Gimme Something to Watch: Session 9
Hello friends, crazytaco_12 here. As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve only written show reviews for the Toilet. I’ve been looking to branch out into other categories and this particular post covers an interest I’m very passionate about (outside of metal, of course): movies.
Horror movies especially, but not just constrained to that genre. I have a few personal preferences for what makes a film work:
- It’s gotta make me think
- It’s gotta get me involved in the storyline
- It’s gotta have a message. Alternatively,
- It can have no message, but a well thought out and have an interesting story
- It can’t just be a messy blood-n’-boobs compilation
What I am here to do is expose art. I’m not trying to sound like too much of a prude here, because I will undoubtedly share some funny, mindless crappers, but personally I want to spend more time focusing and giving credit to directors and movies that have a serious, message-based artistic tone. I know a lot of this is just my personal preference, and that’s all you should really take it as; if you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. Lest I look a hypocrite, I should also mention that somewhere in future posts I will probably completely contradict myself or have questionable outlooks in one way or another with a film I post about. Tough shit, I’m only human.
To sum it all up, this is not about reviewing movies, it’s about sharing movies with you guys to check out or simply keep in mind next time you’re flipping through releases on Netflix or at the rental store. If you would also like to share a movie, feel free to share in the comments or do your own write up. In the future, I would like to start some side overview thing where we can further discuss the meanings and ideas behind these movies if anyone ends up watching any of them. On that note, PLEASE DO NOT POST SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS!!!
This first week’s movie and one of my all-time favorites is Session 9 (2001) by Brad Anderson (imdb) . The most recognizable actors in this film are David Caruso (CSI: Miami), and Peter Mullan (Trainspotting), so this movie is clearly not relying on starpower crutches. This film is best described as a psychological horror/mystery, and it is rife with social commentary and plot twists throughout.
Section 9 follows an asbestos cleanup crew who have won a bid to clean a mental asylum. This huge, painstaking piece of work that would normally take a few weeks to complete must be done in only one. However, the job comes with steady pay and a bonus of 10,000 dollars. While Gordon, the crew boss, has his hang-ups about taking on such a daunting task, he’s forced to take the job as he knows their business will go under if he doesn’t.
While we’re really focusing on the collective group of workers throughout this movie, we can generally say Gordon is our protagonist. Gordon is the stressed out leader of the crew who needs to pull in money after having a baby. The rest of the team is rounded out by Phil and Hank, who are spiteful enemies, Mike, who is more of an intellectual yet tortured character, and Jeff, Gordon’s goofy and blissfully ignorant nephew. As they go about taking on this excruciating task, we begin to delve deeper and deeper into the psyches, agendas, and mysteries within each character.
Most of the workers seem to live stale, banal lives outside of work that are only fleetingly entertained by inebriation and escape plans from their terminal “career”. Even while working in a place so huge, their mutually dull and intermingling lives create an overwhelming sense of mutual claustrophobia. As the days go by, tensions increase within the group. “Will we finish the job in time? What are the other members of the crew doing off hours? What’s the story behind this asylum?” As these mounting questions are chased by all with a burning fervor, we tunnel further through the depths of each character’s inner paranoia.
Never have I seen a horror movie that so realistically illustrates work-related stress as such a soul-grinding and mentally-murdering force of fear in our daily lives. Ultimately, this movie pounds the viewer with some of the coldest doses of reality represented in film. The reality that somewhere around 93,000 hours of your life will be spent working. The reality that society’s needs will deprive you of some of the most important moments of your lifetime. The reality that labor and money are the only things that separate you between homelessness, starvation, sickness, and ultimately, death. You can conform to the system and eek out an existence with extreme limitations, or you can choose not to conform and be rejected by society whilst left to your primal, irrelevant devices. This movie presents modern day life as a total lose, lose situation.
In conclusion, I recommend watching this movie and then taking time to reflect upon your own life and what makes you happy. Thankfully, music, art, love, and sites like TOH give us enough menial comfort to make these harsh realities more acceptable and ignorable until we have to smack that ol’ alarm clock tomorrow and subtract another worthless 8 hours from our lives. I hope you enjoy this movie, and in the meantime, quit your job and kill your boss.