Under the Silver Lake

Under the Silver Lake ★★★★

It's pretty hilarious that Garfield's Mom swoons for 7th Heaven instead of, say, Sunrise, because it reveals David Robert Mitchell's infatuation with the minor, that is, the B-side of Hollywood as cultural space that invites those lost souls seeking prominence, and slightly adjacent cultural taste, as a birthright. It's as if, in the eyes of Garfield's character, the landmarks and history are evidence enough of a debt owed, one that might magically proffer the rent money and, as a bonus, the fruits of Old Hollywood as dreamed back home, watching TCM. Under the Silver Lake envisions sustainability as a snaking entanglement, melding dreams and the material terms of a capitalist reality into a place where easy access to parties and people carries with it a sense of self-importance that the spaces themselves have absolutely no interest in legitimating. Cracking the code of a place as deeply ingrained in the popular imagination as Los Angeles requires a clairvoyance that might be superhuman, or at least deranged. I couldn't help but thinking throughout this film of an interview Laura Mulvey gave in 2008 talking about how her famous "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" essay must be understood within the context of her own cinephilia and love of Hollywood cinema. As Nico Baumbach tells it in his new book, "Mulvey repeats the very trauma from which she wishes to free herself." That's Hollywood, in a cocoon, birthing new dreams and dweebs with but one intention: to simultaneously stroke and eat itself.

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