Ritual ★★★★★

i don't think there are many other filmmakers that understand the artform as succinctly as Hideaki Anno does. it posits it's two characters acting as two sides of the same coin - self-loathing, defeated, silent, wrapped in fused with mania, trembling, and trauma, an unrepentant core polished into an object begging to be dismantled. a perfect aesthetic work - immaculately structured beauty thru light, architecture, geography, and colour - as a dream of something attainable but empty, unsustainable in it's functionality as a machine that narrativizes/aestheticizes reality. the film functions like an endless stream of fantasies and dreams had over a lifetime - the kind that is built subconsciously, out of feeling and desire and drawn from what is in your blood, what makes you. the night sky, the starscape, is never really seen, but somehow I feel it.

the dream of knowing someone, of being able to see within some and know them as closely as possible or to find some truth of worth for yourself. i have been, and by that i mean i still am, both of these characters to some degrees. I have imagined myself as both of these archetypes - warm and cold, distant and untouchable or capable of intimacy. it's a messy and dangerous thing to want to hold onto both, let alone being them. the purity of the film's ambient musicality, it's massive structure, diffuse it's ideas (as much as they are present in their proper shape) into a sea of feeling. i'm swallowed up in this film. afraid and contradictory, through a layer of artifice this film reaches a human core that is more honest and lived in that any other I've seen. a cracked crystal ball.

so much that I'm straining to find words for but i can't - that's not the point anyways; the film does the taking itself. it's mystifying. it worms it's way into your soul and refuses to come out, to explain itself.

also just the best looking and sounding movie ever. no idea how they pulled this off; like how does one film have so many brilliant beautiful visual ideas? and that soundtrack!

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