Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time wounds all heels

Zodiac - scary shit

Since my last post, my personal life has been in a strange stasis. Having just hit 'middle age', I recently voluteered for a redundancy package to plan for my future and clear my mortgage debt. I knew full well the risk, but needed to take one, and despite having 4 job interviews while I was still working, now find myself unemployed for the last 6 weeks. OK it hasn't all been doom-an-gloom, I turned down two offers as I refuse to drivew, but the fact that I haven't been 'clocking in and clocking out automatically' for the first time in nearly 14 years has been liberating, but also brought me this sense of vague emptiness.

In my last post I did the boring nerd thing and listed my favorite stuff of the passing decade. One of the movies I forgot to mention that I really loved was David Fincher's ZODIAC, which I saw in the cinema. While I like it at the time, it seems to have fit into my current state of mind/anxiety, for ZODIAC is a brilliant existential horror film about he passing of time, and the reality that closure often doesn't happen. Like the brilliant Junior Kimbrough album of the same name. There's little doubt that Fincher is one of the most influential film-makers of this era, his deft use of modern digital technologies, electronic image filtering has created a trademark style emulated to death the world over. Personally I was never a big fan. I found Se7en to be a lame copy-cat of Silence of the Lambs, and another log in the fire of the crummy 90s and 00s 'torture-porn' genre dedicated to the suburban boogie man, the 'serial killer'. FIGHT CLUB is a film I love more in theory rather than practice, it reminds me of a typical Dario Argento film where 'the good bits' far outweight the film as a whole. I never saw THE GAME, PANIC ROOM was just camera tricks and tech, and BENJAMIN BUTTON was trying to be some sort of MIRIMAX movies, while sad and romantic, wasn't really memorable.

But for me ZODIAC is Finchers finest moment so far. The first 30 minutes of this film are the most terrifying in recent memory. Fincher films murder scenes in a cold, clinical and hyper-real manner, immediately reminding me of Kubrick's THE SHINING and mosdef FULL METAL JACKET. People die in clinical and painful ways, numbing us. and then the film turns, we are introduced to the triumvirate of major characters - an obsessed cartoonist, a substance abusing post-hippie journo and a cops who doesn't need another murder case. ZODIAC then becomes a heavy, European style art movie about character locking into an obsession of catching the killer, following cryptic patterns, faulty bureaucracies, but mostly, the basic trudgery of life going on, relationships falling apart, age wearying passions and obsessions, but always chasing that final clue...death? Failure? Who-dunnit? No-one knows. As the world crumbles slowly, via corporate dogma, middle-class denialism, global warming, the killers get away, like in Bolano's 2666 or as Jnr Kimbrough wisely said "
Most Things Haven't Worked Out". Not just 'scary' - terrifying.