The Wolfpack (USA, 2015)

the-wolfpack-posterDirected by: Crystal Moselle. I saw this for a real review in a real publication, but maybe I would have seen it anyway? I had vaguely heard of it…to be honest, I might have skipped it. It seemed too “cool”, I don’t know. I’m definitely glad I did see it, but it didn’t exactly knock me out. Reading my review there, I think maybe I made too much out of the Vice angle—for all I know, their contribution was negligible. But seriously, this thing just looks like a longer, 90 minute version of a Vice doc, doesn’t it? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But, as I said in the real review, I’m not sure that there’s an awful lot to this thing, you know? It’s an interesting story without doubt, but I think it’s important to separate the inherent compelling quality of the story with the treatment of the subject matter in the particular film in question. Not that I think the filmmakers did a bad job—it’s a perfectly good film all around. But again, I can’t quit the nagging feeling that it’s just a spectacle of “cool shots” of kids “looking cool” without a particular thesis about any particular issue, about the consumption of media, or fundamentalism, patriarchy, overprotective parents, the evils of modern life, etc, or any other “thing” in the world other than the cool images being captured. But then again, that raises a good question, if maybe the disinterest of the Vice approach is the essence of its success—a big part of what I like about Vice docs is that they don’t hit you over the head with a thesis, they don’t seem to have any thesis most of the time (when they’re successful). I guess what makes me equivocate a bit is my personal aversion to what I see as the apathy and nihilistic tendency of modern life, where it’s not fashionable or wise to take an intellectual or emotional stand on anything for fear of mockery or fear of error, or just general uncertainty. I can get pretty far down a rabbit hole here, and it’s a rabbit hole I haven’t given really much thought to, so I’d better quit while I’m behind. See the movie, make up your mind, etc, etc.

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