Disconcerting films for apocalyptic times.
The year of neo-neo-realism: Possessor, Vivarium, The Platform, The Chambermaid, The Audition, Perfect Nanny perfectly mirror the state of the world in 2020: pervasive corporate crimes, Darwinian struggles, conspicuous consumption, widespread cannibalism, widening inequality, children murdering each other, adults murdering children, children murdering adults, irreversible climate damage, genocide, people losing their religion, people finding faith. Komasa’s The Hater is the best documentary about gamer culture I’ve seen in a long time. The recursive narrative gimmick has become pervasive: Black Bear and Palm Springs are just two examples. The message is clear: we are stuck in a loop, trapped in a vicious circle, doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over, like wishing to go back to “normality” after the pandemic as if “normality” wasn’t horrifying in the first place. The alternative to this kind of storytelling is the sprawling fictional world-narratives of La flor (2019) and Dau. Live in your world, dream in ours (while you still can). I loved The Plagiarists and Apples’ celebration of nonsense and amnesia. As the cinema of 2020 suggests, this decade will be a bumpy ride. Fastening the seat belt is not going to be particularly helpful.Read less