Archives for Matt McCracken

Conceivably Leftist Cinema: Blackhat

Mark Jessup: “How do you feel about this?” Carol Barrett: “Not good. It’s worse for the guy in there. I’m surprised you went along.” Mark: “Washington didn’t see Chai Wan.” With its opening shot Mann sets Blackhat—and our lives—firmly within the dialectics of rarefication and reification, connection and disconnection, proximity and distance: a disembodied connectivity and embodied disconnection. We move from the coming together of isolated bureaucratic monads to the emergence of a community of disparate people who test the limits of the abstraction-inducing dehumanisation such bureaucracy inspires. The state’s management of these dialectics to support—through its organisation and maintenance of the world—a mode of
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Conceivably Leftist Cinema: MAGIC MIKE XXL (part 2 of 2)

“Ain’t there something money can’t buy?” – Nick Waterhouse           Magic Mike XXL makes its intentions and divergences from Magic Mike clear in its very first shot, opening as it does with a new colour-grading. We are moving from diagnosis to construction. The jaundice is in twilight, as the escape of escape the first film closed with, by the very nature of Mike’s appearance, has been recognised as fictive. Mike, as is elaborated in the opening act, has come to a deeper understanding of capital’s pervasiveness and machinations. Rather than seeing the stripper’s world alone as
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Conceivably Leftist Cinema: The Lone Ranger

On occasion you might see me contesting—frequently, with genuine conviction, and no trace of irony—that Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger is something of a cinematic masterpiece—one of the greats of the 21st century. Such a view is not popular. Upon release the film was, as is well known, widely panned for its length, casting, tonal shifts, narrative content, and budget. Of these criticisms, only one can be regarded as anything but obscurantist nonsense: casting. This criticism is undeniably a site of contradiction when contrasted with what I will say regarding the content of the movie—as I hold that The Lone
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