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Kivan @KivaBay
, 13 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I really, really, really want to be done thinking about Branded but I've dug so much into this shit now that it's going to have to be an essay.
I still don't know how to totally describe Branded because the plot meanders so badly that it's difficult to pin down. There's a lot of weird plot cul-de-sacs that don't really go anywhere which makes the narrative kind of hard to follow.
However, the writer/director team is revisiting themes in Branded that they use in Offshore Reserves so I feel like we can use that to sort of... sort of... SORT OF understand this madness.
I would do a video essay about it but I very badly need a haircut
I think a lot of western audiences (I can't speak to Russian audiences) received Branded and understood because of our cultural understanding of Russia as communist that it was an anti-consumer movie. But I feel like the themes of contamination and epidemic are often overlooked.
Which is weird because they are really, really, really up front, but it's something that I haven't seen deeply discussed.
Also, there's a repeating theme about women's bodies as sites of discord throughout both Branded and Offshore Reserves that I think has gone mostly unnoticed. The fat shaming is incredibly up front, but there is actually a LOT going on there.
It's weird, I don't really get how anyone could have watched this movie and come away liking it. I get that's judgmental, but here we are. There's a deep vein of misogyny that runs through both these works that is blatant, on the very surface, but ignored by many.
It confuses the ever-living hell out of me.
It'll make more sense in the essay, just suffice to say: what the fuck even is this movie
Like I think the weirdest part is that audiences think of Branded as the anti-consumerism movie but I don't think that's actually the case. Again, finding the common threads between Offshore Reserves and Branded makes this clearer because Branded, FYI, is BONKERS
But it should be noted that the hero of Branded is a guy who has the power to use consumerism effectively, better than his enemies. It's not really anti-consumerism, but more anti-US AID.
I mean kinda that part gets muddy because the script is terrible
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