Notes

“The Energy Can’t Last: On the Grimy, American Fringes of Jeremy Saulnier”

At RogerEbert.com, Roxanne Hadadi writes on the films of Jeremy Saulnier. “[W]hat Saulnier has built into his Blue Ruin, Green Room, and Hold the Dark trilogy is not only a flair for the gory and grisly, but a consistent acknowledgment of the role this country’s regimented class system plays in stories of vengeance, violence, and survival. How Dwight’s vagrancy in Blue Ruin serves as both a decade-long refuge from the trauma of his past, and a disguise. How the Ain’t Rights’ gutterpunk lifestyle is ascribed ill intent by the fascists hiding their own illegality. How a forgotten village like Keelut, with no resources for the future other than the children who keep disappearing, can absorb a kind of mystical otherness in Hold the Dark. Elements of these films have already rightfully garnered praising attention: Saulnier’s visual style, Blair’s performances, and their experimentation with genre conventions. But Saulnier’s prodding reminder that economic disparity has the potential to kill us all is a core component of this triptych that deserves more consideration, and that makes Blue Ruin, Green Room, and Hold the Dark as American as cinema can get.”

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