I love very few films more than Moonlight. I hate few films more than La La Land.
Nothing has filled me with more nebulous, creeping fear, than Beauty and the Beast. I am terrified of what this movie has done. How easily I am manipulated into a false sense of safety and joy. How easy it is to weaponize nostalgia against myself.
Two terrified, bleeding thumbs up. Dear god. I hate that I liked this movie.
Beauty and the Beast is the sensation of experiencing the Capgras delusion as a child, where the person tucking you in at night looks and acts just like your parent, but is not your parent. They feel like a total stranger. And all of my friends who love this film (like me) are like siblings who are SO READY to believe that this rough beast is Mommy. Even though we know that this is an impostor.
Saw Beauty and the Beast yesterday. I am the enabler of my slaver. I cannot give this movie a negative or positive review. Instead of a review of the film, I am going to give a review of myself:
a. What is wrong with me?
b. What was I even expecting from this movie?
c. Why do I feel like a kid that is too big for the McDonald’s playpen?
d. Am I so hard-hearted that this movie could not reach me? Is my criticism about the movie or the industry?
e. Am I a cliche?
f. Why does this movie feel like someone just tried to wipe my adult ass?
g. Did I like this? I think I liked this?
h. Am I a white woman? I do not think that I am a white woman.
i. I am unable to even pick out anything related to politics related to this movie… I did not expect for it to be very perfect in that regard… but also… it is not innocent.
I love this movie the way someone who is imprisoned in a castle loves their captor.
I think this movie is fucked up and weird and I am in love with the sense of terror it has instilled in me. I have never questioned the fabric of who and what I am as an audience member as hard as I have after seeing this movie.
WHO AM I? WHAT WAS THIS? AN OLD FRIEND? NO. MUCH SCARIER. BUT I DON’T KNOW WHY.
Maybe Lion King won’t be as scary.
*I am unsure of what idea I am trying to express here. But I assure you that from this point forward, I will be performing my love of this film evermore. Until I rediscover what it was that made me human.