Joel Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
"There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. He was one of them."
I have watched two practically perfect movies today. Each entirely opposite of the other in every way imaginable. Both were made masterfully, but in different ways. The stories were incredible, but for vastly different reasons. But deeper than that was something that cannot be attributed to technical prowess, only to the heart and intentions of the filmmakers.
The first, Robert Eggers' The Witch. A film permeated by evil and misery, a deeply unnerving and harrowing experience of a picture.
The second, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. A film which exudes joy and wonder while also portraying subtle sadness with hints of hope.
There is one thing that makes both of these absolutely marvelous, but completely disparate works of art meaningful and powerful.
The most important part of any story. The most important part of life. These films both understand people and present them in ways that are both highly stylized and painfully real. These and others like them are the reason art is powerful.
The best art showcases the power and potential of people. Some conveys man's capacity for wickedness and destruction. Others shine light on how lovely and pure people are. Both sides are true, and seeing them in art can help us make sense of them.
The reason art is important, powerful, is not because it takes us out of our world, but because it reflects our world. It shows us in clear pictures what is too muddy for us to see ourselves. It exaggerates and fantasizes and romanticizes the mundane until we can see the beauty and horror of our everyday lives.
We are works of art ourselves, but we are not as simple as these. We cannnot be only evil or only pure. We are both. At different times, and at the same time. We hold within us the power to create and destroy, and we do both. You are not as simple as a film or a song or a painting. You hold the traits of them, but you are far more complicated. Far more evil. Far more pure. Far more... difficult. But if you were easy, what would be the point in understanding you? What woud be the point in understanding anything? The world is hard and sad and wonderful and good. You are a part of that. You make it all of those things.
Don't waste that.
Show your art to the world.
Make it better.
Make it worse.
Make it better again.
Make it perfect.
Because you are perfect.
You're fucked up, you're evil, you're flawed.
But you are also good, pure, and wonderful.
You are all at once.
And it's perfect.