will’s review published on Letterboxd:
perhaps i have unrealistic expectations, but for a film that mentions heidegger, i wish it would have also been inspired by him, if only aesthetically. he is mentioned in brief passing, fitting in this way; the film is less interested in the world outside the frame than it is in capturing what it does actively. there are occasional moments that are sublime, but i really have to wonder why the most critically acclaimed films of 2017 are the ones least interested in being films. queer thought to me, at its core, is the illumination of what has been made invisible, othered. much similar in scope to heidegger's conceptualization of concealment, our truths require absence. derrida and co. opened the way to the infinite spectrums of binary oppositions always thrust into being and time and place and their unification and i wonder why this isn't taught as aesthetics, as a means of relating the camera to the world it is capturing. cinema not as a place of faith but as the capacity, of what is and what never was, simultaneously. none of this matters when everything's still so layered in words. screenwriters aren't imagemakers and if they are they're the director. imagine if the medium of literature's best known works were adaptations from comic books, or, more to the point, the default.
still loved it; most of my grievances are compiled further from lady bird. the performativity stuff is wonderful and so are those little touches by chalamet, his little twirls and frustrations. i just wish the camera was as interested as i was. are we so afraid to feel through the camera the way we must imagine those captured must? perhaps i'll feel the weight the second time around. easily most radical in its portrayal of loving, supporting parents. also, sufjan stevens defined my highschool life and i imagine if this film had came out then, it would have too.
2017 was the year we began to look at the camera.