Under the Silver Lake ★★★★

Explores some interesting concepts of cultural hegemony and media representation of women and the resulting hegemonic attitudes / relations that spawn from such representations. Much to pick up on on a second viewing. I forgot the touch of Garfield's character finding his dad's PlayBoy magazine when he was 5 years old. This early exposure of how women are sexualized in the media speaks volumes about the characters further interactions and perceptions of the females in his life. There are also the missing woman's Barbie Dolls and her favourite film "How to Marry a Millionaire" which say a lot about how her character is influenced by these ideas. Lots of Marx, Gramsci, Adorno and Horkheimer to read in here, with ruling ideas of the ruling class, hegemony, and the culture industry. It explores all of this stuff in a very entertaining stoner logic fashion which takes away from some risk of pretentious self-seriousness (though not entirely). Garfield's brilliantly performed dirty, lowlife character provides a great vehicle for these themes, as well. Pretty intelligent, but some of the dialogue definitely feels like it thinks its very 'woke', in a bad way. And the brief verbal mentioning of the 'male gaze' reminded me of the Donald Trump conversation in Knives Out, as in it feels like it thinks its subtle, but its really not and feels like the filmmaker just spoon feeding the otherwise clever and pretty subtle themes of the film. Overall though, a wildly entertaining, incoherent, campy, silly, stupid film with some great commentary and purposeful references to classic Hollywood. The filmmaking is a ton of fun and the numerous creative settings in the production design and the sense of adventure and discovery with the character is very exciting. It would be a very fun film to do an audio commentary on.

84%

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