Is ‘The Chickening’ a late capitalism masterpiece?


The Chickening – a short film playing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival – is a surreal visual remix of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining done by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force.

Let’s reflect on the TV shows and films of the 1970s: often sans-soundtrack and, obviously, sans-special-effects, they allowed space for a viewer’s thoughts to catch up with the story – enhancing the story, being part of the story. So too The Chickening reflects our current period.

It’s fun, it’s commands your eyeballs’ attention, and you can’t knock the effort but is it even as coherent as something you’d see mentioned Room 237? It really seems to be a bunch of shit that just happens, sort of reflecting something of a more certain era, but really just a remix of semi-random reference points… a perfect example of the relentless meta-mash-up of thought bubbles, bastardry, misinformation, opinion, propaganda and montages of commodified self that we’re regularly bombarded with via our modern multichannel media pipes… allowing, indeed requiring, little to no thought-input at all. Such are our current times.

So… is The Chickening a late capitalism masterpiece?

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