Nothing matters, effect precedes cause, fish spawn in mid-air, and you can do whatever you want (Cinema, adult diapers, shocks)


This truly may be a new pinnacle of film criticism: what seems like a giant joke turns out to be the realization that the walking joke who is Michael Bay may be, against all odds and with a horrible sense of inevitability, the culmination of a lineage of sense-driven cinema from Buñuel through Brakage, Vigo to Svankmajer. The joke is not on us but through us, onto the emergence of sincere, drooling, anarchic - not anarchist - aesthetics at the very greased heart of shit film production.

Perhaps we have here the opening-out of Eisenstein's vision of a cinema of calculated physical shocks, the direct manipulation of the body's affective order by means of ways of seeing, cutting, framing, undoing. The difference here is that cinema's apex comes not in the hands of one who knows what he is doing or who grasps the political sense of this. Instead we get a noise bomb of sight, a pure explosion of effects dismantling reason. It is not full of stars. It is the sound of stars turning back on themselves, the immense gravitational consequence of great heaps money and sloppy jagged tears of meaninglessness...

The glittering digital wreckage, the shattered wake tracing the course of what cinema could have been and insisted it would be.

3 comments:

socialism and/or barbarism said...

(And regarding the review itself, it is worth recognizing the real worth of it also being damn funny and very sharp about libidinal investment, the drooling mediocrity of the protagonist and its overcompensation: "The more pathetic Sam gets, the more Fox's lips pout and her nipples point, like little Irish setters.")

Daniel Campbell Blight said...

One of the best sentences I've ever read:

"LaBoeuf projects a pathetic, wall-eyed dorkhood, when he's not babbling like a tumor removed from Woody Allen's prostate that somehow achieved sentience."

Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately in some abstract comedic dimension - I will go and see the new Transformers movie tomorrow as my housemate works at the local picturehouse and a free ticket beckons...

Ring-a-ding-ding!

Giovanni said...

I wonder if the film will be seen only ironically, for a laugh. My seven-year-old boy saw the trailer and it left him completely cold, in spite of the fact that the idea of shape-shifting robots is basically crack-cocaine for children that age, and he is not untypical in that regard.

I have this theory that Hello, Dolly was just as instrumental in ushering in the American vogue of nineteen-seventies as Bonnie and Clyde. There are films whose badness changes the face of cinema.