the special effects on Naked Lunch.
The most memorable line in Sleeping Beauty. Kyle just made you think too hard about labia!
Not so Above It All: During his crossover with Film Brain on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, FB catches Oan reading the graphic novel and calls him out on it. Later, Oan is raging over the movie's many changes from the book, and realizes he's become a fanboy.
Not So Different: In the review of The Girlfriend Experience, he 'inadvertently' draws similarities between escort and porn wesites, and being an internet reviewer. At the end of the review, he goes to work on his other job, as a host on webcam site LiveJasmin
Possibly one of the reasons some see him as a The Cinema Snob ripoff is that the difference between a lot of his "arthouse" films and the Snob's exploitation movies seems to be purely In Name Only, as they both tend to contain similarly dark and disturbing content. (The other reason is that Kyle is a straight version of what the Snob is a parody of—a sophisticated cinemaphile.) This is lampshaded in the Tromeo And Juliet review.
The TGWTG menu screen even described his crossover with The Cinema Snob as "A sheltered, hairy, condescending man who talks about porn for a living meets a a sheltered, hairy, condescending man who talks about "erotica" for a living!"
"I'm more than three-fourths of the way through a film starring Rose McGowan, and I finally make a Charmed reference. Go me."
Tideland's deranged beekeeper. "Aaaaand meme in 3....2....1..."
When a character in Ken Park randomly asks his girlfriend's mother, "can I eat you out?", Kyle explains that even though it's become cliché, he now has to play the infamous scene from Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.
The 24 jokes whenever Kiefer Sutherland appears on-screen. (in Melancholia, he even lampshades with "Well, that was an easy joke") He can kill you with a bathtowel; try buying him as a different character after that.
"Oh, don't worry. It's normal that it's taking our atmosphere that we can't replace. Stop being a wuss! Oh, right, I forgot. It's only taking the air that non-badasses need."
In W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism, he even anticipates and puts the text "OVERUSED JOKE" as he plays "OOOH YEAH!" and pastes the Kool-Aid Man over a man breaking through a wall.
Odd Couple: With Obscurus Lupa in their Hamlet the Vampire Slayer review; he's a highbrow critic and serious intellectual, she's a cheerfully goofy schlock reviewer who doesn't understand long words.
Ode To Joy: Accompanies the words "OMG A CUT" when Warhol finally runs out of film.
Oh Crap: During the "Otto" review, when he realizes he is about to see a gay zombie orgy.
During the Trash Humpers review (bear in mind, babies... don't tend to fare well in these kinds of movies):
"Was that a baby?...(looks horrified) Was that a baby?!"
Yet again during The Brown Bunny, when he discovers, to his abject horror, that the film is revisiting Gerry.
Mid way through the first part of his review of Melancholia "By the way, TV Tropes thinks I'm Catholic. Don't know why."
Old Shame: When he posted the old review of The Girlfriend Experience on TGWTG, some comments came in, which he agreed with about the review coming off as slutshaming, and he contemplated removing the review altogether. He did say the intent wasn't to mock Sasha Grey for her adult film work, but the message he meant didn't come across clearly.
OOC Is Serious Business: In most reviews, even if he dislikes a movie he'll at least attempt to analyze it. That said, you can tell he particularly doesn't like Vase de Noces when he quickly starts raging only a several minutes in, complete with Cluster F-Bomb, Angrish and generally ranting throughout the review.
Papa Wolf: In universe, he will get very angry if women, children and animals are harmed during a film he is reviewing. Out of universe, he's very much this for his fellow reviewers, especially Obscurus Lupa, who he's publicly defended on many occasions.
Phantasy Spelling: Oancitizen jokes that Mandragora from Twilight of the Ice Nymphs is "also probably a place for people who spell 'fairy' as 'faerie.'"
Pass the Popcorn: Admittedly as what he's doing is in fact watching movies him breaking out a bowl of it in a review normally would be considered a normal film watching activity. However he's an arthouse film reviewer which people don't usually associate with popcorn, therefore he uses it in his review of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai to highlight the more action movie aspects of some of the scenes.
(stuffing his face) "Ohh, right, the—the appropriation of foreign philosophies and the separation of idiosyncratic cultures, yeah, yeah."
Psychic Nosebleed: Happens as Oancitizen struggles to talk about A Serbian Film's messages... then he snaps out. (in the bloopers, Kyle points out that given how much corn syrup he put on his nose for the scene, that could have been actual blood!)
The first (translated) sentence of Exterminating Angels is: "The lampposts are in need of their long scarlet coats." Oancitizen dares the audience to explain what that means. There's also a later reference to "blood of airports...flooding blue grass."
"Hamlet's a cheerleader. Why is Hamlet a cheerleader?"
Reference Overdosed: Used mainly to showcase similar tropes or ideas in more mainstream movies to help de-mystify the films to his audience.
Refuge in Audacity: He comes to the conclusion that A Serbian Film is attempting this, and since True Art always crosses a line of some sort, this is why he must review the movie despite The Cinema Snob and Phelous having also done it before.
"What Is It" was deliberately filled with all sorts of offensive things, the point being that the audience was to decide which of them was actually offensive. Oan takes umbrage at this, though, and says, "This is not art. This is trolling!"
Retraux: The intro to BHH shows a montage of auteur films, beginning with classics such as Citizen Kane and ending withGerry and Trash Humpers, giving them the illusion of being old-timey films.
Rooting for the Empire: During his review of the Roberto Benigni version of Pinocchio, Oancitizen's loathing of the fifty something hyperactive actor's portrayal of the six year old puppet drives him to cackle and cheer for any character attempting to harm or murder the title character.
The Scream: Time to introduce Lupa's favorite Shakesperan characters: Rosenchad and Guildebrad! "Yo!" "'Sup?!"
Lupa: Geddit? Rosen— hey, where'd you go? [cut to bathroom door] Oan: NYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOHHHGODIWILLNEVERRRAAAAAAAAAUUUUUGHGH!!!
Self-Deprecation: Oancitizen. Apparently, the man ain't gettin' any. He is quick to point out flaws and mistakes during commentaries.
During his Naked Lunch review, he "telepathically" confesses that he does this show to cover up his insecurities about his intelligence.
The longstanding "Cinema Snob ripoff" charge was spoofed in their crossover together.
Snob: Oh, come off it. We're nothing alike. Your suit is....green.
...Along with Kyle and Brad's dodgy acting.
Brad: You didn't even memorize your lines! Oan:(looks down at script) "I have no idea what you mean."
On the supposed panty-peeling attractiveness of Oliver Reed: "I just don't see the appeal of round-faced, dark-haired snobby guys with prominent facial hair."
His oft-cantankerous persona on Twitter was directly addressed in Melancholia. It turns out that Oan has been grappling with depression and ennui, and he has chosen to document those arguments with his fellow contributors on video for posterity. "I get in a funk sometimes."
"So just remember, when you're trying to settle serious relationship issues with your special lady, bust her water main open and then invite her to dance. She'll be thrilled! Utena told me so!" invoked
Oan: [dials phone] Hi, mom! Yeah, I just got done watching this French film and—FUCK YOU!
His epitaph for Gerry. Hey, it did one thing fantastically right.
"You really feel like you're lost in a desert. The scenery is repetitive, the sounds vacant. You wander aimlessly, every minute spent praying that the end to come. It will come when you reach the finish, or it will come with your own death. Hell, at some points you even begin to feel a little dehydrated at this movie. And should you emerge alive, you spend every waking minute wishing that you had never taken that wrong turn (or pushed that play button) and been dropped into a vast wasteland, traumatized by the void that you were dropped into — and may never escape.
Stealth Pun: The title. While he reviews "Highbrow" films, many of the films we see tend to raise Oan's eyebrows in a different way.
Oan's trials in the Melancholia review mirrors Justine's in the film. His review is constantly interrupted by fellow contributors wishing him a hollow "Happy 50th", forcing Oan to act elated while inwardly seething.
Stock Scream: The Howie Long Scream is used in his symbolic illustration of an autoclitoridectomy.
Take That: Halfway into Exterminating Angels, he realizes that the entire film is basically a parade of thin, attractive women acting horny around a dumpy middle-aged man. What follows is a snippet from a Robert Palmer music video.
After being thoroughly mindfucked by the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie, Oan resolves that he'll never let himself get roped into reviewing an allegedly deep animated show or movie again. Then the bronies get a hold of him.
Too Soon: After seeing a stark funeral with black-clad mourners in a pure white room in Goodbye, 20th Century, Oancitizen asks, "So, who wants to bet Steve Jobs' funeral looked exactly like this?" He then raises his arms in triumph as "TOO SOON" appears to fanfare.
True Art Is Incomprehensible: A lot of his points are attacking this notion, either directly calling it out, or pretending to defend it while obviously twisting in logical knots. invoked
Unexpected Genre Change: His review of Angels In America is a completely serious, highly emotional piece that has nothing negative to say about the film and ends with him directly urging the audience to educate themselves about HIV.
The Unfair Sex: Turns up a lot in the stuff he reviews, be it averted, subverted or played straight. Of particular merit in this regard is Antichrist and Anatomie de l'Enfer, which deconstruct and defend this trope, respectively.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: One of his in-universe specialties is finding deep symbolism where it almost certainly doesn't exist. This is emphasized in his early blog posts and "Between The Lines" videos.
Oan: Would it be too didactic to reference Grotowski's Toward a Poor Theatre? Lupa: I have no idea what any of those words mean.
Played around with in his review of A Serbian Film. Instead of discussing much of the film's plot, Oan instead discusses much of Serbia's dark history and how the emotional turmoil of the Serbs translates onto the film. None of this stops him from calling NATO and asking them to bomb Serbia.
On a serious note, he says in the commentary that he does honestly believe that this interpretation was what A Serbian Film's director was going for, just that the message gets lost along the way.