Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception... for a better now

Sunday, February 03, 2008

It's okay to keep talking about ZODIAC

Like the serial killer case file it depicts, ZODIAC eats away at the mind months after you've seen it. Thoughts of politics and union make me contemplate the way San Francisco unites against one common, invisible foe. Like Reagan hoping for an alien invader that would unite the U.S. and Russia, the Zodiac Killer unites San Francisco into one colossal detective force. The professor couple who are casually able to solve the cryptic puzzle, for example, and later Mark Ruffalo risking his job to slip Jake Gyllenhaal tips to keep the investigation alive. Was this the last gasp of "citizenry" as far as everyone feeling connected to the political machinery of their city? Was it the encore for a long performance of citizenry and government in perfect union that had died during Vietnam? Politics now has no room for casual professor couples or cops who enlist cartoonists to their brain trusts... and serial killers? Who even has a chance to learn their names anymore? The news seems to pick out of a hat which murders, accidents, traumas, hit-and-runs, robberies and rapes of the day to make a federal case of. A Zodiac could be going on right now, unnoticed until he's finally in the room.

That's why it's so interesting to have not only ZODIAC, but Jodie Foster in THE BRAVE ONE (my take here) in the same year, one that marks the official "shit hell of a long time" year of the Iraqi conflict. The 1970s are back, sort of, but the important question is, which way are they moving? We need another 1967. We could do without another 1980.

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