Do you knowww what. I had a solid weekend of real life and good art. It was sunny and great, and even the exhibitions I didn't enjoy, I enjoyed talking about. Like, Pre-empty at Evelyn Yard. It was necessarily bland, but its vacuousness was irritating rather than a resolve. It was like an honest, conspicuous placebo for neck pain, when you just need to neck some ibuprofen. I went to see Alex Katz at The Serpentine as well, which was confident in a really boring way. I do just enjoy standing in front of massive paintings, though. And Etel Adnan at The Sackler - fine but maybe too Colour Study for me? I fell in love easily with Ragnar Kjartansson at the Barbican but I had to rush through the show, so I’m going back. The work there made the feelings behind my chest rise, so I gotta go back and spend time with the art and myself and think about it all over again, much slower. I want to figure out how sadness can be cool. So, it’s been a weekend. Good people, good food. But mate, I went to see Suicide Squad on Sunday and I literally actually hated it. I sat there fuming. I think it was bad in explicitly bad ways so I'm gonna write you through them.
The first half hour was like projectile vomit. The film rushed past the back stories of its superheroes, which I have decided is mean. Back stories are like narrative cordial (Orange is the New Black is perfectly generous with them, X-Men gets it right, Jessica Jones -) and Suicide Squad shot its narrative capital through a soda gun, out into the audience’s open mouth until it blubbered and choked on some very dilute content. So, I have also decided that Suicide Squad should have been a TV series. It should have taken its time and meant something. And (even) with Viola Davies at the helm, it should have been called How To Get Away With Sexism.
Made me CRINGE that any time Harley Quinn even took a breathe you could hear gross Dorito men across the cinema gagging-applausing-masturbating all over their deflated thighs. Is that why the cinema floor is so sticky. I want to die. Let me die. And this isn’t some sex-negative slight, or girl vs. girl insecurity. It isn’t anything (and in a perfect world I wouldn’t have to qualify shit). My problem is that Margot Robbie acted DEAD well but the camera, the production, the embarrassing script (and the hot, breathy reaction by the sweaty, vibrating audience) all worked to undo that power because actually she was just hot, her crazy was cute, and now dumb boys want something impossible and unhealthy. Never mind that her fiction is complex; that it is swings and roundabouts, violence and tiptoeing and full smiles and full love. Bye bye intelligence and painful human pains. (The directors quietly and reluctantly admitted that her being evil was a decision. She only quickly dropped into her superhero-maker-vat between thigh-gap shots and infantilism). Suicide Squad shortchanged us on character, like the director has bleached and laminated a comic and asked you to read it anyway. It kind of stings to watch.
My other concerns were: Enchantress’ British/American accent flips, cinemas are always so cold, the film had bad comic timing, and the Joker wasn’t in it enough. The inconvenienced city population refugee quip was embarrassingly Western. I died at Enchantress’ ‘you haven’t got the balls’ line. Yeah, the script, I found, stunted some performances - Deadshot’s daughter in particular, and some of Katana’s lines were poor, too. Those moments you heard spoken lines in a film become caricatured written comic words - the awkwardness in that performativity, I cringed I cringed I cringed.
So basically, I spent the entire film like - you know when you’re with a group of friends but there's one person in the gang you’ve recently, bitterly fallen out with, and they make a joke but you clench your jaw so as not laugh? With Suicide Squad the joke wasn't even that funny, and I was left resenting the entire cinema audience for even reacting. I wish I had just waited to download it and watched it on like, a Wednesday night when I didn’t have to give a shit. Maaaaate, I feel bad for the actors, and I feel embarrassed for everyone else. 💥🙃🔫