Monday, July 10, 2017

Dan Trachtenberg: '10 Cloverfield Lane' (2016)

Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick.
Jack jumped over
The candlestick.

Jack jumped high,
Jack jumped low,
Jack jumped over
And burned his toe.

Dan Trachtenberg's 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) buzzes along with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as protagonist and John Goodman as antagonist in a cool, intelligent indie-style film, just my cup of coffee. Situated somewhere in the same universe as those crazy tales from the Coen Brothers as well as that of The Americans, Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, the first season of True Detective and even Twin Peaks, it considers the kaleidoscopic possibilities of good, evil and also, from a human perspective, dimensions that may be indecipherable. 

"Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you." (The Big Lebowski). 
10 Cloverfield Lane has more than a passing connection to the Coen Brothers: Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars in the latest season of Fargo and John Goodman has appeared in five Coen films (six including his voice as an announcer).

There is a distinction in magnitude between premeditated mass evil, seemingly random evil, and situational evil. However, for anyone on the receiving end of evil (or even just a hungry bear), these distinctions may be moot. The key is in how one responds -- having to make existential choices, large or small, in the face of it. See Flannery O'Connor for more on that score. In all such cases, this is compelling stuff.

Today's Rune: Protection.  

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I really did not like Cloverfield and was hesitant about watching this one. When I did see it, I liked it quite a lot. Far different from the original Cloverfield and much more interesting.