Under the Silver Lake ★★★★½

It must be weird living in LA or New York etc and you keep seeing great films that are essentially love songs to your place of residence. I always wriggle in my seat over the woman in the red dress scene in The Matrix because it’s shot very close to where I work and the experience is extremely rare. It must be even weirder when your local shops are part of Evil Mysteryville as in Mullholland Drive and Under the Silver Lake. I’m sure I’d start perceiving the colours and shadows and people around me a little differently.

I came out of Under the Silver Lake with a feeling/vibe more than anything else. The specific, unnerving feeling of being Sam (Andrew Garfield) in that environment. He’s enmeshed yet excluded and wouldn’t be the same person in any other place because LA is the symbol of his dark shadow and inadequacies. The wanting to connect (or perhaps just consume/possess?) and be part of something amazing but then realising that he’s stuck in a quagmire and nothing he thought about himself or the world is worthwhile or even makes sense. But he still doesn’t ever reject it or try to move beyond it and find the light, he just continues to go deeper. The ludicrous mystery gets unravelled only to become more ravelled and partially solved only to become more opaque and we get the feeling that he will continue to be pulled under and not improve as a person. Maybe he needs to face naked owl woman? But instead he hides with topless parrot woman whose bird says “?”.

I did feel the length but only because I was worried about being somewhere afterwards. I want to see it again immediately. I think there’s a lot more to this discomfitting horror/comedy/satire. Or nothing. I also want to lookout for more of the background detail beyond the Spiderman comic that gets stuck to Sam’s hand, haha, poor Andrew.

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