Sitting in front of a TV screen, maybe 10 inches away, can have a devastating effect sometimes. Who does that, why would you sit that close? Regardless of such questions, it has happened and resulted in a serious compromise of the power of the sphincter.
In 1997, I sat to watch Seven (having trouble stylizing the writing) on VHS. I knew little about it, other than it had received good reviews, had stand out direction and that Brad Pitt was far too good looking to be able to watch without cursing his bastard parents. ( A little digression, I watched Interview with a Vampire with the same thought process, spending more time looking at myself in the mirror than the film, managing to convince myself I was easily as good looking and Mr William Bradley Pitt–hey, I was 16, give a brother a break).
Seven knocked me sideways, grabbed me round the waist, suplexed me, caught me round the neck and choked me until I was as flaccid as Hugh Heffner’s overused member without his little blue pills. I was blown away (a more succinct version of the pervious sentence). The moment above where I sat perilously close to the TV, if you hadn’t of guessed, was the scene that involved locating and berating a seemingly dead pederast – I’ll say no more than that so as not to spoil for the uninitiated.
With its opening NiN remix and grubby looking city setting, I had found a film that had finally realized my personal dreams. A noir of sorts, Seven was nothing like any blockbuster I had ever seen before; taut, gloomy, depressive, full of pathos and anguish, it never looked to do anything other than show how messed up humanity really is. With a stand out Oscar worthy performance from Morgan Freeman (the personification of gravitas) it enlisted every major skill to create a truly shocking piece of cinema.
Now I’m sure there are many who wouldn’t consider Seven to be remotely shocking. Perhaps they are too busy fucking their dog, or have overdosed on the Valium or just sitting around, reading Guns and Ammo, masturbating in their own feces. You see, to be shocking you have to have the ability to shock (duh). Not gross out, not be the goriest, not to have the highest body count. Perhaps those things are shocking, but to me, and this is the point where I say SPOILER ALERT, the very notion of the unseen rape of a woman by a man with a torture device attached to his penis, the merest thought of the unseen removal of a victims member and hands and the partially seen (the box anyway) finale of a pregnant woman’s head…sans body…in a box, is truly shocking and of the highest order.
To encapsulate seven is a mystery in itself that needs some unraveling. Is it a horror film? As much as any Cronenberg flick. Is it shocking? Like a live-wire in a puddle. Is it a noir? Oh yes, just without the buxom broad and fast talk. Seven took many genre conventions and turned them on their head, but for all its eschewing, it also cherry picked the best from Silence of The Lambs, The Crow, Chinatown, Angel Heart and countless other seminal films.
The use of the seven deadly sins must have seemed trite and old hat, but directed with verve and acted with the solemnity it deserved, no, COMMANDED, it created a genre of its own. Seven has been warped to the nth level; the first Saw film delivered perhaps the best homage in the nigh in twenty years since its release, but little has challenged the viewer the way this film did. Dialogue, genre and acting are incidental, with Seven we were given a movie that redefined cinema, realized dreams and created nightmares and for that I am forever thankful.
Bleeding Lotus’ Judgement: 9/10
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013#TOK Family
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