We all know art imitates life (Gia was both a real person and a kick-ass lesbian movie starring Angelina Jolie).
And it's also been proven that life imitates art (hoverboards!) but what about when life imitates art imitating life? Like say, forcefully taking children away from their parents like those religious zealots/rapists do in The Handmaid's Tale, (the source-material novel that was entirely based on real things that had all actually happened before in the "civilized" world). It's a crazy world, isn't it?
But as bad as things look outside the Whistler bubble, let's hope things straighten out a bit before life starts imitating The Purge, a sadistic mass-torture political satire franchise that will launch its fourth instalment this July 4.
The base idea of The Purge franchise is a society where all crime is legal for one night a year, sort of like the Amish concept of rumspringa, except instead of getting wasted on booze and maybe riding in a motor vehicle for the first time, you kill everyone you can find in the richest neighbourhood you can access, then maybe destroy a bunch of public property and watch a couple gang rapes.
Nasty shit, and The Purge has always tiptoed the line of bad taste and torture porn, but that's also kind of the point. The franchise is set in a near-future where a group called the New Founding Fathers have seized control of the U.S. The annual "purge" is a sociological experiment designed to allow people to blow off some steam and get crime out of their system so they will be better-behaved worker drones the other 364 days a year.
But it's also a form of population control, with the poor and marginalized bearing the brunt of the violence from each purge. The First Purge is a prequel to the others in the franchise. As the title suggests, this one explores the world leading up to the decision to implement the first-ever purge night, watch for parallels to the world we live in right now. The First Purge is not for everyone, and if that art-imitating-life-imitating-art discussion seems too circular, it might be because we're circling the drain ourselves.
Side note: population control is a popular concept in dystopic-future art lately. Chuck (Fight Club) Palahniuk's latest novel talks about the societal dangers of a "youth bulge," when the population of 20 to 30-year-old males with aspirations of success gets to a level where there is no way society can support the successes they feel they deserve.
The answer, in Chuck's book, is to use the media to portray your young males as a bunch of date rapists, racists or lazy mama's boys then implement a mandatory draft into a war with another region enduring their own "youth bulge." Then simply nuke the battlefield and call it a tie. No nation loses face, everyone's a hero, and the population problem is solved.
Of course in the book, called Adjustment Day, the kids figure it out, overthrow the whole gig, and rebuild a society based on killing the elite and cutting off their ears to exchange for expiration-date currency that cannot be hoarded and must be distributed or it disappears.
If no one can save their money, the world thrives. It's one of Palahniuk's better stories of late ... hit up Armchair Books in the Village if you're interest is piqued.
Back in the theatre, Sicario: Day of the Soldado is both a sequel no one asked for and winner of the stupidest title of 2018 so far, but at least it's not that bad of a movie. Benicio Del Toro is back and but Emily Blunt is replaced this time around by Josh Brolin, and not to take anything away from Steven Seagal, but both these dudes are above the law.
The first Sicario used the U.S.-Mexico border as a vehicle to investigate the lines we will cross as human beings, and the shady territories on the other side. Soldado treads in familiar terrain (replace drugs with human trafficking though) but ultimately fails to add much new to the pile. It's definitely tense, ultra-violent and not super uplifting, but it's entertaining, if grim.
Luckily, Ant-Man and The Wasp opens next week, so there are some chuckles on the horizon.
It's a crazy world kids, make art!