1) American Psycho
Christian Bale’s previous “American” movie, before Hustle, was Mary Harron’s American Psycho back in 2000. Before Dexter Morgan slashed his way into our hearts as America’s Favorite Serial Killer, Patrick Bateman exercised the audience’s frustration toward a vapid corporatized 1980s society through a series of violent outbursts.
The movie is meant to be satirical and so much of the dialogue and even the violence are played for laughs, uncomfortable as they may be at times. It doesn’t make the violence less shocking, just more alien and cartoonish, as if it serves a greater point.
That point is one that has inspired a lot of interesting academic writing but ultimately is over my head. That is, I find it articulates something, an impulsive and impotent resentment toward excessive style and absent substance, that is difficult to express in mere words. Many have pointed out that American Psycho is an angry response to the lifestyle depicted (and criticized) in Wall Street. It also explores the theory that the people who benefit most from the hypermasculine corporate structure of American big business are deranged psychopaths.
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