Skip to main content

Anamorph DVD Review

Conclusion


This is a gem of a find - an independent film (which means the stars lived in a greasy motel instead of in their own personalised trailers) that stars Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman (of Underworld fame) in an engaging psychological thriller. Like The Silence of the Lambs, it features a team of special agents taxed and taunted by their perpetrator. Also like The Silence of the Lambs and Manhunter, the focus is on the characters of those doing the hunting instead of on the character of the hunted. But this is not a Robert Harris rip-off. It's more of an Umberto Ecco rip-off.


Anamorph film poster

Plot


The serial killer in this film takes the anamorphosis technique as employed by Julian Beever to an entirely new level. By employing camera obscura, tattoos, finger painting (in a somewhate literal sense) and an elaborate pantograph, he anoints himself as the MacGuyver of the macabre. The blood and guts are almost as vile as agent Stan Aubrey's (Willem Dafoe) fascination with antique chairs.

There are some valuable life lessons to be learnt from the macabre staging of the murders. Of course I shall bore you with them now. You're welcome.

Thinking outside the box


Think outside the box has to be one of the most flogged of dead horses out there. Usually, when life coaches expect this quantum leap of faith from their victims, it results in us unsuspecting victims focusing on boxes. After focusing on boxes, we focus on the inside of the box, then we try to wrap our minds around the box to the outside.

This is usually followed by a blunt sense of irrelevancy to daily commuting, the numbing buzz of fluorescent lights, the flat-line sound of deadlines as they fly by, cafeteria food and the perpetual catharsis resulting from arriving at the water cooler only to find the coffee pot empty, filthy and surrounded by the optical illusion of cattle carcasses complete with hovering vultures and a tumble weed. Thinking about boxes or thinking differently about boxes has somehow failed to deter us lost souls from turning to debauchery for a paradigm shift. Perhaps there is something more fundamentally wrong with our thinking than boxes?

General Semantics and the Death of Some Square Boxes


General semantics is a mental hygiene regimen invented and endorsed by Korzybski. In our usual modes of thinking, logic is based on certain infallible axioms. These axioms are largely derived from Aristotle's laws of thought:
  • The law of identity: Also noted as A is A. This means you are what you is.

  • The law of non-contradiction: This means A can't be something other than A.

  • The law of the excluded middle: This means either A is A, or A is not A. A can't be both A and not A at the same time. Thus, there is no middle way between being A and not being A.


General semantics reminds us that things are not necessarily so three dimensional as we are lead to believe by our dogmatic clinging to Aristotle's legacy. General semantics should not be interpreted as contradicting Aristotle's laws of thought. Instead, they remind us that some things are just unknown, ineffable and inexplicable. As an augmentation to Aristotle, here are the laws of general semantics:
  • The law of null-A: Boolean logic, with only true and false categories for all its elements, cannot accurately map the full expressions of our universe. The law of null-A reminds us that some things fall in the murky areas between true and false. Much like Justin Bieber's gender, there are things that are best described in terms of probabilities, instead of with absolutes like A or not A.

  • The law of null-I: The law of non-identity reminds us that no two events, no matter how similar, may be considered exactly the same. This actually echoes the law of identity of Aristotle, because it classifies two similar events as two separate events, each with its own identity.

  • The law of null-E: The law of non-Euclidean geometry reminds us that Euclidean geometry is insufficient to describe our entire universe. Take a look at hyperbolic geometry and Gödel's (or Godel's) incompleteness theorems.


hyperbolic traingle wikipedia

A hyperbolic triangle. These angles don't add up to 180 degrees.

How does this relate to Anamorph?


Anamorph will remind you that there are many ways to look at a situation. Sometimes, the tools you employ may be the problem. Different tools may give different results. And you don't have to think about boxes.

Director


Henry S. Miller

Cast


Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman and some other people I don't care to google now.

Rating


Yeah it's aright.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fist bump the Trump

I must confess that I did not follow this election as it unfolded, because I have no skin in this game. I only became interested when I saw the crocodile tears on Facebook.

What fascinated me more was that the Trump supporters came out of the closet for the first time to voice their opinions. Virtually none of these Trump supporters espoused racist, misogynistic or any of those kind of deplorable views. Most of them were just pointing fingers at the know-it-all Clinton supporters.

What characterised this election? Rather than enlightened liberals waging a culture war with backward rednecks and hayseeds, three things characterised this election for me:
Shared hubris: Our candidate is bad, but the other candidate is even worse. Both parties seemed to espouse this sentiment.Joe Sixpack's Revenge: Based on voter turnout and based on for whom the largest voting group voted, this election was the revenge of the average American. That is average American by sheer number. Nobody bothered t…

Why has outrage come to dominate platforms like Twitter?

This question was posted on twitter by Sarah Britten Pillay. I shall try to answer that here, or at least address some of the topics surrounding this notion.

What makes a platform like Twitter more outrageous than the next? A brief summary of my thoughts on the topic: It would be interesting to contrive some outrage meter that could detect outrage levels in a piece of text.Plenty if not most of social media outrage is manufactured as a distraction.Outrage that isn't manufactured can be analysed by means of kin selection concepts from biology.If you aren't entirely sold on the sociobiology idea, then the balance of risk and incentive from game theory can also shed some light on the rationale behind social media outrage. Outrage levels are too damn high I do agree that social media platforms tend to be filled with more outrage than others, but as far as I know there is no means of detecting or measuring outrage. The need exists for some outrage quotient or some method of classify…

White tears the most valuable currency but not as valuable as fauxtrage

This formerly glorious publication which I shall not even bother naming has also fallen into the habit of censoring its comments section, at least when it comes to white tears. Fortunately, I could still save this obviously far superior comment from the rather myopic agitprop from whence it came. I know it is superior because the quality of your commentary is inversely proportional to how long it stays unscathed. That's why the sanctimonious finger-wagging op-eds rarely get deleted, but the comments rarely last long.
Anyone - black or white or of any other pigmentation persuasion - with a Rhodes Scholarship can but only cry White Tears. Someone with a Rhodes Scholarship is in the very lap of privilege, the likes of which not even the majority of pale South Africans born with a silver spoon will ever see. That is why it is not uncommon to see their ilk waiting on tables instead of whipping their slaves on their ill-begotten land, which they refuse to give up, you see.
A similar campa…