No-Personality’s review published on Letterboxd:
My favorite part of being a feminist? The inevitable moment where I get to ask- is the shit everyone else tells me is so great actually great? Or is it merely considered great, when it's actually filtered through a hetero male white cis-gendered lens that sees it as great?
Why do predominantly male (I'll knock out the other bits, just to quilt over some of the lamb screaming) film scholars go freakin' ape (get it?) for movies with such absurdly opaque or cloudy-to-nil narrative structures? And why don't I just cut to the chase and tell you- I thought this film was fantastic but it left me with absolutely zero greater questions about the natures of existence, space travel, time, humanity, and the aging process. (GOD, that ending was straight up pretentious: straight up pulled, steaming, from the ass hole of someone who ate a lot of Fancy Feast with diner's cards for silverware the night before.) (Hey, love it all you want. But acknowledge where it really came from.)
Sure, it was a perfect film for being exactly what Kubrick wanted it to be. And there aren't any images I can complain about (even though that ending forced me to flashback to the baked bean scene in Tommy). As someone whose heart already belonged (as a child no less) to the likes of Westworld and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (which is a pretty natural combination despite their wildly varying levels of family friendliness), I spent no time fretting over how long it would take me to appreciate how the film was shot / set / framed. In fact- tell me this is a satire and I'll find a fountain of enthusiasm inside myself with which to praise it over Kubrick's maddeningly boring Dr. Strangelove. Which is meant to be a black comedy. (Mommie Dearest is funnier, Pulp Fiction is darker, Heathers is more risque, and Election is oceans more satisfying.) (And, yes, I know Mommie Dearest isn't trying to be a black comedy.) (That should make things between us nice and broken glassy for when I get to that film later this month.)
But the fact still remains, as was so well-put in the Gus Gus song, "Is Jesus Your Pal?" : "if you reach out for more, you'll find nothing but sorrow 'cause knowledge is hollow." Which still carries the true message, despite the band being pretty big Jesus freaks and me being a pretty big freak for reminding everyone of the fact that nobody really buys what he is selling (because it means you have to love love more than you love things, and love others more than you love yourself- and, I'm sorry, but the same goes for fear and concern psychoses as well), that symbolism is an often if not usually empty means of communication. Which is probably why E.T. gets most people in the heart and a mere percentage of this gets me in the Fantasia / Suspiria bone. And my heart is about as ice-tinted blue as they come.