The Manson murders changed things. It was 1969 and things seemed stable, history was progressing according to some schedule everyone had set out in their minds, counterculture had started to burn its way out to the fringes of everyone’s day to day experience.
It feels weird that they should make this a submarine movie, but thinking about it, it’s the only way to make this work.
It’s weird, before I write these I’ll watch all of the episodes I’m covering twice. Once spread out, over a few days or so, so that I can pay attention and get the experience of actually watching for the first time, and the second will be running through the four and taking notes right before I actually get to throwing my thoughts down. Usually my recollection is pretty good, this time between the two my brain invented a bunch of images that I guess never existed.
There’s this thing that happens late in this movie, after our lead has been quite thoroughly broken down, where he’s sitting on a bed trying to come to terms with his situation.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve said it, ‘I can be saved.’ I hope it’s human nature, why so many of us turn to religion, that need to be redeemed.
I have self destructive impulses. I know that every day being a step towards death doesn’t mean I should choose to hurtle myself down that path with all the intensity I can muster, but living any other way doesn’t make sense to me.
The opening shots make it clear, here’s a film where the constant, predictable actions of a computer have superseded reality. The digital, with it’s rules and frameworks, the fact that everything has to be somewhere and commanded and traceable makes it a damn sight more real than the mess that we live in.
Studying acting at university I had this friend who was one of the most committed physical performers I’ve ever seen. It was incredible, but also made him a terrible actor because you could see every ounce of effort that he was putting in.
These next four episodes are split two ways again, 13 and 15 seem to be interested in drilling down into objective reality, 14 and 16 go in the exact opposite direction, interrogating these character’s subjectivity. It feels odd to describe them out of order like this, but it’s really the only way that writing like this is going to flow.
I didn’t get the chance to interview Peter Strickland, but after a recent pre-release screening of In Fabric I was able to ask him what influenced the film’s sound design aesthetic. ‘Well,’ he answered, ‘I’d been watching a lot of those Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response videos — I think they call them ASMR — and really wanted to make one of my own.’