Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekly Esthetics, "American Psycho"

To give a synopsis of the film is almost irrelevant because, well, it is. Suffice to say that Christian Bale plays a yuppie serial killer who's tongue may or may not be planted firmly in his cheek.

The reasons I recommend this film are multiple in scope. First, the worldview is complex and offers a vast array of thoughts and perceptions, including the nature of reality and subjective experiences, an exploration of a mainstream cultural shift (though more satirical in nature), and finally a glimpse into the heart of darkness that may in fact not be as dark as the world around it.

Be prepared for some pretty graphic sexuality, (mostly) implied violence and occasional language. You know your limits. 

The narrative is fascinating, with an inner monologue that reads like Chandler if filtered through Tyler Durden. The pacing is slow, focusing on character elements and re/defining archetypes and villains. Patrick Bateman is narcissistic, cunning and uncertain about the strength of the skin that seems to hold him back. 

The film is technically proficient, though nothing stands out right now. 

All in all, I think American Psycho was a challenging film for me to sit through on the first viewing, mostly because I was stuck in film school and hated most everything that the other students loved. I still do. But, the more I thought about the spiritual and psychological factors of American Psycho, the more I considered how dare-I-say profound I found it to be. 

I consider American Psycho to be a far more interesting film than, say, Fight Club. But that is an entirely different post altogether. So, if you feel interested in seeing this, be forewarned. 

This film challenged me all throughout film school. I think many of you will find it challenging as well, and I hope you enjoy your Weekly Esthetic.

Ugh. Corny. 

--Nick

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