Under the Silver Lake ★★★★½

Everything's connected. Under the Silver Lake is utterly mad but the more I watched the more I loved its bewildering unpredictability. It's a film about films, littered with references and clearly taking cues from Hitchcock, De Palma, and Lynch. There's horror film inflections too, though Under the Silver Lake isn't a horror movie. It's enigmatic, about many things on the surface but difficult to pin down. Class plays a part, as the film fixates on the pretentious and powerful, whilst also focusing on the homeless and those who float around on the edge of society watching everyone else. Is it about how the wealthy want to leave us behind? This is also a film about seeing patterns and messages everywhere. It's about a psychological need for there to be mysteries to solve; delusion. It's about seeing things that don't connect, creating a holistic worldview out of societal tidbits: dead dogs, trinities of women, faces on a wall. Or perhaps this is a film about how pop culture shapes everything and hence owns us, about how counterculture is as submissive to power as mainstream culture, and no rebellion is possible when our culture dilutes and controls us. Perhaps Under the Silver Lake is none of these cynical things, and perhaps it's merely about a man eventually learning to face his problems. Or maybe it's just about learning to be quiet.

2019 Ranked

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