I could never take the place of your man.
Wilkins is appealing for viewers who, like me, are sometimes guilty of trying to "solve" an experimental film rather than experience it, because he so heavily foregrounds the literary, teasing out the themes of his films in densely written voiceovers that comment on images, layer motifs, make puns and point out parallels, conjure associative meaning.
Of course the text of his films, even if transposed to the page, is itself a texture to soak up as much as a discourse…
Antonio Banderas’s character is named “Bardo”—this film about rebirth and karma perhaps marks the end of the peak of the American entertainment industry’s flirtation with Buddhism, after the decade of Kundun and Richard Gere and Seven Years in Tibet and Uma Thurman and all those Free Tibet concerts
Art is real, and the enrichment it adds to people’s lives is as material as the harm done to people by abusers; these different types of material are difficult to weigh out fairly, and if you see people tweeting things like “Lydia Tár did nothing wrong!” it’s because Todd Field has created a safe space for us to mourn what gets lost in the triage when we (necessarily!) prioritize the untreated wounds of the directly harmed—a lament which runs against…