Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★★★

I have been on this new medication and until yesterday I thought it had given me brain damage because I am unable to read and write at the speed that I am used to. That I only started on it because I found myself in a very long stretch of being unable to read or write at all offered no joy and in fact only compounded the notion that some threshold had been crossed where communication would from now on be impossible due to the illegibility and vagabond movement of thought. I knew this sitting on the beach with two of my closest friends, what they were saying was not entering my ears but only landing across my face. I would think for something to make this strange face say, but everything was moving through an opening into an old rusted turbine. I tried to follow them through to the other side, to ask whoever was there what they were doing with all these signals I was trying to send my loved ones, but I could never pass through the grim and discoloured blades because of course there was nothing there. Nothing is always different when you encounter it and this was a very quiet nothing.

Zack Snyder's Justice League is a strange and very heartbreaking film, that is always an elegy even when it is not an elegy. It is an act of lining things up, and rather than being deranged in tone and content as its predecessor, it only makes itself known by how restlessly it moves through what should be concrete. It is three dimensional but it is scattered and unfinished. Its voice, its continuity, is impossible to place because of the way it drifts and withdraws, searching through renders for some unknown evidence to put some mysterious thesis to rest. There are long stretches of this film where you are either flying or drowning in time that has been made as thick as soup and that is moving like the moon with the tides but rather than some eerie celestial body it is some undead life force that all it has is time and because of this has lost what it is doing except scanning and scanning and revising and remembering.

On this new medication I would find myself panicking that I could not remember sitting down or breathing or having hands and I would clutch at my hands thinking they were someone else's and where were they so I could give them back. I was doing this in the open plan office where I am currently writing a thesis on videogames and phenomenology. It was pretty funny; it took me back to being high as a teenager and pretending that everybody's face was not melting at the dinner table. What I realised yesterday is that this issue of literacy plus speed is not a matter of brain damage, but recalibration. This is not an impasse, and the frustration I feel looking at words that do not hold meaning, waiting for words to spring forth, is just the gap left by the mania that has revealed itself to be unsustainable. All that was between me and words was a manic life that was never entirely my own for the fact that it could leave me with nothing, not words or thought or feeling. I am now basically learning to read and write and it is insane, you have no idea how happy this makes me.

Why is it that Aquaman walking into the water to the song There is a Kingdom means something? It is not the song, it is not Aquaman, it is not the combination of the two, so is it the water? Is it the thickening of time, the fact time can be returned to and expanded, to fill everything? People have complained about his style, but at its essence it is about time and movement; the fundamentals of cinema. And its voice is that restless heart for whom that promise means something.

Max liked these reviews