Carne y arena Screen

Carne y arena

2017

Carne y arena Poster
  • The widespread (and widely challenged) notion of virtual reality as “empathy machine”—as evident in the proliferation of consciousness-raising, humanitarian-themed VR works—merges here with Iñárritu’s shock-and-awe sensibility to create something at once brutalizing and trivializing, rife with irony and ripe for precisely the kind of satire that won the Palme d’Or.

  • Offensive on many levels in ways that are shockingly obvious, it’s truly all that one could hope for from the auteur of Babel (2006), Biutiful (2010), and beyond, baby. And to be clear, this is not simply a bad eight-minute virtual-reality short (shot, dimly, by Emmanuel Lubezki): it’s a full-fledged bad art installation, giving the title attraction in The Square a run for its money and, boy, do I mean money.

  • Only a self-styled auteur with high-art aspirations could earnestly devise such an elaborate installation while systematically reducing its message to a series of setpieces and loaded binaries. Its parenthetical subtitle alone is an affront to thematic subtlety, to say nothing of the egregious “U.S. / T.H.E.M.” acronym that graces the exhibit’s logo: a heart-shaped map of the border with arteries tracing the region’s topography.

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