The Lobster (2015)

Depending on whether one were to anoint Yorgos Lanthimos as the preeminent satirist du jour, and in effect acquiesce to the gatekeepers of cinema, consider the alternative. Fascism comes to England in a middling, alarmist, masturbatory affair that in my struggle to brainstorm areas of improvement for I’ve come up empty handed time and again. Continue reading “The Lobster (2015)”

Macon Blair Jeremy Saulnier

Blue Ruin (2013)

When it comes to revenge, no other topic inspires the level of hackneyed simplification as regards how two quintessential quotes get misused. “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Or its preferred variation among the highbrow intelligentsia, “Revenge is a dish people of class eat cold.” Confucian’s more misunderstood quote is equally overused but holds within an overlooked meaning. “Before embarking on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” No where else are the flag-bearing mantras as cringeworthy as with revenge but that goes without saying for a path less trod. In its defense, the latter example is not content with merely restricting the act to just its outcome. It stretches the scope to the series of events likely to cascade from a would be avenger’s choice. Basically, revenge is a Pandora’s box of counter-restitution. A portal to the endless questions to answer for at the end of the rabbit hole, if you will. For the previous quote, I’d always saw its author insinuating eating fancy delicacy, a luxury unaffordable to common folk, which where the people of class exclusiveness comes in. Or cold pizza the following morning, something common folk regularly indulge in. Which may explain the omission in the shorthand version. Either way, as vengeful fantasy is as universal an impulse as lust, the one glaring omission from Maslow’s hierarchy, I’ve come to understand the quote to mean that just like fine wine needs time to age, only a connoisseur would know when to uncork. And though hardly the perfect summation, it gets one thing right… revenge is not something haphazardly undertaken. Despite it being the soliloquy of the hand. This isn’t to say there is a certain level of craftsmanship to uphold, vis-a-vis winemaking, merely the due diligence to maintain your preservation in the end. The right vintage for the occasion? The right moment to strike. What murder kit to use. The cat and mouse aspect of the chase. These go into the process that by the time you’ve mapped it all out, you’ll probably have to reheat the oven, and rekindle the bloodlust. So there is some method to the madness. Personally, I subscribe to the Machiavellian school of thought which, considering its rogue leanings as a governing policy, has no practical relevance to vigilant justice and individual application. So make what you want of your payback, is my disclaimer. Now, Blue Ruin. Continue reading “Blue Ruin (2013)”

Terrence Malick

Days of Heaven (1978)

For an evocative exercise in imagery, Days of Heaven is both surprisingly and expectedly short in equal measure. It is worth noting that while not heavy on scenic diorama, it is light on dialogue and action also. The former is expressed with the help of deliberate editing, sending the film into post-production limbo of three years. The latter is aided by the intermittent drifting in and out of scenes, creating the effect of an eavesdropper’s intrusion. The viewer here is rendered a witness, a spectator, as the art form itself is stripped down to its elemental basics; images and sounds (this time) coherently tied in to context by the narrator’s voiceover. Continue reading “Days of Heaven (1978)”