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Saltburn: How I Stopped Worrying and Let Bezos Sign the Blank Check.

Every once in a blue moon a film makes yours truly laugh hysterically like a hyena on a nitrogen binge, it doesn't necessarily indicate the quality of the work in question any more than it does of the humor of I the viewer but in a world where most of what comes out can barely peel my attention away from the morphine that is my phone, any emotional response at all is welcome. If you've ever read one of my letterboxd reviews, aside from the obvious that I put as much thought and effort into them as well nothing with the low level of grammar to match, you'd probably think that I have a bitter axe to grind with the corporate film industry as a whole. When in truth I couldn't have less of a care. The anger I have is not born out of some great frustration to join in reindeer games but of a genuine apathy. I am safe in knowing 99% of what comes out is firmly filed under the category "not for me" hell sometimes on the odd occasion I do venture into that 99% I wonder who the hell a good portion of it even is for. I am by no means a snob, my review of Dr.Caligari 1989 will prove that but my taste in film is dictated really by one simple principle, I don't know shit about film. Did I study the trade at one point? Sure. Can I give you under oath a reasonable explanation of Mis en Scene and other stuffy things? Am I able bust out the five dollar trivia questions like what is a C-47 and how are they used on a film set? Am I the best damn cable wrapper in all of eastern Pennsylvania? Well probably, not to brag or anything but when it comes down to it I am as much fan as the guy who knows absolutely none of those things the only difference between them and me being a few thousand dollars in student debt. More than anything I know what a glorious pain in the ass it is to make a film and that while it isn't necessarily true that everything in film is intentional the vast majority of it has to be. I guess more than anything this a long winded way of me regurgitating what the movie Ratatouille already said in a much more eloquent and sophisticated manner that critics at the end of the day are ultimately irrelevant. Now that I've given my opinion the ringing endorsement it so deserves let me do what I do best and talk about a movie that gave me oh so much joy in watching the film du jour Saltburn, which for better or worse is as great a black comedy as I've seen in ages.

Controversy is always a funny thing to me as I seemingly am the only person who seems to be of the opinion that you actually have to earn it. Yet the title seemingly falls onto so many without the merit to be billed as such. Controversy of course is then followed by that oh so lovely word divisive, no folks this film having the mixed reviews does not make it anymore divisive than your parents arguing over which color to paint their beloved credenza that their aunt gifted them thirty five years ago as a wedding present that neither of them have the heart to throw out both in fear of offending said aunt and in the hopes it might break when they pawn it off to you when you finally move into your own place or go away to college. No that just means when and if you ask people their opinion of this film they're gonna tell ya a bunch of different things and that you should probably more than anything just watch it. You should also watch your parents too, wasted Saturdays at Home Depot keep divorce lawyers employed after all. As far as controversy goes, I have never been more reminded of prudish times we live in, listen here I'm not trying to pull rank and come off as the reincarnation of Bill Hick's Goat Boy (believe I am as vanilla as they come) but I sincerely ask what in this film was so gosh darn controversial to begin with? The weird sex stuff that lives somewhere between the average Ryan Murphy show and a less explicit Ryu Murikami? The full monty dance number or its general commentary on the wealthy which isn't so much 'eat the rich' but that the rich will eat each other? No I wouldn't claim so personally and I ultimately don't feel it should be perceived as such because what is being depicted on screen is ultimately as old as time itself, shock value is something that never dies because it can constantly be recycled. Geek humor is always relevant. And if you like me went to one of those school places chances are you had to read some Shakespeare at one point or the other and your teacher or professor probably glossed over one of the many dirty sonnets that old Billy Boy wrote into his plays. Oh we all know they're there and we all know why they're so often omitted but they are there and they are intentional even if that intention was solely to make sure the surely drunks in the back of the theater had something to entertain them. Well in the case of Saltburn it hasn't omitted any of those dirty preclusions but rather embraced them in a modern bathwater slurping light because at it's core Saltburn is the classic tale of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream and if you don't believe the film will out and out tell you so. Would I normally embrace such an obvious metaphor being slammed over my head in rapid succession with all the subtly of a medieval mace? No. But Saltburn isn't trying to hide anything, it embraces the filth of Shakespeare probably better than any film adaptation has in the century or so that modern film has existed. Just with a lot less donkey to fairy queen sex and more bisexual/interfamilial love triangles that may or may not include the swapping of various bodily fluids. Saltburn is about filth disguised as class and class that wants to disguise itself as filth and I say thank god for that because without it you have a formulaic paint by numbers thriller of the week starring a bunch of pretty teenybopper actors. Hell you could argue it still is that, but it made me laugh. Perhaps that says a lot about me or maybe the sins of any film are forgiven so long as you're entertained. Would your stuffy screenwriting professor like this, would they find it to be a balanced affair with purpose? Who cares! If anything them not liking it would be a bonus there are enough perfectly balanced films out there let one be slightly deranged for once! I'm all for it! This isn't necessarily a good film, so what it's better than the vast majority of amazon's other offerings that's good enough for me. In the vast ocean that is mostly geezer teasers staring some 80's action star or some offbrand superhero show that boils down to off brand superman being evil I'll take the the golden trash bag that is Saltburn.

I want, nay NEED Amazon to stay on this track, in fact I'm begging 'em PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MR.BEZOS KEEP SIGNING THOSE BLANK CHECKS! Remake The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, bankroll Brian De Palma so he can wave his Hitchcock all around for the world to see like it's 1980, I need it all! Put Sydney Sweeny in another Rear Window clone while your at! Hell fund the world's first nudist musical adaption of Macbeth featuring songs from Lin Manuel Miranda for all I care! If you people are going to make this world the corporate hellscape that it is at the very least you can keep making absurd films, I'll watch and write about them when you do.


Well if I haven't run off the last of my readership you can follow me on letterboxd @LAPisdead and I'll sure to be back soon with some sort of reductive list thing that everyone and their mother does around this time of year. Until then see ya later.

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