Hunger, despite it’s bleak subject, is often a comical novel. The narrator expresses a lot of indignation … But what is this indignation directed towards? The world? The worst thing is that there’s nothing really to direct it towards – except perhaps our own nature, which only inspires more indignation.
Driving out to see Saw 3D on a Friday afternoon I thought to myself, what an exquisitely depressing thing to do. I went to a nearby multiplex; on the way, briefly, it seemed like I could be driving on a country road; fall colors surrounded me, red, orange, etc. Then the Saucon Valley Promenade Shops appeared, an outdoor mall that simulates some kind of small town experience, I don’t know which one.
I feel inspired as I drive back home. Inspired that work can be fun, a place where I can be eccentric and ironic and have my ego reinflated a little. But, I realize, coming to every shift totally sleep-deprived in a state of delirium is unrealistic.
In a Western story, an individual or a group overcome certain odds and some sort of resolution is reached. In an Ozu film and other classical Japanese cinema about middle class life it’s more about families facing everyday struggles and disappointments.
I can’t count the times I’ve had conversations with my college friends about how irritating Derrida is, or Foucault, or any theory with a capital “T.” Now that’s all moot. I used to question the point of Lacanian film theory. Now I question the point of getting out of bed.
I thought that it was kind of a cliché to be so into it – some of the other students who had seen it even told me that – but I realized that even if that was so, Breathless was still resonating with young audiences, and there was something about it that distinguished it from other landmark films. So why Breathless? Why is it one of the key films in cinematic history? Why is it so fascinating for critics but equally so for average intellectually-minded audiences? What mark has it left?
A story of unrequited love is suggested by a few conversations, but is never resolved or even clarified. A friendship with homosexual undertones between a dentist and a monk is alluded to as well. In the end, the narrative is almost insignificant, and it is more about the state Weerasethakul’s images and sounds incite in the viewer. His films resist easy readability and conventional plot structures, and they engage a spectatorial response that I’ve never quite felt before with any other film.
The audience laughed during Splice, as well, and that is part of what makes it a fun movie. Splice is self-conscious; it knows that at times it is asking us to really stretch our credulity, and it knows that it gets to be over the top. It seems to acknowledge that, at this point in the evolution of scary movies, a film that does nothing but frighten is no longer possible. Audiences are too aware of the conventions of horror for that to happen.