In the face of Janet Gaynor can read very different things. On the one hand, there is the myth that starred irrefutable classics under the direction of Frank Borzage and F. W. Murnau and that crowned his survival at the arrival of the sound with that meta-film about the dynamics of the star-system what was A star has been born (1937), by William A. Wellman. On the other hand, there were the chiaroscuros of the private life that was hidden under that image, among which the liason secret with Charles Farrell, the marriage-cover with the designer Adrian, the rumors about his bisexuality and his absence at the funeral of Murnau. A polysemous condition very typical of Hollywood, that enclave identified by that famous sign on Mount Lee that has also meant many things: it was placed in 1923 to announce a real estate business for Mack Sennett, but only nine years later it became the trampoline from which the actress Peg Entwistle rushed towards death, as Kenneth Anger picked up in that descent into the underworld of the City of Dreams that was Hollywood Babylon.
WHAT ESCONDES SILVER LAKE
Address: David Robert Mitchell.
Interpreters: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Callie Hernandez, Chris Gann.
Gender: thriller. United States, 2018.
Duration: 139 minutes
Janet Gaynor is the favorite actress of the mother of the protagonist of What Silver Lake hides, a film that proposes a trip through the mirror of the Mecca of the Cinema of the hand (or under the influence) of guides as diverse as Anger, David Lynch – in particular the one of Mulholland Drive (2001) -, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Kim Deitch, Thomas Pynchon, Foster Wallace and Robert W. Chambers, among others. If in your previous It Follows, the director David Robert Mitchell isolated the essence of Detroit as a territory of an overwhelming spiritual emptiness, here he embarks on the task of redefining Los Angeles as a superposition of maps and signs, a framework of codes where a box of cereals, the cartoon published in A fanzine or the cut of a videogame magazine can be intertwined following the need for meaning of a conspiranoic look.
With its chained fades, its insomniac rhythm and a rare ability to dilute borders between dream and reality, the film creates a hypnotic atmosphere, charged with correspondences – the cover of Playboy and the daughter of the magnate under water – but it ends up looking like a product too tailored for a very specific model of spectator: the vocational hunter of cult films, who will not find anything that transcends the dazzling sum of referents.