Hit Him Again: For the Sadists in the Audience

One thought on “Hit Him Again: For the Sadists in the Audience”

  1. Hey, Mark. Always enjoying reading your stuff. Sadly I can’t comment on much except TFA and Revenant. As for Star Wars I couldn’t help but be disillusioned by the film’s drive to one up its predecessors through what is now the worn out process of magnifying ideas the series already used. The planet sized death star destroying a whole five planets is the kind of incomprehensible evil that laughably gets less than a minute of screen time. Yeah, the bad guys aren’t just bad, they’re five times as bad. The original series was cartoony enough for me to accept the destruction and move on but this was like ringing the dinner bell to a massacre then pretending nothing happened. There’s a lot of grace and joy in The Force Awakens but the New Order’s portrayal was awkwardly heavy at best.

    There’s one thing I’d like to mention about the Revenant, which is you seem to make the assumption that the film gives us Glass as some kind of examplar of the indomitable human spirit. His suffering is something to admire, which isn’t necessarily true. While the movie can get so macho it enters a realm of Passion-of-the-Christ-like self-parody, I find that, in Matt Zoller Seitz’s words, it “somehow travels around the bend to become beautiful and sublime before becoming ridiculous again, and then the process repeats itself, and repeats itself, for two-and-a-half hours, through gunfights and knife fights and animal attacks and avalanches and the like.”

    Revenant’s bare bones sequence of events does not say very much, but what I gathered from the film, its cinematography, the constant upward tension favored, its near malickian tone, was how small and ultimately inconsequential the human spirit, and therefore human suffering, really is. I can’t say more than this. I haven’t given it that much thought, but following the Revenant’s reception I’ve started to think that Inarritu’s films might be better appreciated after everyone jumps off the oscar bait wagon.

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