Thoughts On: Nightcrawler - Your Freak


Nightcrawler - Your Freak

Quick Thoughts: Nightcrawler

Louis Bloom, an obsessive individual, sinks into the profession of capturing footage for new stations.

I love this movie, if not for the spellbinding performance of Jake Gyllenhaal that kind of makes you question just how stable he actually is, then for the insane character work that perfectly weaves together hilarity, horror and commentary. Whilst this film has its basis in reality with freelance camera crews collecting footage as Lou does, the commentary of the film does not fall onto nightcrawlers, nor does it fall onto the media. We can infer this through the film's focus. It perfectly depicts the descent of an individual as facilitated by cooperations - those cooperations being media outlets. But, to blame news channels for the fucked up shit Lou gets up to would be short sighted. As the film makes clear, everything questionable, immoral, evil or weird is driven by an urge to make money, keep a job, bring in a bigger audience. That means the true facilitators in this rather messed up story of an anti-hero actually winning (a rare film and another reason I love this movie) is us. Lou is in large part a product of help book cliches, inspirational blog posts and what he sees as a flawed education system. More than this, Lou is the expression of everything slimy, daring and sadistic about ourselves. This is why there is the element of the media throughout the film. Media serves us, and we express very clearly that the gory, more explicit and even bigoted aspects of what can be considered newsworthy is the juicy shit we'd like to have our teeth sunken into. Lou to me is then equative to the manager at a sweat shop factory producing cheap phones, clothes, tech or shoes. He's tantamount to the guy pushing buttons to electrocute or suffocate pigs to death, the man blowing holes into cattle's heads, smashing lambs over the head with a massive mallet, throwing unwanted male chicks into meat grinders still alive. He does the dirty work behind some of our favourite things we're happy to close our eyes over and just enjoy. And I'm not having a go at you for not making your own phone from scratch, sewing your own clothes together, catching, killing, preparing the meat you eat. I do none of that stuff, I hold no moral high ground, and I'm perfectly happy to sit back, say 'fuck it' and reap the benefits of someone else's suffering. I think that's why I love this movie and Lou so much - but also why I'm happy to see the bad guy truly win for once. He is our sadistic, selfish actions extrapolated and actually put before our faces - and there's few ways you can react to that. You can say he's evil and that media outlets are responsible for this, that and so on--but, in the end, try to excuse yourself from the heinous shit he gets up to. You can also watch the film, duck off a waters back, and yeah - which is kinda what I do. But, more than that, I think I accept Lou. He is every privileged particle of my being saying fuck you to all the terrible experiences I've never been through. And faced with that its easy to turn self-deprecating, to be shameful and want change. But, I look at my life, my actions, the way I live, and I see only a lie in believing in that. I think sometimes accepting you're an asshole is the noblest thing you can do in life.

And it's that there that stands as reason why Lou wins in the end. The fucked up aspect of ourselves don't just go away, despite morality, despite empathy, despite social conduct. Dickishness and blindness are things in life you have to lube up and let slide into others, or into yourself. Just accept it. With all the fucks spent, without the moral tennis match, sometimes you just got to see yourself as the one-eyed stiffy, close your eye, break the seal of any open sphincter out there, pump until you gush, then walk away, blindly searching for more.

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