More soulless filmmaking from Scott Derrickson. Everything is geared around thematic parallels and empty homages. This is the sort of product one gets when harebrained screenwriting workshops become a filmmaker’s primary reference point for quality. Everything is overwritten and overplotted, and the explicit debt the film owes to Fritz Lang’s M is less a meaningful allusion that gets examined in some way than just a nod to other cinephiles that Derrickson has, I guess, seen that movie too.
Please allow the candor of my passions a forum without preemptive judgment.
The “post-racial mystique”, as Catherine Squires calls it, need not be found in cases where racial recognition unexpectedly springs to the surface. On the contrary, the very concept of being “post-racial” means that race does not factor into discussions regarding politics or the polity, because the urgency of those conversations have been lessened or even permanently quelled. Accordingly, depictions of history, especially those guided by nostalgia and longing…
When I interviewed John Waters in 2016, he said "I want to be an insider now that everyone wants to be an outsider." With the latter point, he might as well have been describing the tone of Shiva Baby, a movie so certain of its edgy, outsider status that we can rather easily dismiss it as an attempt to place itself on the inside. That's what Waters was getting at: self-describing as quirky, weird, unconventional, etc. has become a navigable…