Under the Silver Lake

Under the Silver Lake ★★★★

For those who pay attention to the chronology of my reviews (do these people exist? Thank you if so!) I watched this movie 3 times in a week, but am writing on all 3 viewings in one night... make of that what you will if you wanna.

The problems this film has that I spoke to in my previous review (and that seem very apparent to most other viewers) continue to loom over my thinking, but as I go over it more, I believe this film invites you to a more optimistic conclusion while reveling in the protagonist's selfish behavior. Once again I get how it may be a leap that many won't be interested in taking, but I see the film as a plea for a reappraisal of culture divorced from the white male solipsist. The difference between Garfield and his adversaries is negligible - the former uses art as a blunt instrument, some sort of tool that, if studied enough will solve his woes, while the latter does the same, albeit more effectively, and, as they are wealthy enough to dictate and influence production, with a literal, well-defined purpose. As such, this reads as a rebuke to the literally-minded cinema fans of today. As the director of It Follows, Mitchell is all too well-versed in this game, but the majority of those now interested in film analysis and criticism treat it as a puzzle to be unlocked, or set up rigid, nonsensical rubrics for assessing the worth of art i.e. CinemaSins.

That said, we are brought back around to Mitchell's boldest, and apparently ineffective choice. There's no follow through with the ideas, no explicit announcement that the film knows Garfield and his approach to cultural consumption is bad, and no indication that Mitchell envisions a future in the cultural discourse that extends beyond this type of man. And yet, I think its all there.

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