Capsule Reviews: December 2017, Part 2

Capsule Reviews: Personal Shopper; Hounds of Love; Okja; What Happened to Monday; Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Personal Shopper

Personal Shopper

France. Directed by Olivier Assayas. Starring Kristen Stewart, Sigrid Bouaziz, Ty Olwin, Lars Eidinger, Anders Danielsen Lee, Nora von Waldstätten.

In case It Comes at Night didn’t slake your thirst for ambiguity, might I recommend Personal Shopper? Starring Kristen Stewart as a young American bumming around Paris, working as a PA to an obnoxious celebrity and waiting for her recently-deceased twin brother to contact her from beyond the veil—oops, I probably should have mentioned that the sibs are mediums—this film is harder to interpret than phone poll data for a special election in Alabama.

Stewart’s generally subdued approach to her craft serves her well here, manifesting in-character as disaffection and cynicism, and she particularly shines during a series of second-act sequences in which her primary co-star is an iPhone. This is actually a lot more gripping that it might sound. Indeed, without the supernatural element Olivier Assays (who previously collaborated with Stewart on Clouds of Sils Maria) has crafted a canny and effective thriller. But the ghosts add an extra dimension, and their presence makes Stewart feel haunted in more ways than one.

I do have to say that the final act presents a puzzle that continues to confound well after the film ends, and that while I like the interpretation that seems to prevail among the film’s fans, there is something about it that just doesn’t feel right to me. It’s not something that bugs me a lot in the end, however.

Hounds of Love

Hounds of Love

Australia. Directed by Ben Young. Starring Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Currie, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas.

The tendency for male filmmakers to draw a line between “feminine empowerment” and “cheap exploitation” probably existed before I Spit on Your Grave. Ben Young’s nasty psych-thriller Hounds of Love works squarely in that tradition but the feminism just about overpowers the prurience. The setup is very basic: a serial-killing married couple, John (Stephen Currie) and Evie (Emma Booth, of Netflix’s excellent Aussie import Glitch), operate out of Perth in the late ’80s (the setting allowing for a montage set to Joy Division’s “Atmosphere,” one of the weirdest clichés to manifest overt the past couple of years). Their latest victim is Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), a troubled teen with separated parents, who quickly realizes she needs to play her captors off each other to survive.

While several elements didn’t work for me—it seemed very weird that the killers would choose to target victims in their own neighborhood (they literally live two or streets away from Vicki’s mum)—what made the film was Evie’s characterization and Booth’s performance in the role. Evie is clearly damaged and disturbed but she’s also clearly a victim of John’s emotional and physical abuse. Vicki may be the film’s nominal Final Girl, but Evie is the character the audience roots for. I also liked how the relationship between John and Evie reflected dynamic between Vicki’s parents (note how much of an ass her father is).

Okja

Okja

United States/South Korea. Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Starring Ahn Seo-huyn, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Byun Hee-bong, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Yoon Je-moon, Shirley Henderson, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal.

In theory, any director could make a film about a young girl’s quest to save her genetically engineered pet superpig from the evil multinational globalcorp that created her (the pig, obviously, not the girl). But only Bong Joon-ho could make that film in this particular way. By turns adorable and cynical, idealistic and fatalistic, Okja is a damn-near-perfect examination of life under predatory capitalism, where the difference between life and death can be found in the margin between profit and loss.

Bong pulls off a truly awe-inspiring juggling act. Tilda Swinton slips easily into the villain position, a dual role as a ruthless yet charming corporate CEO and the less-charismatic twin sister she overthrew, backed up by an opportunistic corporate weasel (Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito) and a washed-up, alcoholic TV presenter (Jake Gyllenhaal). On the side of Good, Paul Dano leads a team of animal-rights activists who mean well but don’t always end up doing the right thing. But Ahn Seo-huyn provides the film’s heart and soul as Mija, whose bond with the superpig carries her through a whirlwind of exhilarating set pieces.

This is a lot for a film to take in, even a two-hour one, and it’s to Bong’s credit that he’s able to keep most of the pins in the air with grace. Gyllenhaal’s performance, an ugly mess of unnecessary hamming and funny voices, is the major flaw here, and yet he succeeds in lending genuine menace to the film’s most horrifying and heartbreaking sequence.

What Happened to Monday

What Happened to Monday

United Kingdom/France/Belgium. Directed by Tommy Wirkola. Starring Noomi Rapace, Marwan Kenzari, Christian Rubeck, Pål Sverre Hagen, Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe.

It would be hard to say no to seven Noomi Rapaces even in the worst of circumstances, and What Happened to Monday is surprisingly good. Set in a dystopian near-future where multiple pregnancies become more common, leading to rampant overpopulation, leading to laws limiting families to one child per, the film places Rapace in the roles of identical septuplets. Each named after a day of the week, the septs share a single legal identity (each one goes out into the world on her namesake day while the other six remain in hiding), a workable scheme until, as you can probably guess from the title, Monday goes missing.

It’s a lot of fun watching Rapace kick ass in seven different wigs, but what sets Monday apart is its commitment to its setting. Too many science-fiction actioners use their fantastical elements as little more than excuses to set up fights, chases, and explosions. Monday actually considers the difficult questions it poses. The Child Allocation Bureau and its supporters are evil, no doubt about that, with its policies bordering on eugenics. Yet the film consistently reminds the viewer about the overpopulation problem, and the final sequences explicitly address the consequences of nobody willing to make difficult decisions.

If all of that seems a bit heavy, you can always sit back and watch the characters hit each other, shoot each other, and blow stuff up. Rapace gets a number of impressive action sequences while never coming off as a superhero (or septet of them), the villains are suitably nasty, and Willem Dafoe gets some tender moments in flashbacks. Pity director Tommy Wirkola couldn’t convince Glenn Close to pick an accent and stick with it for the entire film; she’s been on a roll lately.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

United States. Directed by Rian Johnson. Starring Mark Hammill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro.

The transition is complete. The Force Awakens reset the franchise, back to basics; Rogue One tested the boundaries of what a Star Wars film could do and be outside the framework of the Skywalker family saga. The Last Jedi progresses from these, in many ways inventing a new kind of Star Wars movie, one that acknowledges the Campbellian principles of the George Lucas films (and of Force Awakens by extension) while forging a new, modern mythic path, one more morally complex than we’ve seen in the series proper.

That doesn’t mean that The Last Jedi doesn’t feel like Star Wars. Everything you expect from this movie, it provides: exhilarating space battles, thrilling acts of derring-do, explorations of the outer space and inner spaces of that galaxy far, far away. Poe Dameron remains the hotheaded wisecracker, Rey the plucky, determined seeker, General Organa the grave tactician, Finn the reluctant hero, Kylo Ren the uncontrollable villain, General Hux the rabid ranter. Nor does the film neglect to riff on the series’ classic set-pieces, most effectively when it places Luke Skywalker in the role of reluctant teacher, the very position he thrust Yoda into in 1980.

But the film also challenges (an observation I must attribute to Channel Awesome’s Rob Walker). New character Rose Tico serves as the Resistance’s conscience. Luke has become a tragic figure in the classical sense. Fan complaints about the hypocrisy of the Jedi become canon. Finn and Rose’s side-quest in Canto Bight becomes an indictment of the Star Wars class system.

To observe that The Last Jedi isn’t a perfect film feels like dredging up cliché, but it must be admitted. Rian Johnson doesn’t integrate his visual style as seamlessly with the series’ visual grammar as J.J. Abrams did. Benicio del Toro needs to reign in his twitchier tendencies. And, of course, like every other tentpole picture of the last couple years, it’s just too damn long.

Yet ultimately The Last Jedi is a triumph: for Johnson; for the cast, especially Mark Hammill and the late Carrie Fisher; for Kathleen Kennedy and Disney/Lucasfilm as a whole. It will likely stand as the apex of the new trilogy, as it’s hard to believe the Abrams-helmed Episode IX will surpass it. My heart will always lie with The Empire Strikes Back, but in realistic terms, The Last Jedi is as good as a Star Wars movie can get.

Chicago International Film Festival 2017: In the Fade / Mutafukaz / The Endless

My second “clump” of screenings included one World Cinema entry, In the Fade, and two After Dark offerings, Mutafukaz and The Endless.

Apropos of nothing, I can’t express how good it made me feel to walk up to the Advance Tickets counter at the theater and ask the festival volunteer to sell me a ticket to see Mutafukaz. Mutafukaz!

In the Fade

In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts)

Germany/France. Directed by Fatih Akin. 106 minutes.

Here in “Trump’s America,” we’re gradually coming to terms with the realization that the racist, neo-fascist element in our society has spread a lot wider than we wanted to believe. But white supremacist movements are certainly not confined to North America; German writer/director Fatih Akin’s latest effort, In the Fade (German title Aus dem Nichts, or “Out of Nowhere”), takes an unflinching look at the personal cost of racially-motivated domestic terrorism.

Without giving away too much of the plot, the film follows Katja, a German woman whose Turkish husband Nuri and five-year-old son Rocco die in a nail-bomb attack executed by a neo-Nazi couple, as she navigates the waters of grief while seeking justice from the German legal system. Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) won the Best Actress award at Cannes this year for her performance. It’s not hard to see why. While the film delivers many fine performances (especially Denis Moschitto as Katja’s lawyer and Ulrich Tukur as the repentant father of one of the killers), Akin’s screenplay and direction focus squarely on Kruger. She takes the audience through the stages of grief and brings new meaning to phrases like “steely determination.”

In the Fade is a grim and tragic film from start to finish, and in its final moments (some light statistics on racist terrorism in mid-2000s Germany), acknowledges that the only way to get true justice for the Nuris and Roccos of the world is to prevent such acts of terrorism from occurring to begin with. Over here in America, we’re going to have to wrestle with that as well.

Mutafukas

Mutafukaz

France/Japan. Directed by Shoujirou Nishimi and Guillaume Renard. 90 minutes.

Based on the comics by Guillaume “Run” Renard—who also co-directed and wrote the screenplay—Mutafukaz mashes up anime, West Coast gangsta culture (as seen through a white Parisian’s eyes), Lovecraftian horror, the bande dessinée tradition, and I don’t know what else. Angelino (usually just “Lino”) and the flame-headed Vinz live in squalor in “Dark Meat City” (or maybe “Dead Meat City,” the film’s not entirely clear on that point), a thinly-veiled caricature of mid-’90s L.A. The two—along with their annoying associate Willy, a cowardly talking bat whom no one seems to like much—find themselves at the center of a bizarre alien invasion plot. Which, somehow, also involves a team of luchadores.

It’s overstuffed with ideas but it’s entertaining enough—usually. The action sequences and meta moments aren’t quite as impressive as Renard seems to believe they are. This English-language dub (which may have replaced a subtitled version at the last minute) suffers from bland dialog and awful voice performances. Most of the cast seems to have learned their accents from old Cheech and Chong skits; the main second-string villain sounds like a bad impersonation of a bad impersonation of Sylvester Stallone; even the nominally white characters say “cock-a-roaches.” And the film’s only significant female character—a parody of the stereotypical anime schoolgirl, complete with gratuitous upskirt shots—could have been removed from the plot entirely without much effect, never a good sign.

However, I doubt the target audience will see these as flaws. Mutafukaz could be the next classic animated midnight movie, its posters replacing Akira and Ghost in the Shell in dorm rooms across America.

The Endless

The Endless

United States. Directed by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson. 112 minutes.

Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, the team behind Resolution and Spring, are back with another excursion into cosmic horror and its effects on those who come into contact with the infinite. The Endless stars Moorhead and Benson themselves as a pair of brothers named (wait for it…) Aaron and Justin, who return to the “UFO death cult” they grew up in and escaped a decade earlier. They find that the truth about the cult is much, much weirder than they’d thought.

I have been critical of Moorhead and Benson in the past—Resolution maddened me and Spring, while much better, suffered from some typical indie-cinema issues—but The Endless delivers the goods. The pair understand that the power of cosmic horror comes not from the monster, but from how the monster distorts the world around it. This can be visual—a “freak atmospheric effect” is blamed for doubling the appearance of the moon in the sky—but it’s often psychological as well: think of the rising paranoia in Carpenter’s version of The Thing. Similarly, the brothers’ return to the cult forces them to confront some unpleasant truths about themselves and each other.

The pair use special effects sparingly and subtly, focusing chiefly on character and atmosphere. I was a bit dubious when I learned they play the lead roles, but they do well. The most memorable performance, however, comes from James Jordan as the perpetually angry Shitty Carl, who has perhaps the clearest grasp on what’s going on, and has suffered for it.

While it’s earned a good deal of festival-circuit buzz, it’s a bit early to tell whether The Endless will end up one of the “can’t-miss” horror films of 2017-18. It does share a reliance on atmosphere with It Comes at Night and (going back a couple years) The Witch, so hopefully it will reach those films’ audiences as well. At any rate, highly recommended.

Best English-Language Feature

Fantastic Fest 2016: Wrap-Up

Ah, Fantastic Fest! It’s kind of like a comic-book convention, except with Elijah Wood instead of cosplayers, and there’s always some guy right in front of you in the line to the men’s room singing “we are the flesh” to the tune of “We Want the Funk”. (That would be me.) The Critics’ Code requires an end-of-festival writeup, including a complete list of films ranked by personal preference. In that spirit, I bring you this:

Continue reading “Fantastic Fest 2016: Wrap-Up”

A scene from HORSEHEAD.

Horsehead

France. Directed by Romain Basset, 2014. Starring Lili-Fleur Pointeaux, Catriona MacColl, Murray Head, Gala Besson, Fu’ad Aït Attou, Vernon Dobtcheff. 89 minutes.

It’s funny how coincidence often links the movies I review. For example, there was the week I reviewed Frank and Nightcrawler (each starring a Gyllenhaal sibling); I didn’t mean to do that. Here’s another example: in the last couple of weeks I’ve reviewed We Are Still Here (an homage to Lucio Fulci) for this site and The Nightmare (a documentary about nightmares) for Cinema Axis. Next up on the docket: Horsehead, a horror movie about nightmares with a visual aesthetic occasionally cribbed from Italian horror, and starring a member of Fulci’s early-’80s rep.

So here’s the deal: Lili-Fleur Pointeaux plays Jessica, a young woman returning home to visit her estranged family in the wake of her grandmother’s death. Relations with her mother Caitlyn (Catriona MacColl) remain strained, her dealings with her stepfather Jim (Murray Head) and family servant George (Vernon Dobtcheff). Jessica has always suffered from vivid nightmares, but a particular recurring dream of being menaced by a horse-headed monster takes on more meaning in her family home, and points to secrets long repressed. But her oneiric explorations take their toll on her body and mind.

Director and co-writer Romain Basset deals heavily with Jungian theory and other forms of symbolism in Horsehead: in addition to the titular monster, there’s a scary priest who talks with a voice similar to Pinhead’s, a bloody figure apparently meant to be the young version of Jessica’s grandmother, and more wolves than the first couple of seasons of Game of Thrones. Most of the time, Basset uses these symbols to communicate the story clearly; you should have no problem working out what’s happening if you’re paying attention.

Basset’s visual aesthetic is gorgeous and lush, borrowing heavily from the giallo color palette without going too far down a retro path. When combined with the film’s dark, creepy eroticism, Horsehead occasionally feels like a Cattet/Forzani production with the ostentatiousness dialed back a couple notches. Basset does fall down the rabbit-hole a couple of times, delivering too much pretty symbolism for its own sake–particularly at the climax, which he drags out about five to ten minutes longer than needed. But most of the time, it works, and you can either play along with the puzzle-solving or lose yourself in the visuals, depending on your mood.

Two strong supporting performances anchor the film’s exploration of dream imagery. Caitlyn is a complex character whose motives might be hard to understand or sympathize with, but MacColl (Fulci’s muse for the “Gates of Hell” trilogy) does a great job of balancing the character’s love for her daughter with a just as strong resentment towards her. George’s role in the plot leaves little concrete for him to do other than exposit, but Dobtcheff’s performance adds much to the character that remains unsaid.

It’s no wonder, then, that Jessica’s strongest relationship is with Jim, and Pointeaux and Head have a great father/daughter chemistry with each other. Overall, Pointeaux makes for an engaging protagonist during the dream sequences, when she’s on her own, but she’s not quite in the same class as MacColl and Dobtcheff in her scenes with them. (On the other hand, they’re brilliant and she’s still young, so it’s quite understandable.)

To bottom-line it, Horsehead is an enjoyable genre offering that should delight fans of a more thoughtful, more arty approach to the genre.

HORSEHEAD poster

Paz de la Huerta and Nathaniel Brown star in ENTER THE VOID.

Retro Review: Enter the Void

France. Directed by Gaspar Noé, 2009. Starring Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy. 143 minutes.

I think someone once said that his definition of a good television series was a show where you wanted to hang out with the characters every week. I don’t remember who said this, and I don’t remember the exact wording, but I’m pretty sure it was something along those lines. I don’t agree with that, from a personal standpoint. But I can extrapolate that definition to come up with one of my own personal rules, what Adam Cadre would call a “pattern of evaluation”: if I hate the symbolic process of hanging out with a group of characters, I’m going to hate the narrative, no matter what else it has in its favor.

Gaspar Noé’s 2009 effort Enter the Void has many wonderful elements, but none of them make up for it being an overlong, self-indulgent slog. The focal point of the film is Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), an American expatriate living in Tokyo, where he takes drugs, deals drugs, and lives with his sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta), a stripper with whom he has a suspiciously Freudian relationship. Oscar’s best friend rats him out to the cops and he dies in a confrontation so stupid it would have earned him a Darwin award were he not a fictional character. After that, his disembodied soul floats around, first seeing the immediate repercussions of his death, then reflecting on the events of his life. His parents died in an automobile when he was a child and he and his sister went to separate foster homes, and  later in life.  Then he went to Tokyo, started doing shitty things to pay to bring Linda to Tokyo, did other shitty things for his own gratification, lived in a state of more-or-less constant denial, and then died. Then he returns to the present and the long-term repercussions of his death. And this goes on for nearly two and a half fucking hours.

Hopefully the impression I’ve given you is that Oscar is a terrible person. I expect the whole “parents died in front of him” thing is meant to explain why he is the way he is and why he has such a creepy relationship with Linda, but emotionally that explanation is an equation that doesn’t add up. Basically, he’s an asshole living in a permanent state of denial, an endless cycle of buying, taking, and selling drugs. Whatever time is left to him, he spends lusting after his own goddamn sister. And everyone around him is just as bad.

The terrible performances only compounded the problem. Brown delivers each line in the same mumbly, dull monotone, and fails utterly to convince, a real shame considering he improvised most of his dialog. De la Huerta (a performer who readily admits she’s not an actress) conveys lust and histrionics very well, but is completely lost when Noé requires anything more of her. Cyril Roy and Olly Alexander (as Oscar’s friends) and Sara Stockbridge (as Oscar’s older, married lover) fare better, but their characters are such cyphers that I kept mixing up Roy and Alexander’s character’s names, and kept forgetting Stockbridge’s even existed.

Enter the Void has a number of positives in its favor. It’s often a breathtakingly beautiful film with one of the most amazing soundtracks I’ve ever heard, and not just because it features Delia Derbyshire’s sublime interpretation of Bach’s “Air on the G String.” It’s bold, unique, singular, visionary. Its director and co-writer, Gaspar Noé, doesn’t so much (to quote my review of Melancholia) challenge the audience as double-dog-dare it to keep watching. Between Void and descriptions I’ve heard of Irreversible without actually having seen it, it seems the guy doesn’t believe that art is by necessity a pleasant experience. Good for him. I respect that.

Unfortunately the bulk of the experience he offers in Enter the Void offers is too much time spent with awful people doing stupid things, and all the pretty pictures and interesting sounds in the world can’t give me my hundred and forty minutes back.

Enter the Void poster

A scene from RUBBER

Rubber

France. Directed by Quentin Dupieux, 2010. Starring “Robert,” Stephen Spinella, Roxane Mesquida. 82 minutes.

A group of spectators have assembled in the desert. They are addressed by a man in a state trooper named Lt. Chad (Stephen Spinella). He delivers a monologue on the topic of things happening in movies for “no reason.” Why is E.T. brown? No reason. In JFK, why is the president assassinated by a complete stranger? No reason.

He then informs the gathering that, in the film they’re about to watch, everything happens for exactly no reason whatsoever.

The assembly is given binoculars, and their attention is drawn to a nearby junkyard, where a discarded tire (identified in the credits as “Robert”) has suddenly come to life. It rolls along under its own power, awkwardly at first, but soon with confidence. Soon it discovers it has the power to destroy. It encounters a plastic water bottle and rolls over it, crushing it. It encounters a scorpion and does the same. When it fails to crush a beer bottle, it concentrates and causes it to explode by the force of its will alone.

It continues on its journey, killing anyone and anything that gets in its way, and drawing a variety of bystanders into its crime spree: Sheila (Roxane Mesquida), a young woman on a road trip; Zach (Remi Thorne), a teenager who works at a motel; even Lt. Chad and the police.

Is the tire really alive? Are these bizarre events really happening, or is it all some sort of trick? Will the audience, stuck in the desert with binoculars and no food, live long enough to see any of these questions answered?

Let’s be honest here. No film is ever “just a movie.” All movies are products of the people who make them: their obsessions, their anxieties, their fears. What makes them laugh, what frightens them, what turns them on. It doesn’t have to be conscious. Most of the time, it’s unconscious. But anyone who creates art will find the things they think about reflected in that art. It’s inevitable. When you watch a movie, everything you see and hear is the result of a conscious choice. Mistakes are a choice. Randomness is a choice. As Neil Peart once pointed out, even the refusal to make a choice is a choice.

At the beginning of Rubber, Lt. Chad asserts the opposite, but his argument gradually negates itself. He says important things in movies happen “for no reason,” but not only are there reasons for most of the examples he gives, those reasons are glaringly obvious. That says a lot about what follows.

Let’s compare Rubber to two other films that explore why things happen the way they do in violent movies. The Cabin in the Woods addresses the issue of inexplicable character behavior in slashers. Like Scream, it’s pure entertainment with a meta level. You can play along at home if you like, but it’s not necessary to enjoyment of the film. On the other hand, Funny Games isn’t entertainment and I’m sure Michael Haneke would be pissed at the idea of anyone, anywhere, actually enjoying it. Not only does it nakedly manipulate events to fit a predetermined outcome, it literally tells the audience that it’s doing so.

For the purposes of the point I’m making, the crucial difference between the two films is that Funny Games features a character who knows he’s in a movie. Rubber either splits the difference or takes it a step further. Lt. Chad knows he’s a character in a movie, but he doesn’t know where that ends and where his real life, assuming he even has one, begins.

Horror-comedies are expected to have a degree of self-awareness these days but what I hope I’ve communicated here is that Rubber has a bit of a philosophical bent to it, definitely more than you might expect from a movie about a tire that comes to life and starts Scanner-ing people to death. But it’s not an intellectual approach to philosophy: it’s more like a verbal game of “what if?” played by a pair of stoned college students in a dorm room, or an 80-minute-long Conspiracy Keanu meme.

This means that the film is going to be an acquired taste from the get-go, and has a tendency to be uneven, probably by design. It’s amusing and often laugh-out-loud funny, but not consistently so. It has a tendency to drag a bit in places, particularly at the beginning (the sequence depicting Robert learning to roll and kill is a particular offender…I think I get why writer/director Quentin Dupieux filmed and edited it the way he did, but sometimes that footage seems endless). It’s definitely more than a little indulgent.

It’s also one of those films that’s largely resistant to element-by-element breakdowns of its quality, because many of its flaws (uneven pacing, stilted performances) seem to be part of the point of the film–features as opposed to bugs.

Ultimately Rubber seems to be the kind of movie you either get or don’t get. I get it to an extent, and enjoyed it quite a bit, but it felt like certain thematic/narrative choices got in the way of me embracing it fully. On the other hand, I don’t think it could be “fixed” without taking its uniqueness away from it; art’s like that sometimes. Maybe it’s your kind of thing more than it is mine–hopefully I’ve given you enough information so you can tell whether it is. But despite my mixed emotions towards it, I’m rather glad it exists.

Rubber poster