“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly”
On the second episode of Movie Night Automata, Forrest, J. Andrew World, and Conan Neutron, are joined by filmmaker (and letterboxd user!) Zach B. Marsh to talk about Kogonada‘s visually stunning 2022 A24 produced science fiction drama After Yang.
A relaxed, soft, powerful and rather Zen experience focusing grief, meditation, connection and ruminations on loss. Rife with first rate world building and gorgeous cinematography, this is a remarkable movie about memory and connection. We discuss why memory is so important in this film. It is unvarnished and unmitigated, Yang sees it all in full 16:9 whereas our aspect ratio is deeply letterboxed, the excess deleted, and our perspective limited. A few vivid, but agonizingly incomplete seconds of larger moments, of bigger days.
It is notable how much of the built world is purposefully overlooked in this, yet never ignored. Self-driving cars are just a fact of life, of COURSE you’d get your Android family member refurbished if money was tight. It makes sense that Colin Farrell’s tea shop might be a labor of love, and not a financial success. Also: he’s potentially discriminatory against clones? Which makes it all the more delightful when Ada says:
‘We always assume that other beings would want to be human. What’s so great about being human?’
We also discuss how Kogonada’s Columbus is an overlooked film, and why future Karens are always stirring up trouble at the tea shop. How Colin Farrell’s impersonation of Werner Herzog in All in This Tea is actually kind of remarkable and a key bonding moment to understand both characters. We delve into why this pairs nicely with Blade Runner, why we kept expecting different revelations but enjoyed a film that revels in the banality of the mundane, and how Kogonada understands how to explore memories and grief.