Stories about the human condition, masquerading as something else – it’s good stuff. Like how Alice in Wonderland is a fantasy adventure, but also a discussion of logic and how language, society and class systems corrode meaning, as much as they provides structure. Any cinematic version will play on the gorgeous visual absurdity of the Wonderland, and so it should, such a story is an MC Escherscape of language. It seems to me Tim Burton, from his record, is the kind of film maker to appreciate this. I hope his film is deserving of his subject.
On the other hand, in a style quite different to that of Burton, Martin Scorsese presents in Shutter Island another commentary on the human condition. This time presented as, well as gum shoe detective story, mystery verging on conspiracy thriller and psychological drama. Like those on Shutter Island, the audience are rats in a gorgeously detailed and horrible maze, following a trail of evidence. And nothing visual in this story is insignificant. Everything is embued and it doesn’t matter if you work it out or not, the journey is everything.
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