Thursday, May 9, 2024

Wildcat - Flannery O'Connor

  A look at the new film Wildcat: 

"Wildcat movie"

Anyway – As Wildcat opens, we see a fake movie trailer for a film called Star Drake which is really the short story “The Comforts of Home” – it’s in black and white in the most lurid, sensationalist 50’s melodramatic formatting you can imagine. Very entertaining. But of course, with also very little relation to the actual story. What I think was going on here was a message to the audience and a reflection of the way in which O’Connor’s stories have often been received:  with an emphasis on the grotesque, the violent and the sensational, and with everyone pretty much missing the point.

Just wait, I felt it was saying to me – you don’t get her. You think this is what she’s about with the nymphomaniac and the gun? You’re wrong, and we’re going to give you a clue. Just watch.

It’s strange and disorienting and not immediately or easily comprehensible. Just like Flannery’s writing, which is the point. This is the entry point, and it makes sense. A disorienting entry point to meeting a disorienting writer. I liked it.

But as the film proceeds and the story vignettes are interwoven with aspects of Flannery’s life that, it is suggested, inspired them (problematic for reasons I write about here), the deficiencies of the film’s vision emerge. Let’s talk about two of the dramatizations in particular: “Revelation” and “Everything that Rises Must Converge.”

by Amy Welborn