Thursday, December 13, 2018

LA Lazy Noir

Under the Silver Lake (2018) - Mitchell
This is a pointless, indulgent, boringass filmmaking and a direct result of a big-success-got-to-his-head effort by a young director. David Robert Mitchell was riding high after his great indie horror success, It Follows. Under the Silver Lake, written and directed by Mitchell, has the hallmark symptoms of 'I'm so clever, gimme all the money' (matte) painted all over the 2 and a half hour yawn fest. This LA lazy noir gives countless unnecessary nods to old, cliché Hollywood - Rear Window to Marilyn Monroe to Irma Vep to The Long Goodbye to Big Inherent Lebowski with tonally completely wrong Bernard Herman-esque soundtrack.

It stars not so fabulously fresh Andrew Garfield as a LA loser Sam (Spade?), a permanently jobless/on the brink of homelessness man who sits around in his apartment doing nothing in particular except jerking off to nudes in old magazines but snoops on his neighbors with his binoculars in his bungalow style adobe equipped with sizable pool. There is a serial dog killer going around in his neighborhood. One night he gets smitten by a swimming bae Sarah (Riley Keough) and has a brief cannabis induced intimate moment. The next day he finds her disappeared and her apartment cleaned out overnight. So starts Sam's conspiracy theory laden journey into the so called underbelly of the City of Angels - countless parties, death cults, coded pop music, 90s nostalgia, etc.

Silver Lake tries to be many things at once but fails to be anything. It is not a brazen satire of skin-deep LA scene, nor an anthropological study of millennial generation, nor the scathing critique of pop culture nor it is a straight comedy, because it didn't make me laugh once. It reminded me a lot of Southland Tales, another sophomore clusterfuck of then a hotshot Richard Kelly riding high on his debut Donnie Darko. All the actors in Silver Lake are too old for their roles. Their late 90s R.E.M. blaring parties are lame and tiresome, their boulevard of broken dreams ring extremely hollow but not hollow enough to be a satire. This movie is just very sad and depressing without trying very hard. This might be the worst movie I've seen this year.