White Noise

White Noise

“Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s seminal, “unfilmable” postmodern novel White Noise opens, rather aptly, with a series of car crashes. Murray Jay Siskind (Don Cheadle), a respected professor at the anonymously named College-on-the-Hill, is screening the assembled stock footage to a group of students enrolled in his seminar, explaining to them that there’s a certain American “can-do” attitude to the vehicular carnage that they’re blankly witnessing. “Each car crash is meant to be better than the last,” he remarks, noting that they’re not violent acts, but mini-celebrations each time one’s properly executed.

In DeLillo’s world, this comment suggests not only one-upmanship in terms of technical ability, but a never-ending crescendoing effect that impending disaster naturally produces. But in a broader sense, this sentiment could also accurately describe the trajectory of Baumbach’s career: a series of bigger and bigger filmic pileups, each increasingly seeking to affirm their maker’s creative powers and, to a certain extent, intended to outdo the last.”

really just had 2 take the trash out with this one. more over at slant magazine.

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