‘Woman is Man’s Symptom’: Blade Runner 2049

If a film is like a dream, then the images in that dream might be a good place to start: images of rain and sea, water, the symbol of birth and death. Of dust, dryness and colour, and vast space, of chilling winter and endless snow. But this is a peopled space – whatever we might take a person to be. In  Blade Runner 2049 Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford appear as rather lonely men (or ‘men’) surrounded by vital, important women ( or ‘women’) appearing in all the ways a woman might seem to a man: as mother, wife, daughter, leader, sex object, lover … Continue reading

KEN LOACH’S ‘I, DANIEL BLAKE’: A BRIEF NOTE ON TWO ILL FOUNDED CRITICISMS

(1) ‘It’s sentimental‘ . No, it isn’t. ‘Sentimental’ is when you focus on how much you are enjoying your own sensitivity. Sentimentality’s essential object is oneself, and it’s faux, inauthentic, self indulgent. ‘Love Story’, for anyone who can recall it, was sentimental. IDB is emotional: its object is on the people portrayed and yes, it aims to upset you and make you angry – that is, if you are emotionally alive as a human being. This is not ‘sentimentality’. (2) ‘The working class characters aren’t realistic: they don’t swear, scream or drink’. This one says more about the assumptions of the … Continue reading

Talking Like Adam Curtis

adam-curtis-films-in-full

I can say that I have sat through the whole of HyperNormalisation. It is arduous viewing, putting it kindly. It’s extremely rich, some might say decadent. If Bitter Lake was a cornerstone, I suspect this film is the excess that followed from it. Everything about it is overdone. If you’ve followed Adam Curtis closely, you’ll note that the footage carries with it his obsessions from recent years. He was writing about Iran, Syria and Libya on his blog back going back five years. For more 15 years or more, Adam Curtis has been able to captivate mainstream audiences with his … Continue reading