Sunday, 11 August 2013

Review: The Bling Ring

Okay, well I've been away a long time - laziness mostly. Well that awkward collision of laziness and business that leads to a kind of stressful apathy to anything that isn't immediately required.

But I'm attempting to get back in the saddle. I'm also coming back with something I haven't done before; a review of a film that's current - usually I limit myself to retrospectives and lists. But today something different. Why? Well it's not that this is the best film of the year or anything, but my good friend +Julien Faddoul recently reviewed The Bling Ring also - and although I agree with most of what he said, and he generally writes better than me, I wanted to air one or two objections and put forward a thought or two of my own. So here we go... my review of The Bling Ring.

Celebrities in the C21st allow us unprecedented access into their lives, far more than any 'ordinary' citizen would be expected to relinquish. Of course, this isn't enough for us. So we dig deeper, we push further, upturning the rug and rummaging through the trash hungry for more; and if those searches do not yield the desired fruit, we can always make stuff up.

If this is the way we behave as a society, if this is action deemed appropriate, then is entering a celebrities actual physical homes and helping ourselves to their stuff any worse? After all, the houses were unlocked and they have soooo much stuff.
We could even argue we've already stolen their stuff every time we model an outfit after our favourite red carpet arrival.

I don't know if Sofia Coppola answers any of these questions (she doesn't really get close enough to her own film to do so) but I hardly find this a fault. We are presented with dislikable characters in a dislikable culture and allowed to draw for ourselves conclusions regarding our own culpability.

Ms. Coppola avoids all the usual pitfalls one might associate with a 'young people commit glamorised crime in L.A.' kind of movie: for example the obligatory R&B hip hop music accompanying slow motion glamour shots is used, NOT during the robberies, but when the bling ring are enjoying the spoils - because isn't that what this music has become about now days anyway? Not people, not life, not action, but stuff. She's creating a far more interesting and perplexing product than the crimes themselves. Could one not also argue that this mirrors what we see in the world - not the 'crimes' that lead to the production of this stuff, this oppressive abundance of stuff, but the pretty little things themselves. This may be drawing a longer bow than is helpful, but nonetheless I like to think that Ms. Coppola provided me with amply elastic string to draw with.

Finally, two quick hats off (and because this is this movie, imagine it's a very stylish hat that I am tipping) - one to Stacey Battat for her incredible costume design a character all on its own. And one to Mr. Savides, way to go out dancing, good sir.

Go see the film.

No comments:

Post a Comment