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Incredibles 2

In the time period the film pretends to exist in, the 1960s, a family consisting of three children would count as common; today, if it's a healthy family, a family that communicates healthy, normal, "mundane" development, it's serving as a different marker: these, belong to a family that is winning. There's an article at the NewYorker right now by Masha Gessen that establishes that the majority of gay men and lesbians are working class--it's a worthy article, for it articulates something we at some level are becoming conscious of, something that's above the subliminal now and become conspiquous: the individuals, the groups, that affluent, progressive members of society have made every effort over the years to argue are equal to or even better than ostensible "norms," those whose imaging of them to the public through venues like Oprah were as professional, good-looking, embodiments of healthiness--our future promise!--are not proving to be all that present in their own social circles: they're stuck an economic class below, amongst a group that more and more the affluent have been contriving to see as actually DESERVING their economic plight for being less willing to adapt, for being lazy. I had such a strong feeling watching this film that the family represents the winners of today, those who've been accused of making themselves feeling only about average rather than elite by finding ways to contrive the majority of the populace as somehow not really members of society in the same way that they themselves are members of society, as not really counting as to be people to be compared with for no longer representing true members of the body public from which an average would be established, that I started noting which of the other members of society they involved themselves with would be safely judged in their subconscious minds as being viable permanent members of comparable status.
Frezone and Edna mode are okay. They're childless; neither is replicating themselves; every generation will simply have to find ways to replace them from scratch; but with their skills and modish self-carriage they're like top-notch merchants, allowed to be gentry accompaniments to your premium aristocratic stock. Winston and Evelyn Deaver--not okay. The Incredible family is producing along naturally as if each generation just followed up the predecessor, but a bit improved. Their new baby is probably happier than they were as infants, and empowered with a surplus of abilities that seem to correspond to this increased wellbeing. The Deaver's father was murdered; they're children of powerful original trauma. And it is made to seem that even in their final adult forms where they've become powerfully influential--huge success stories, despite early-handicaps--in society, and one of both that AND good, these are somehow built out of the effects of the trauma itself: it encompassed their essence, so every sprout, however commendable, still a carrier of traumatic dis-ease. They're like Bruce Wayne/Batmans, at a time when people more like what they saw in Chris Nolan's Dunkirk--heroes that represent the faith in people you should have when they're not the extremes but what natural, solid essential "Englishness" can produce. They're like Alan Turing, if "exposed" in the 1940s, not post-war, when people want regular, ordinary, somewhat interchangeable, simple chess champions as their intellectual heroes--the rest of the Turing team, of whom we cannot now think of one (which is, rather newly, a sign of deep, profound tribute).
The collection of Super-wannabees that gets assembled before Elasticgirl at one point, are definitely not okay. Sure, they're given respect, but provisional--the kind of respect you'd provide to pass only a super-ego censor, not actual TRUE respect. They seem, compared with the Incredibles' "ordinariness," a shifting of askew shapes that require thought to process, and since they hit upon you suddenly, they've already aggrieved you into being of no spritely mood to do so, so instead you amalgamate them into the misaligned--that one of them is "super-empowered" to function in the form of an owl, a vampire's familiar, is particularly unfortunate for them, not to mention the other one who barfs vomit lava.. or the other who's a melange of man and woman that commands, before she's said anything, that you comply and like her, for this cooperates. In comparison to the Incredibles, who are tritely presented as people who sincerely only engage in behaviour it is easy to imagine functioning in a propaganda film as representative for a nation of vital spirit--look at dad struggling with the new math! difficult! but he overcame!; look at the daughter blushing before the guy she likes! don't worry--maybe he likes you too!... and look, he does!--one of a thousand million doing exactly the same thing, and from such buoyant displays of healthy averageness, a nation's greatness, these are mal-formed--suspicious, for not being able to be assumed. They are idiosyncratic, when a society is deciding that the idiosyncratic are exactly those who've gummed up the gears of a society that may have been better before, they, in their latitude, promoted the idea that outliers were distinguished for actually being better. The transexual Super-wannabee, Voyd, approaches Elastigirl in fan-girl mode, being embarrassed and unsure of herself--and we're reminded of whom previously we had seen behave in this manner, of Violet Parr, the adolescent Incredible, as she approached the popular guy in the film, reminding him of their date. And the transexual, via comparison, is degraded in our estimation, for behaving in an adolescent way when she is distant in age from actually being an adolescent, and for behaving this way before a person who'll never, unlike the guy Violet approaches, who was revealed at the beginning of the film as actually having a marked interest in Violet too, regard you with the same level of involvement. She's doing what a geek does, and the Incredibles are so much carriers of traditional normal functioning they near scream out Shatner's retort to geekhood, "have any of you ever kissed a girl?" After meeting them, five short minutes or so afterwards in the film they're all degraded into being simple monsters for most of the rest of the picture, and we think, well, they were already leaning that way... So a cleanse, a reveal, not actually, as presented, a sad distortion of the real. We don't reciprocate in "recovering" them, nor really, despite what it "showed," did the actual film ever mean to do either. Some things have to follow the narrative pattern of what is good behaviour, only for it remaining as a current marker, and making sure at the end that you're the friend of the trans character is currently one of them. This is something, as Gessen discusses, that might quickly be taken away, and this film suggests, to me at least, its already happening.
This is not a film about the virtues of misfit toys. It's pro-Rudolph's mom and dad, not pro-Rudolph. It fits our time, for our elite, however much they pretend they're still all about nurturing genuine individualism, the distinct person, really are enjoying that what distinguishes them from everybody else is how much, with all of them competing to get their kids into the right schools by getting them to fit all the exact same resume requirements, making sure to make them well-rounded in a way that reads contrived, controlled, with their making sure to have the right number of kids to keep their families in line with what is being gauged as demonstrative of your superior ability to provision AND of your concern to be properly attentive to all those you've undertaken to provision, with all of them learning to exhibit the same identifying tics and behaviours so you'd screen instantly as a perfectly average member of the only class in America that isn't completely stressed out but exist as if never known anything that wasn't "private school" in its presumed ability to provision, now and later, so your stresses seem luxuries others are hoping to share for they mark the life they despair of actually obtaining, are actually boring for their interchangeableness (to be truly interesting is suspicious, because it might indicate your background was awry from the normal too, and that moment of reconsideration on an observer's part can never be recovered by them--you're always thereafter someone they were forced to reconstitute; you're always a bit of an assembled Frankenstein); you hop from one of these families to another, and anthropologically, you've got the same, again and again and again. These guys can behave as if it were the affluent 1960s in the stressed-out, hell-hole of today. That's what marks them as super-powered, and so in reality the boyfriend the family co-opts in the end, being popular and normal-functioning... being someone a 1960's censor would estimate, after spying him out, as a perfectly good kid from a healthy family, is super-powered too, and a much more convincing a co-opt for them than is the one ostensibly forged with the transexual Voyd at the end, despite her actually possessing... like actual powers. In truth, she, like the rest of her gang, are marked FOR the void of being forgotten thereafter, as is, when being empowered and smart doesn't mark your sisterhood but only your both having well-rounded concerns and interests--which these two clearly don’t--the ostensible respect forged between Elasticgirl and the ostensibly feminist villain, who in theory, doesn't go down like the last genius villain went down, without expressed regret.
Elasticgirl’s hips and upper-legs--thighs; pelvic region--are very well-rounded, very, very ample. Elasticgirl is the superhero who heads the action in the film; everyone else who eventually get involved, comes at her tail. Her first feat is to stop a runaway monorail, but it certainly isn’t that, the train, that conveys something unsprung that, in coming lose, becomes awesome, but Elasticgir’s leaping and otherwise extensions of herself, into a parachute, a vicious extended fist, a clinging flat-pancake, whatever: her pelvis and upper legs is what breeds all empowered, all entitled, forward motion. One feels this in the movie, these regions as a carrier of power, the potential energy of it, which makes what a man’s chest and arms might do, no matter how huge--and they surely are manifested AS huge in this film--barely worth notice. Why? What is the effect? I’d say that it conveys a sense that anything stationary, anything equivocating, anything… not assured, is going to very quickly be left behind, as, lead by Elasticgirl, the Incredibles in their wholesomeness push through visitations of people who, even if currently a factor, don’t have the makeup to sustain themselves long when tested by those who fit what the age wants to argue for as actually what'll sustain it like a glove. Richard Brody says the film argues for authoritarian populism--surely it’s from Elasticgirl’s thighs that this authoritariansm acquires the authority he worries over. They are what breaks for the new masters.

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