Every visit to the cinema leaves me, against all my vigilance, stupider and worse. - Theodor Adorno People have become sick and tired of talking about politics, and yet they cannot stop doing it. Time and time again, when the dust has settled over such debates, and one’s political opponent has walked away, it has only left one feeling worse. Yet the fruitlessness of such endeavours seems to merely goad people on. It is as if the pointlessness of such disputes is the point. They serve as a vessel to dump one’s frustrations into that somehow seems to make such frustrations worse. Why do we do this to ourselves?
I saw a tweet the other day that was like "a big problem today is that people can only perceive the political in art rather than the aesthetic." And I think that definitely applies to Barbie amongst other films. The feminist parts were immediately picked up but there seemed to be a lot less discussion on set design and the aesthetic of barbie world vs the politics of barbie world. Although I don't think the aesthetic and political are completely inseparable it does seem that people will watch a film and take away themes from dialogue rather than the use of images. Its why films by Parajanov or Peleshian seem so different as they take a much different approach focusing on imagery to tell a story. Also I presume more people heard about the ben shapiro video due to people responding to it than actually seeing the video itself.
Liked this approach. Adorns really is a good lens to peep through for a movie like this. My first inclination was to think qua some Deleuzian mishmash ("But Mattel knows nothing about feminism. Or assholes, for that matter,") but I'm glad I read your take.