Belisarius Asking for Alms

Jacques-Louis David, Belisarius Asking for Alms, 1781

While David traveled to Rome, he was infatuated with historical paintings. This particular one shows a wide range of David's abilities. The detail of of the columns in this painting provide a design necessity. The columns do push down on the figures and split the painting in half. They also create a harsh diagonal, starting from the top left and passing through their arms and slashing into the bottom right. With the flow of the painting, the columns force the work our of balance. The right side is more packed and dark than the right.

The people in the foreground, feel merciful. The man and the child are begging for help, showing weakness that is in need of rescuing. While the woman gives another layer of compassion, understanding, and a maternal hand. The older man is not looking at the woman but is looking up past her face praising God; however, the young boy is communicating more compassion towards the woman.  But the soldier in the background seems to be protesting this offering.

  • 7:00 AM

The Intervention of the Sabine Women

Jacques-Louis David, The Intervention of the Sabine Women, 1799

This is some serious woman power - I mean really serious female fortitude. In this painting, Hersilia, wife of the ruler of Rome, throws herself between a spear and a sword to stop the violence between the Romans and the Sabines. Hersilia felt it was her job to prevent the senseless killing of neighbors, and she put her life at risk so that others may not die. Influenced by her strength, other Sabine women jump into the middle of the battle. The unfamiliarity of women among warriors is quite evident based on the facial expressions of the three main men, Hersilia's husband, father, and the man with the horses. To be honest, it even looks like the horses are confused by their presence.

David painted The Intervention of the Sabine Women when in jail for his participation in the Reign of Terror. David got pretty lonely in jail and had a hard time deciding what to paint, until one day he was inspired by his wife. His wife, and many other women, were outspoken during the Reign of Terror. David wanted to do a little throw-back tribute to all the women who didn't just sit back and let the men run wild.

An interesting component of the painting is the contrast of the women to the men. The nudity of the men is raw and animalistic, while the women have a more sophisticated and tame air about them. The men are so wild they don't even notice the children on the ground. However, when the men see the women, they hesitate and think more carefully about what they're doing. David wanted to honor his wife for her bravery, always being with him, and for influencing his art. In addition, David paid his homage to the women who were standing their ground in France.

  • 7:00 AM

Cupid and Psyche

David Cupid and Psyche 1817

Why mess with a good thing? I mean sure, your sisters probably had solid points and they are your family, but still, if you had everything you could imagine, why screw it up? I think I'd tell that to Psyche's face if I ever saw her. Granted, she is probably still walking the earth performing terrible tasks that were sentenced to her for life as she searches for her runaway lover, but still I feel for the girl. I love this story, I think it is perfectly indicative of girls and insecurities, and I love that even Aphrodite struggled with the same mean girl crap high school girls go through. But instead of just saying, "I'm gonna kill her," she plagued a town and forced them to leave her enemy for monster meat. She wins the original drama queen crown.

Before I continue with what I think of David's painting of Cupid and Psyche in their happier times, I'll tell you how this whole thing played out: Psyche was really hot and Aphrodite became quite the jealous goddess. She cursed Psyche's town until her own father left her tied up to be eaten by a monster. Cupid, son Aphrodite, saved our damsel and married her. Mom wasn't crazy about this obviously, and neither were Psyche's sisters back home. Nevertheless, Cupid spoiled the heck out of Psyche, gave her a palace and everything she wanted during the day and time alone with him at night. He insisted on this and told Psyche that she was never allowed to look at him. He wanted her to love him for him and not his super hotness. They were both happy, but of course Psyche's dumb, mortal feelings got in the way. Her sisters began to question her about their arrangement, saying things like, "Well he must be a gross monster-thing, and you're stupid for not looking at him." The reappearing theme of physical appearance and insecurities, much like that of Aphrodite, got the best of Psyche. She took and candle into Cupid's room one night and saw how gorgeous he was. She gawked over him for so long that wax from her candle dripped onto him, woke him, and disgraced by her disobedience, made him fly away forever. The End.

So like I said, this is a happier time in their marriage. We see Psyche turned away from Cupid and her curvy, open figure against Cupid's very angular and muscular figure. I will say, David painted Cupid a little extra happy and also extra young in this piece. Other critics comment on this as well, and I say that the boy is filled with the chillest swagger and looks like he has got it made with his lady. His rosy cheeks and the color of his skin along with the amazing red draping over the bed makes this piece warm, a little sensual, and, clearly, naughty. Of course Psyche looks a little down that she can't see her lover,s face, but she cozies up to him. Though the contrast in her softness and his rigid figures stick out, they also fit together nicely and demonstrate all of David's talent.

  • 7:00 AM

The Lictors Bring Brutus the Bodies of his Sons

Jacques-Louis David, The Lictors Bring Brutus the Bodies of his Sons, 1789

Few paintings embody so well the worldview of their creator.

The story of Brutus and his sons ends poorly. Brutus famously overthrew the original monarch of Rome, deposing the seventh king of the city and ushering in 500 years of industrious republican government. Brutus became the first consul of Rome and saw about overseeing the transition to a republic. However, even as he worked to strengthen the republic, trouble brewed right under his nose. The recently deposed king’s family, none too happy at their current predicament, immediately began a plot to retake the city and reinstitute a monarchy. They even managed to sweet-talk Brutus’s sons into joining their coup. It failed—one of the intended conspirators turned out to be on the republic’s side—and punishments had to be doled out. Brutus’s job looked unfriendly. The consulate, with Brutus’s approval, sentenced his sons to death. He then attended the execution, which was carried out barbarically so as to deter future conspirators (it didn’t work—another attempt at restoring the throne occurred the very same year). This brings us to the scene that David elected to paint. Brutus sits stoically in the foreground, his curled toes the only sign of the immense pain he must have felt.

A couple of important compositional traits allow David’s sentiments to shine through. Two different worlds exist, divided by the columns. On the left lie the sons and Brutus. Brutus is the image of masculinity; even the death of his sons cannot move him to show emotion. On the other side of the painting, bathed in light, Brutus’s wife and daughters mourn the loss of the sons. This parallels closely the composition of David’s Oath of the Horatii—he depicts strong, determined men cut off from their better halves.

Finally, this painting must be viewed in the context of its creation. Painted in 1789, a time when the king still held influence, the work is a not-so-subtle dig at the monarchy. Not only does the story of Brutus obviously paint the rapacious, treacherous Roman monarchy in a negative light, but the idea of making sacrifices for the revolution must have seemed a particularly salient idea as the pace of executions ramped up in revolutionary France.

David the painter could rarely divorce himself from David the politician, and this painting is of course no different. David’s concepts of masculinity, patriotism, and sacrifice ring loud and clear in this tribute to the first overthrow of a western monarchy.

  • 7:00 AM

The Source

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, The Source, 1856

Ingres searched for perfection in his nude female figures by exaggerating and elongating their forms, creating sensual curves and strangely attenuated poses. However, The Source, which he left unfinished for more than 30 years, depicts a woman with more realistic proportions and sculptural smoothness, pouring a silvery stream of water into the pool at her feet. The water is just beginning to ripple, not yet disturbing the reflection of her feet, leaving her image frozen in time. Her undeniable sexuality is tempered by the body of water separating her from the viewer and her cold expression. The smooth, simplified curves of her body and the matte texture of the paint make her resemble a sculpture more than a living woman. She represents a natural spring, as well as a Muse and a source of poetic inspiration.

The painting was first exhibited in 1856, when Ingres was seventy-six and well advanced in his career. The first owner displayed it surrounded by flowers and aquatic plants, emphasizing its connection to the earth:  the delicate flowers on either side of the figure suggest an image of purity, while ivy was sacred to Dionysus, god of wine and totally sick parties. The effect of the surrounding greenery supposedly emphasized the painting’s realism even more. The Source has often been praised as one of Ingres’ best works, or even “the most beautiful figure in French painting.” The smooth, sculptural treatment and allusions to Greek myth place it firmly in the realm of superb Neoclassical paintings.
  • 7:00 AM

The Death of Socrates

Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Socrates, 1787

What would be a better way to set revolutionary ideals than to borrow from Classical Antiquities? A progressive philosopher himself, Socrates demonstrated the very essence of democracy and personal integrity that David had long been looking for. Wrongfully condemned for corrupting the minds of youths of Athens, Socrates chose to die for his beliefs rather than relinquish his principles and live in exile. In the eyes of the 18th-century French revolutionists, such heroic act was the exact manifestation of the spirit of the revolution -- to sacrifice oneself in resistance to an unjust regime.

The painting depicts the closing moment of Socrates's life. While delivering a discourse on the immortality of soul, (according to Plato), Socrates reaches for the hemlock cup. David really is the master of choosing moments. (Well, he is a master of many things). While he chooses to paint Marat at his last breath, here, David picks up the story right from the climax; nothing of calm or tranquility as we see in the Death of Marat, only a hero, who faces death with indifference and fortitude, as if in an Aeschylus tragedy.

A wide spectrum of emotions can be seen on the painting: from the grieving or perhaps sleeping Plato at the end of the bed, to the swirling disciples and slaves on the very right. Again, the details are what really grab you. Similar as in his The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons, here, one of the moaner's twisted feet also serve as the very expression of his high emotions. However, Socrates himself despises such weakness of emotionalism. Thus we only see two of his followers, Plato and Crito, who is grasping his master's leg, keep their self-control. But again, the figures who are reined by their emotions at the same time make the hero more resolute and dignified. Like we wouldn't know the scene of Marat's death, we have no way to verify the exact scene of Socrates' death either, (even Plato, who recorded the event was actually not present, due to illness). Only the painter, the one with the megaphone, gets to tell the story. In the case of David, his story is so convincing that we are moved and willing to believe, even when we know it's largely propaganda.

I'm amazed by such magic.

  • 7:00 AM

Monsieur Seriziat

Jaques Louis David, Portrait of Monsieur Seriziat,1795

If you have ever been to a wax museum you can't help but feel watched. Now of course you know that none of these figures are alive, but they have an aura and a certain presence. David is a master at making the viewer feel him through each and every one of his strokes, gently tugging for the viewer's involvement. Expert propagandist and patron of the noblemen and gentry, David knew his place, making it very clear as he painted prominent figures of society leeching off the government for protection. Serving on the Committee for Public Safety, David sanctioned the death of hundreds, and was later imprisoned for his involvement with and support of Robespierre. While waiting out his sentence, David managed to acquire some basic materials and did what he did best: paint.

Shortly after his release in 1795 he left for the countryside where he spent his time with his sister-in-law Madame Seriziat. After meeting her husband, David painted his portrait of Monsieur Seriziat. Seated rigidly in his riding attire, he clearly resembles the nobility. David, knowing that the upper echelon of society welcomed him, reminded them all of what he was capable of. The master artist was back to manipulative tactics, seducing the less fortunate with images of what their lives could be after the revolution. I can't help but escape the eyes of Monsieur Seriziat, it both attracts me and reminds me that I can never be close to him. This capturing of such great feeling and motion is what makes David an incredible artist and a painter.

David’s return to the realm of French revolutionary politics could not have been achieved without these subtle works. Monsieur Seriziat represents a stage in society as the nobility must kneel to the rise of the classes below. David, as a master of propaganda, managed to survive as each succeeding conqueror stepped in and with each a new persona - ever the social chameleon.

  • 7:00 AM

The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine

Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine, 1807

On a cold, rainy day in pre-modern Paris, weak sunlight filters through the high windows of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.  Forward steps Napoleon to crown his beloved Josephine, who waits with bended knee to assume her place as wife and continue the Napoleonic line.  A catholic cross stands auspiciously at the exact center of the picture.  With its political undertones masked in religious intent, Jacques-Louis David's The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine represents a well-executed propaganda piece.  Its commissioner, Napoleon, was right to approve.

Thematically speaking, religion becomes immediately obvious.  Two of the central compositional shapes highlight religious symbols.  A main arc of people sweeps from the left side of the painting and ascends up to the golden crucifix.  A cross standing strategically at the work's center tops another smaller arc from Napoleon's arm to the crown.  David has placed the paralleled figures at lofty heights in an assertion that Napoleon rules under God.  In case the message weren't clear enough, a ray of light literally streams in from the window to illuminate Napoleon.

But, almost subversively, David has placed subtle political messages.  Note how Napoleon stands higher than the Pope.  Although Napoleon instructed that he be depicted to look supportive of the rising leader, the Pope historically did not approve of France's new government ever since the previous revolutionaries had turned their country away from the Catholic Church.  The revolutionary regime deemed it too indulgent and embodying the very nobility they had just overthrown.  David's scene shows the threat of Napoleon becoming more powerful and influential than the church.

The painting appears rather austere and only moderately embellished, still a clear departure from the old nobility's flamboyant rococo.  David, first the French Revolution's propagandist and head artist, eluded exile from France as Napoleon's regime took hold and struggled into his former seat of power over the public.  His illustration of a militant emperor superseding the old methods of leadership would resonate with the people as a profound change.  Accordingly, a Neoclassicist approach appears in Napoleon's laurel wreath and Roman-like robes, recalling old European empires and marking Napoleon as a sort of Augustus Caesar incarnate.

The imposing painting of around six by ten meters attempts to establish authority for Napoleon.  This work showed the public a clear leader, garbed in Imperial Roman treasures and apparently held in esteem by the Church and, vicariously, God.  With the all-powerful lending legitimacy, the painting said, and with Napoleon the reincarnation of the father of Europe's greatest historical empire, nothing could stop France from expanding.  As during the Revolution and the reigns of kings before, this propaganda delivered a singular message to the common folk - to bow down to a new regime.

  • 7:00 AM

Oath of the Tennis Court

Jacques - Louis David, Oath of the Tennis Court, 1791

Can something unfinished be considered a masterpiece? Can a painting that was planned to be 7 by 10 meters make something stir inside a viewer when viewing the piece if it is only 3.48 by 6.48 meters? I would argue yes. Take these questions and apply them to David’s Oath of the Tennis Court, a painting that sadly was never completed, but still hangs in the Chateau de Versailles. David had meticulously planned what he was going to depict. He had filled sketchbooks with minute details of the scene: possible positions for each subject, the architectural structure of the court, and other small details. He had even completed a detailed sketch of the entire painting, and yet, when it came time to complete the “pi├Ęce de resistance,” David stopped short.

The painting had become irrelevant. The outstretched hands, warm embraces, and camaraderie were no longer the center of the revolution. The guillotine was taking center stage, and David realized that his painting depicted people who were no longer considered to be loyal to the cause of the Oath. David had to make a decision. Either finish this painting and illustrate a historical event that was once viewed as a turning point, or leave the painting behind and ensure his safety and reputation. David chose the latter.

Oath of the Tennis Court allows viewers to witness David’s process of painting. Author Simon Lee explains that “David frequently first drew or painted his figures nude,” creating a template that he would clothe “with the final paint layer.” David’s detailed sketch depicts the men clothed, but I find this unfinished painting, with the nude men, more striking. The lack of clothing allows David to illustrate the movement of the painting. The tensed muscles portray the mood of the scene: invigorating, powerful, moving. I also find the partially painted hands to be a moving aspect of the painting. I don’t
quite know why, but my favorite element of David’s painting style is how he paints hands. In this piece, three hands have been painted. They seem to emanate black space around them, as if they are reaching into the painting; tearing through the blank white space to reveal the darkness behind the light. The hands, along with four painted heads, seem to not fit in the unfinished painting. I know that this makes sense, David didn’t finish the painting. But for some reason, I find it more striking that the only parts David painted before stopping are the parts that played a key role in the revolution. The heads are evident; thought provoked the revolution, but an explanation for the hands requires more insight. The hands in this painting, whether painted or not, depict camaraderie, movement, and power. The outstretched hands reach towards a goal. They praise the goal. David did not finish sketching the subject to which the hands reach, but in doing so, he provided the viewer with the chance to really think about what the hands are trying to grasp. Are the men actually reaching towards each other for a celebratory embrace, to praise the leader of the meeting, or are they reaching towards an intangible goal that only a revolution can achieve? 

  • 7:00 AM

The Oath of the Horatii

Jacques-Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784

Jacques-Louis David, propagandist extraordinaire of the French Revolution, painted The Oath of the Horatii five years before the actual beginning of the French Revolution. So, why then, did it become such a huge symbol of the republic to come? A neoclassicist, David's paintings often depicted Roman scenes with an anti-frivolity that greatly contrasted to the Rocco movement that had occurred only a short time before. One of such scenes David emulated in The Oath of the Horatii. The Horatii were Roman warrior triplets (similar to that of The Powerpuff Girls) who pledged their lives to fight the enemy, the Curiatii from Alba Longa. Whoever wins the fight, wins the war. In the end the Horatii win, but only one out of the three survives, Publius. The victor with an unfortunate name and destiny, returns only to commit sororicide. His sister, one of the lamenting women in the background of David's painting, was engaged to one of the Curiatii. Publius was sentenced to death for his actions, but justified it by stating, "So perish any Roman...who mourns the enemy." In a way, couldn't that be said for the Reign of Terror as well?

"To arms, citizens," La Marseilles urges. "From your battalions, let's march, let's march! Let an impure blood water our furrows!" Written in 1792 and eventually adopted as the new Republic's national anthem in 1795, La Marseilles is a literal call to arms, which is everything this painting embodies and more. Although painted five years before the actual start of the French Revolution, The Oath of Horatii elicits a deep-set devotion to a cause. The Horatii reach for the swords as the French did for freedom, yet, at the time, were still unable to grasp them in their hands, nor hold them above their heads in victory. It's as if David paints both a warning to the aristocracy and a calling to the oppressed. In essence, that's what David did do. He would go on to become the painter for men such as Robespierre and Marat; a producer of propaganda. The Oath of the Horatii embodies the ideals of the French Revolution, a dissolution against monarchy and tyranny, but also demonstrates how flawed such ideologies were.

  • 7:00 AM

David's Self Portrait

Jacques-Louis David, Self Portrait, 1794

At 46-years-old, it seemed that Jacques-Louis David’s life had come to a halt. His career as the artistic face of the French Revolution was dismantled along with the Reign of Terror. His friend and partner-in-crime, Robespierre, had been executed. And now David found himself in jail waiting for his own execution day. With no one to step up and save the most controversial and politically-influential painter in France, David took measures into his own hands.

He painted his Self-Portrait from jail in 1794. The painting is of himself, yes, but not the 46-year-old political-painter-turned-convict version of himself. He painted a younger David, hair romantically tousled, clothes charmingly disheveled, and an expression that could only hint at the future that modern David would suffer. He is clutching a palette and brush, as if to say, “Who, me? I’m just a humble painter.” But his eyes tell a different story. His gaze falls just below the viewers, as if he can’t bring himself to look the people of Paris in the eyes. His expression is passionate, yet tormented. David was not trying to take back what he had done. No, he believed what he had painted throughout the Reign of Terror was justified. The people of Paris had needed him. He made the Revolution accessible to the masses. Horatii, Brutus, Marat – they were not mistakes. But in painting them, David had let himself be viewed as just a symbol, an image for the Revolution. As the Reign of Terror fell, so did David. His famous paintings that had captivated and engaged the French people had become his downfall. Now he painted himself.

It was a last resort, a meager attempt to save his life. Or, maybe it was a cunning scheme to win the people of Paris once again. He was expert at it by now, always being acutely aware of what makes people tick. He understood how to manipulate people through his art. He had been making people see his way for years, from Brutus and the Lictors to Marat, and now this. Even with his tainted reputation, David still had enough credibility to attempt to pull this off. And he wasn’t about to go down without a fight.

So did it work? I mean, really?

Of course it did.

  • 7:00 AM

Mars Being Disarmed by Venus

Jacques-Louis David, Mars Being Disarmed by Venus, 1824

At the end of his life, exiled to Brussels, the 73-year-old Jacques-Louis David painted his enigmatic final masterpiece, Mars Being Disarmed by Venus. Although the god of war has divested himself of helmet and shield and his modesty is protected only by a conveniently placed dove, the final outcome of Venus’s courtship is still in doubt. Mars holds back, with a diffident expression, from the proffered crown of roses (a symbol of submission), and Cupid has set aside his bow, having shot neither the gold arrow of love or the less famous lead arrow of disgust. The three Graces, Venus’s attendants, fuss about performing meaningless tasks in the background, looking frankly less than graceful. The overall effect is confusing and highly unusual, leaving scholars to puzzle out the meaning of the work.

David sent Mars Being Disarmed by Venus to a Parisian exhibition from his exile, as a response to the newly ascendant style of Romanticism. In that case, perhaps the aging David felt the grip of his Neoclassical style fading, and that the public was being seduced away from what he considered right and proper. Perhaps his detatchment from France and the feeling that he was cut off from the newest trends in art informed the coldly dispassionate affair in this painting. An early sketch for this painting shows Venus’s voluptuous body facing forward, so that the viewer could see her from the front. In the final work, she is much thinner, and turned away, showing not even a hint of chest. One dove clumsily censors Mars’s crotch, while the other drives a wedge between the two gods. They do not even touch, except for one thin hand on Mars’s thigh, which Venus is using to support herself more than anything else.

The story goes that Vulcan, Venus’s crippled husband and the blacksmith of the gods, found out about this affair and wove a fine mesh net to catch Venus and Mars in the act, then brought all the other Roman gods to point and laugh at them. Perhaps this explains the incongrouous touches of comedy in the painting. The Graces certainly seem to be laughing at something (maybe each other), and Cupid peers straight at the viewer with a cocky smile, inviting them to share in the joke.

Little has been written in analysis of this painting; scholarship focuses on his earlier, revolutionary works. In the end, really, the viewer must ask themselves a question: just what is that Grace doing with Mars’s helmet? Does she think there’s a shelf there for her to put it on, or is she just holding it up strangely? Surely that grip wouldn’t actually support anything?

  • 7:00 AM

Surprise! and Life of Pi

Henri Rousseau,  Surprise!, 1891

Either on a shipwreck or prowling across a field, tigers are dangerous.  In Surprise! by Henri Rousseau, we can see the darkness of the tiger's face. Contradictory to the movie's portrayal of tigers. Once Richard Parker, the tiger, and Pi Patel are on the life raft floating away we see the tiger's natural instinct: either kill or be killed. Richard Parker cannot fight these natural instincts and becomes violent. Rousseau's portrayal of a tiger, resembles that of Richard Parker in the beginning of the movie. Relying on his natural instincts to thrive. The tiger is in its natural habitat, and looks terrifying for a pedestrian who may encounter this tiger on his pursuit. I know I wouldn't want to interact with Rousseau's tiger.

However, Richard Parker seems more nice, like Raja from Aladdin. I just want to be sitting in a menagerie stroking its multicolored fur, and discussing life issues with him.  Or you want to be on a boat with hundreds of zoo animals in hope that one has a nonviolent attachment to you. Now  Life of Pi is only rated PG, so there couldn't possibly be a freakishly vicious tiger waiting to seek revenge, it needs to be a more humanistic with its facial features.  

These portrayals of tigers show both sides, their dark and predator side, and their nicer side. Each art form brings different feelings along.  Rousseau's is more scary than Life of Pi's (even though Richard Parker tries to consume Pi Patel). They bring awareness of how to react to these creatures as well. So if anyone is ever stuck on a boat with a hungry tiger, Pi Patel has guidelines for you.

  • 7:00 AM

Lucifer and American Psycho

Jackson Pollock, Lucifer, 1947

I wanted to do American Psycho and a Jackson Pollock piece, because the two are tied together in my mind through the splatter, but they have very different meanings. That may seem and odd thing to say while talking about a painting entitled Lucifer, but I beg to differ. Jackson Pollock was an artist painting, per se, during the 1940s and 50s. He acted as a symbol for atomic anxiety after World War II, the very thing I see when I look at Lucifer. In essence, Pollock commended peace through his frenzied paintings rather than violence. It's supposed to be a juxtaposition when sitting next to a clip of Patrick Bateman smashing some jerk's brains in while listening to Huey Lewis and the News, but it isn't. There are more ties than I really want to acknowledge. The black, like cracks in a sidewalk, demand your attention. I can't stare at it for long without hyperventilating. By the way, not a fan of 80s pop. Everything about this, the painting, the scene, the music, is upbeat. Well, the painting and scene are more like an accelerating heartbeat rather than the song.

Patrick Bateman is the epitome of an 80s suit clad, business executive jerk. He even wears the stereotypical blue shirt with white collar, except the tie is red and not yellow. At least that's what I think of when someone says "80s Wall Street." Bateman struggles to stay alive in this back stabbing business, taking the pressure of business card showdowns off by attending spas and killing his coworkers. Let me play the devil's advocate for a minute and say that Paul Allen was a real...word-I-can't-say-in-this-blog. I constantly find myself on Bateman's side throughout the entire movie, even finding it painful to watch as others completely disregard and humiliate him. So, it's pretty satisfying when Bateman swings that hammer. But the question I keep asking myself about this movie is this: why make a serial killer so pitiable? I feel bad for him, but Bateman is a serial killer. Serial killers, in my mind, hold a certain kind of power in their work, and they must also hold power in the world around them. How else could they get away with killing more than one person? Also, the act of killing someone is a gain of power. I mean, you literally hold that persons life in your hands. That's power. At least, this is what I've learned from watching Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal religiously. Although the film was satirical the core truth emitted from Bateman's deterioration was depressing. Despite being an actual serial killer, in the end, Bateman was the most sane, morally correct person in the room.

  • 7:00 AM