05 October 2011

2 Oct - "What did you find, Cortes?"

 Monsters (2010)
 dir. Gareth Edwards

Scoot McNairy (Sleepover, 2004)
Whitney Able

I've been meaning to see this movie for a while, and I'm glad I did because it pretty much met all of my expectations. It's slower than you might expect for a movie about aliens. It's much more in the slightly-documentary precedent set by Cloverfield in 2008 and then by District 9 in 2009. Of course, these aliens are even less anthropomorphic than those crawfish-like guys, and until the very end we don't get any insight into what these are like or what they want. They are just scary and far away, is all. This movie reminded me of nothing so much as this song by The Dead Milkmen. It goes:
Big lizard in my backyard
Can't afford to feed it anymore
Big lizard in my backyard
Busting down my neighbor's door
I bought a big lizard
Only a dollar fifty
Well, that's pretty neat
Yeah it's fucking nifty
But I just can't afford to feed it
And you should see the way it shits
I was knocked outta bed
Late last night
I was woken up by the sound of dynamite
I ran downstairs to find an army man
He said, "We gotta blow up those things we don't understand!"

Do you dig it? Has there ever been a better written anthem to xenophobia and the denial of responsibility? I was prepared, going into this movie, to take the easily interpreted metaphor. After all, they built a really big wall to keep the aliens from getting out Mexico. Right? But, NO! There are turtles underneath those turtles.

I talk about the alien metaphor for xenophobia a lot, but I think in this case the aliens represent a much less tangible allegory for the impending threat of global catastrophe. At this period of time, a disproportionate burden of global environmental degradation is borne by developing and underdeveloped nations. In the mean time, the industrialized nations do everything they can to keep the impacts of their lifestyle outside of their borders. It doesn't work, though, because problems like that burst through all sorts of walls. I guess the lesson is that you have to learn to live in the world you live in.

No comments:

Post a Comment