I was nineteen-years-old when Amy Dunne introduced me to the mind-blowing concept that the idyllic female lead was considered to be sexist without the counter-part. Women are also anti-heroes. In my defense, I was really dumb at nineteen. Also, in my defense there is a noticeable lack of psychotic female murderers as anti-heroes. Gillian Horvath, who plays a fictionalized version of herself in her directorial debut I Blame Society, adds another chapter to that canon.
I was twenty-two years old when I re-watched Hitchcock’s Rear Window for a Introductory Film Theory class. There’s a shot in Rear Window where James Stewart places his camera in his lap as he wheels to the titular rear window. It’s an obvious metaphor for his own physical and psychological lack, a phallic symbol to end all phallic symbol. It’s a shot referenced within I Blame Society, but cranked to eleven after the fictional Horvath gains better and better equipment for the making of a documentary about how she would be the perfect murderer, where the camera suggests increased power covering an even greater lack. The fictional Horvath is a bit of a narcissist, and conceives of the cleverly titled I, Murderer on the basis of a compliment. It sends the film into a head-spinning convolution of meta-textual narrative, so entangled all you want to do is lose yourself in the hand-tied knots.
Thus, I am now twenty-four years old trying to figure out how to make heads or tails of I Blame Society. It’s incredible, and I have no idea how to convey that properly in 300 words. Hopefully, this somewhat succeed. I can confidently say this, if there’s one film at CUFF 2020 this year that wish I wasn’t beholden to the capsule review format it’s this one. I blame society.