Mar. 15th, 2016

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10 Cloverfield Lane was very satisfying. It reminded me of the Evil Dead remake, though it was considerably better than that one, in how it displays generic self-awareness that gets beyond parody/self-parody, and into some understanding of what this might be used for. The message, characterizations, tropes and thrills serve each other mutually, like a tent of matchsticks. Funny, re. Chekhov guns, how far Chekhov was from thick-plottedness, and yet still felt that plot was the ground for (nearly) anything attemptable on stage, doubtless accurately. In satisfying genre pieces all has to be expressed through hence taken up INTO plot (i.e. mechanism, though nearly always one ending with someone figuring out something of the mechanism, becoming just barely a Real Boy at the last moment of knowing), but once you actually GET this genre becomes something through which you can express (nearly) anything. The filmmakers here weren't expressing much, but it was something, and they meant it, and they liked saying it, and this was how to say it memorably and forcefully - and in ways capturing much of the force of what in life has made them learn or remember the message. And since they knew their minds and knew genre they never touched a single piece of bullshit. All in its place, a place for everything; and the place of those places is a place we know, and all is weighted so as to slide away and upend it, so we're left facing the side of that known place we never stop forgetting.

Corners were cut, but non-load bearing, and that kind of complaint's not a genre dissatisfaction anyway so much as a dissatisfaction with genre, which does dissatisfy me, which is why I take it so easily. Originality is not the point, at least at the generic "vocabulary" level - the real thing you want to say (the thing you want to say real) is at the sentence level, and old words are how you get it uttered fast enough to reply to the old objections the parts of your audience's brain you're sequentially surprising awake make on wake-autopilot. But I complain anyway, about aspects of the beginning, of the near-end; I just really like new words.

Relatedly, everything's starting to feel like genre. No, not everything. But nearly.

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