Calling media "dated" as strictly a pejorative needs to stop. It implies that only contemporary works matter because they're about The Way We Live Now, ignoring the archival value of a cultural statement. Sure, there's a spectrum through which one can have this conversation, but it very often winds up as a dead-end. If there is a common complaint with Mann's work, it's that his attempts at staying in the vanguard of taste fossilize portions of his works in amber -- specifically with music.

So much of how we process and compartmentalize taste and our own sense of time comes from nostalgia, that created bridge between actual experience and remembered experience. That's how Will Graham inserts himself into the headspace of a psychopath, dissecting and disseminating photographs, home movies, official reports, tape recordings repeatedly to derive new meanings. Mann frames Graham as a character trapped within half-remembered dreams and states: behind bars, staring at screens, aside rain-soaked windows gazing outward.

Graham, Dollarhyde, and Lecktor operate their personal universes with extreme precision, and Graham's ability to empathize -- "see" past his own experience -- makes him the best. He wouldn't be a Mann-man if he wasn't the obsessive, self-destructive hero.

tl;dr - This movie rules, and you're not better than what you watch.

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