Burning, or: When you call Schroedinger’s Cat, does it come?

How do we know what we know? More importantly, how do we know anything when the supposed evidence consists of absences? Does a cat exist that we never see or hear, and all we do is fill its bowl with food and clean the litter box regularly? Is a charmer’s glib confession that in order to feel alive he burns greenhouses every couple of months enough proof to convict him of these crimes – and of worse ones? And when a loved one vanishes, is her absence proof that something horrible has happened? Does Lee Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) make himself believe that something is there, or does he make himself forget that what he is looking for actually doesn’t exist – as with the tangerine in the pantomime his friend Hae-mi shows him?


Continue reading

The Rear-View Mirror: The Usual Suspects (1995)

Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!

– It’s all lies – but they’re entertaining lies, and in the end, isn’t that the real truth?

The Usual Suspects doesn’t get much mention these days. In part, that’s probably due to its director and the actor who played its main character, neither of whom have done themselves many favours in recent years, either professionally or privately. In part, though, it’s probably due to the film’s twist being undoubtedly effective – but moviegoers are notoriously fickle when it comes to endings that seem to undo everything they’ve seen. If the story they’ve been told in effect didn’t happen, what was its point?

The Usual Suspects
Continue reading