This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

the real world has geometric concert halls and porsches gliding through tunnels and concrete walls and grey sweaters tied over tailored suits and a stage with just two chairs for you and your interviewer. but lydia tar hears screaming, and metronomes that never stop, and the click-clack of disembodied green boots, dogs staring down underworld hallways, dying old women splayed naked on the floor, the silent downbeat before the first note.

the real world and Tar are in many ways irreconcilable. all the crisp lines and brutalist architecture function less as luxury signifiers and more as a container for her turbulent, alien frame. skyscraper-building, symphony-orchestrating, world-changing ambition is not found in measured people. it is found in perverse, troubled obsessives, and there’s tension in expecting true genius to function in a conventional moral framework. Theres an almost involuntary devouring of your own self, or of those around you, required in order to spit something true back out. that process is exciting and transcendent, but also dangerous and scary, and Tar is asking how much of that discomfort we’ll allow for in the name of art.

for some, especially "Today", the answer is ‘none’. no discomfort, no hierarchy, no canon, and they think we can weed it all out if we try hard enough. but theres a reason all the depositions and bureaucratic dismissals remain on the periphery for us here—because these things are immaterial. when she visits the massage parlor, and sees the dozens of girls lined up for her to choose, she doesn’t wretch because she’s confronted with her own past transgressions, she wretches because the perverse has been made banal; in the real world its no fun

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