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Faded films: confabulation (or becoming the least reliable narrator)

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When did my memory get so bad? In college it was actually a running “””joke””” among my friends that I had the memory of an elephant (I call it a dedication to bitterness and resentment). I went from being able to recall conversations word for word to coming to on a subway realizing I don’t really know what the fuck I’m doing or where I’m going!!!

Plus there’s the whole thing with my anxiety getting increasingly more severe which has been fun because there are anxiety blackouts and then there are just unreliable memories!! I’m self aware so I know I can’t trust my own version of events sometimes but then I end up with like 4 different semi conflicting versions that become so muddled I can’t tell which one actually happened. It’s semi-conscious confabulation—altering and chipping away at real memories until I have nothing but a pile of maybe they happened situations.

So I’ve basically become an unreliable narrator in my own life ha ha ha. Plus I’ve started some anti depressants which my psychiatrist says don’t have an effect on my memory but I could swear otherwise. It’s not all bad though because I guess it is actually better than being able to remember stuff isn’t it!!!!

Beguiled

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Let me start this by saying I have so far hated Sofia Coppola’s work—Lost In Translation is likely the most obnoxious movie ever directed and reeks of rich white kid entitlement. And I’m not sure if I technically like this movie—it has it’s problems—how do you set a movie in the south during the Civil War and manage to evade the concept of slavery all together or the mere presence of a single black individual?

But if you take this movie for what it is, it’s one of the best portrayals of the female gaze I’ve ever seen. Coppola manages to capture the seemingly benign snideness that happens between women, that is almost undetectable to any outsider. She captures the subtleties of outwardly pretending you’re not DTF when you know you pretty much are—especially when you’re trapped alone with a bunch of women competing for the affection of a single skin bag of testosterone.

Plus you know that moment where you going from being infatuated with a dude to thinking he’s a repulsive pig? It happens so quickly but all of a sudden you go from being Down to clown to enduring an endless sensation of skin crawling hebejebes.

High Fidelity

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So I got around to watching this movie like two weeks ago and can I tell you I really don’t get it?? Not on a simpleton level okay—I understand the plot but the rest of it remains a mystery. What is the point?? Is he horrible? Is his girlfriend horrible? Why is he making so many top 5 lists? Why does his taste in music suck? Who would ever not call Lisa Bonet back??

The only semi enjoyable part of the movie is watching him having to revisit his past relationships and realizing that memory basically makes everything seem better than it is and that he’s horribley misremembered and confabulated his past relationships. What is confusing is that he comes away from all of these experiences feeling exonerated.

Lolita

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I’ve written about this movie before—I would argue that this is the closest you could get an adaptation of a text that centers around a middle aged man’s gross molestation of a 12 year old girl. Humbert Humbert is the least reliable narrator in the universe which is what makes the book so compelling.

This movie is not Nabokov but it does manage to hedge that line between silver tongued poetics and the feeling of absolute disgust and ickyness. Some of the scenes are hard to watch and discomforting, which in essence is what you should walk away with after seeing and reading Lolita.

Mulholland Drive

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No one gets into your head the way that David Lynch does. There was a part of Twin Peaks: The Return that completely blew my mind. For like three episodes I had the insane maddening feeling or premonition that something horrible was going to happen to a child. And I can’t pinpoint anything that specifically made me feel that way but lo and behold a kid is gruesomely run over by a car.

Mulholland Drive is the feeling of confused memory in a neat little package. You spend the first half of the movie in a confused daze of euphoria and terror only to be completely thrown off by the middle of the movie. Is time non linear? Which parts of this was a dream, a nightmare?



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