I hadn’t actually rewatched this film in quite some time, and in the intervening 2 years I got really into left politics. So I was starting to get a little nervous that perhaps I’d written something annoyingly liberal. I also wrote the film before Trump was elected, so I was also a little concerned that this may have instantly dated the film. So tonight I watched it through.
I’m pleased to say that the film does not feel dated, and I managed to make a pretty thoroughly socialist film before I even knew I was a socialist! It helps that a lot of the film’s thematics were inspired by the Surrealists and the Situationists, two explicitly marxist art movements (even if at the time of writing the film I was more into the art than the marxism).
But yeah, I find nothing here that really conflicts at all with my current worldview, which is a giant relief! I also noticed some only semi-intentional stuff that I’m pretty fond of (e.g. the use of bursts of light as visual symbolism for Surrealist “marvelous” moments and places).
In my recollections of the ending I’d worried it was kind of meaningless, too much style and not enough substance. But on rewatch it was more interesting and nuanced than I’d remembered. The “declarations” I make aren’t just vivid imagery, they can be read in a few different ways that mostly complement each other. But really I think what I was saying there was that you can escape the rigid imaginative confines of a boring Florida retirement community and of capitalism itself by putting yourself and your friends in the places you’re not supposed to be and opening yourself up to radically different aesthetic ideals (the Surrealist lens). It’s also a sort of ode to the directly democratic ethos of welcoming the community into spaces that capitalism has forgotten and opening them up to new and imaginative uses (the Situationist lens).
This is really really navelgazey so I do apologize for that! Just putting some of my thoughts on paper here. The longer I go without watching this film, the more I convince myself that maybe it’s not actually good, but then when I finally watch it again I remember why I made it and I realize that I made something I’m very proud of that I don’t think anyone else could ever have made.