A brief reaction to the 2017 film, The Square


I recently watched the 2017 Palme d’Or winner, The Square (though I am not sure how to appreciate this award, as it has been given to masterpieces like Pulp Fiction [1994], but also to garbage films like Fahrenheit 9/11 [2004]).  I liked it quite a bit.  It starts off with ridiculing the overly complex jargon of modern art critics by portraying the main character as being completely perplexed after having one of his own writings read back at him.  In fact, the whole film mocks the modern art world.  But more than that, the film becomes a modern art piece itself.  Composed with whacky scenes that don’t necessarily connect, as well as with superficial acting; this film succeeds in producing reactions from moments characterized by precisely that.  One whacky and disparate scene, where a man acts like an out-of-control baboon, is outright riveting and at the same time completely unnecessary to the story line.  It is probably the most striking scene in the movie, and simultaneously weird, out of place, and surely quite modern.

If much of modern art is supposed to incite reactions from unorthodox and bewildering productions, this film is exactly that at its finest.