Ritual

Ritual ★★★★★

When I first watched this as a teenager I used to think that the Director and the Girl were fascinating figures but somewhat abstract, but now I see that I was wrong. After living through many more years, knowing and loving more people, knowing myself better and realising that I probably have BPD, watching the film now these characters are agonisingly real. Which is not to say the writing is naturalistic — they speak as if the human instrumentality project is already underway, especially the Girl: all pretence is stripped away and she's a bundle of self-hatred screaming her feelings as she scrapes off pieces of herself.

Power lines, pylons, industrial plants, concrete, rust, corrugated iron, ugly block buildings, pipes, railings, railway lines, metal walkways, smokestacks, weeds, embankments, empty arcades, the abandoned building the Girl has holed herself up in. There is almost no-one in this world but the two of them. "A beautiful world with no-one in it”, like the one Shinji wished for. Rewatching the film tonight, I was reminded constantly of Gendo Ikari standing before Eva Imaginary in Terminal Dogma: “Together, the spears of hope and despair will become trigger and sacrifice. Fiction and reality will melt together, becoming equal as everything becomes homogenized information.”

"Are we still dreaming a dream?"

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