Burning

Burning ★★★★

Burning is kind of like a novel. Like one you'd study in high school. It's full of carefully woven symbolism, social commentary, cultural references and nuanced characters. There's lots of "deep" dialogue, and it seems like everything in the story has its own weird quirk. The girl who can fall asleep anywhere. The phone in the farm house. The invisible cat. The playboy arsonist.

But despite all of this, and the praise I could give these things... it's still boring as fuck.

Somehow, I'm still here for it, though. Maybe it's because of the topless jazz scene an hour in. It's pretty hypnotic. And, the soundtrack is really good. True, the film spends a lot of time milling around, but to its credit, it never shows you anything that won't be important later.

I don't know much about the source material by Haruki Murakami, but I'm at least aware that his work is frequently surreal and lonely, and this film hits the latter of these two feelings pretty frequently. You could write a dozen essays about the different ways this film portrays disaffected youth. Like I said; it's pretty slow, but there's no shortage of material to dig into for analysis.

Do I think Burning is the best movie I've seen in recent memory? Nah. But it's not a complete slog, either. It could easily have been a 120 minute film.

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