Ralph Ellison and Invisible Man.
The underdog has retreated underground
The gradual tension
Water rising and flooding everything, washing everything and everyone away
Like anger suddenly unleashed.
Destructive and relentless.
A sense of place, the use of space as character:
Stairways and trapdoors
The exploration of the dark recesses of the mind
The descent into Madness, the vaults of the human psyche.
People going up and down the stairs
Missing each other or bumping into each other.
Lines sketching different courses of action of actions
Frames within frames.
Patterns emerge, colors clash, emotions collide.
The intrusion of the supernatural
The stone: the parasite?
Or is the parasite the rich man who lives off the back of the poor?
The pervasive sense of threat
The smell you cannot wash off: the place where you belong and where you are brought back too relentlessly and cruelly.
The poor who are constantly thrown back into their reality
The poor who are seen and treated as garbage.
The uncanny child’s gaze and gift of intuition
His ability to decipher the invisible present
His own trauma
The former maid: “I have forgotten something in the cellar”….
Living on the edge, living on the border.
The political dissident that has to hide.
All those who have to go into hiding.
Resentment and bitterness
And the sudden eruption of violence.
The gesture of contempt that triggers the rage
People and things turn around
And the current balance is thrown off-balance.
The party turns bloody
The tomahawk that was supposed to be used for fun is now used for real!
The dogs feed off the meat on the spike that has been used as a weapon.
The laughter at the end: as a result of the trauma/the concussion?
Laughing in the face of terror and horror?
The Fool’s laughter? Erasmus and In Praise of Folly?
The revenge of the helpless against the powerful?
The open-ended finale: “I have a plan”
The sense of a warning issued somewhere, sometime.
The grotesque behind the farcical mask.
The freak turned wise expresses the ills of society:
Erasmus and his In Praise of Folly, again?
The Fool denounces the hypocrisy of the Court
While negotiating urban violence and other emotional jungles.
And his own existential fall and mental collapse.
The De Niro character is on the other side of the fence of law and order,
Yet the Travis of Taxi Driver is conjured up:
His gaze and dreams
And the theme of vigilante violence.
The play with the guns, rehearsing an act of violence,
And performing it relentlessly, without a break.
The image of urban warfare,
And collective madness as an expression of fear and anger.
The subway scene and the overall sense of danger and threat,
NYC as the new Frontier.
Nothing can protect you: the shooting of Wayne and his wife in a dark alley.
The gradual sense of being ostracized and estranged.
A growing sense of resentment and bitterness as a result of being treated unfairly.
The slow descent into something that cannot be named.
The scene at the gate: who is behind bars?
The real intention behind the farce.
Keeping a happy face through it all: HAPPY!
When the buffoon confesses his crime, he is not taken seriously.
To the psychiatrist he issues a warning: “You do not listen”…
Another bloody act to make his point.
What does it take for people to hear the punch line?