Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bladed Thesis

In the spirit of good ol’ Manny Farber’s termite art
I saw this on HBO On Demand – it’s probably germane that I loved Daredevil, but only because Brennan and I had a whole drunken routine to go with it, not because it was in any way a good movie that a human being might enjoy watching.  Anyway, here are the termite points about Elektra:
- Elektra suffers from severe OCD.
- Elektra’s father forced her to tread water over her mother’s objections.
- Elektra fell in love with a blind man in the previous movie, then another blind man (a woefully miscast Terrence Stamp) resurrects her and becomes her teacher, who then rejects her and throws her out of the dojo.
- The main villain’s superpower is apparently that he can turn into some nice 500 TC bedsheets; he also constantly tries to prove himself to his father.
So, either the movie is about the Death Drive, or it’s actually Miniature Elephant Art.  By Miniature Elephant Art I mean crap that masquerades as crap that can easily be deconstructed and redeemed, but in the end is still crap; elephants pretending to be termites.  That is, Elektra appears to be a dumb action movie, but contains some psychodynamic elements that seem to tread the border between trite character rationalization and heavily encrypted but interesting meditations on psychoanalysis; these meditations, however, turn out to be kind of pat and a little too easy to put together, which reveals that the crap was crap all along.  If we want to be a little twee here we could turn around again and award the movie laurels for being so mannered as to cause us to notice ourselves making all these critical moves.

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