It was a long year of looking at the lives of others, and even one’s own life, as if through a glass pane, or a warped lens, the recognizable contorted into the surreal or the uncanny. A sprint to what was once quotidian and comfortingly banal tainted by a hideous awareness of the effort of it all to do just that. As what was considered, various privileges notwithstanding, “normal” melts memories of smiles into clownish rictuses mocking the very idea, the only solace left is understanding what little solace is left, and that it’s found in strange in-between spaces of not being the subject or the object so much as in the action itself. Looking, gazing, seeking.
Forgive the histrionics of making broad statements about the world or whatever, but, as others smarter than myself have observed, the pandemic was just an accelerated version of what was already happening. It is then, most dishearteningly, something from which we have learned so little, other than to be swept up in temporal and phenomenological slippages and distortions. Everyone is along for the ride. Yearning, desiring, wanting.
I suppose I was most drawn towards films about looking this year, or the ones that yank you out of that state to force you to evaluate what you’ve been looking at or looking for. It’s a push and pull between dream states, the process of looking the only haven, the only escape. It is ongoing and ceaseless. It’s all that’s left.
Here’s 21 films from 2021.Read the rest of this entry »