Dark Horsei is another proud example in Todd Solondz' exquisite collection of American realism.
You might recall Happiness, discussed here. Happiness was an earlier piece, and the director used such outside supports for his craft as The Child Molester, The Borderline Sleeve or The Housewife - generic characters imported via a #include anglocinema.std call. No such scaffolding is used, or indeed needed, for Dark Horse. All the items, be they characters, tropes, soundbytes or sound tracks exist meaningfully in his world, and were borne strictly from his world.ii It is, properly speaking, Solodonz' world - you're just inhabiting it. The fact that this inhabitation is the central, even only point of your miserable existence does not change the fact that same inhabitation is a marginal and readily forgotten aspect from any other vantage. It's not that you contributed some sort of material which the Demiurge put into artform. It's that he finally deigned to write down the partiture you didn't know you were living by.
In this film, a very loud, anodyne fat guy goes about trying to "live his life" according to what he thinks is right and proper and due him. He ends up satisfactorily mutilated : in a hospital bed, coming to after two months of coma, with a broken spine - only to confront the only woman he ever knew with the fundamental question : is she with child ? He eschews even the major point of whose child, liberally mixing the possessives. She denies it. He proceeds to express the hepatitis she had given him, and dies.iii She pisses on his grave, standing, child in arms.
It is the only true film that could be made about America. It should, hopefully, play at its funeral. (And no, you won't be able to return the funeral - it's scratched on purpose.)———
- 2011, by Todd Solondz, with Selma Blair, Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and some loud fat guy. [↩]
- A point perhaps most obvious when looking at the various supposed "songs" the film employs. None of them existed before Solondz used them, nor indeed could have existed if he hadn't used them. [↩]
- Supposedly the doctor had said his experience is one in a billion. The doctor was no doubt thinking of people. For the sort of swine the US Census counts, this is not one in a billion, not even one in ten. It's all in all, properly and for good reason, or as the dead man used to say, 200%. 1`000%! [↩]