portable theater

anyway I’ve seen The Shape of Water yesterday, and my favorite thing about it was that on the one side it has this pretty transparent political message about the discrimination of minorities, migrants’ rights, US imperialism especially in Latin America, toxic masculinity, and it shows how the 60′s were a shitty place if you weren’t a straight WASP male, but on the other hand it still manages to revel in the whole aesthetic of the era, albeit with a greenish bioshock filter. It’s just that it does it with a critical eye, so you get the nostalgia about the dying art of illustrated advertisements, movie theaters, portable record players, the whole dieselpunk aesthetic of the research center; but the teal cadillac, the “genuine” key lime pie, the happy American family gathered around a green jelly parfait on the other hand get to be shown as empty idols. I kept thinking of how Tim Burton also keeps going back to a similar aesthetic as a backdrop to make his weirdo characters appear even weirder; but he never really challenged it this way. I guess that the key here is that Del Toro looks at Americana as an outsider, and you’re more prone to question and analyze the things you haven’t known your whole life. The way The Shape of Water engages with its design elements and setting to convey its message is probably the thing that struck me the most about it.