I regret all of the enjoyment I derived from the seventh installment in the Star Wars series, The Force Awakens, because it meant I willingly, happily, ecstatically participated in a capitalist venture that, at the end of the day, was about generating enormous profits for those in the top parts of our oppressive society. I really feel bad about this. I really wanted to hate the film and to not be in any way associated with the powerful corporation that produced it for the sole purpose of increasing the value of its shares.
The shareholders of Disney—which had $48 billion in sales in 2014—were no doubt happy to learn that three days after its worldwide opening, The Force Awakens had accumulated more than $520 million. Much of this money will certainly end up in tax havens or in the war chests of candidates who do not believe in climate change, want to give more and more tax breaks to the rich, and will try to prevent the minimum wage from rising.
I very well know I would have served society better if I had hidden all of the pleasure this Hollywood spectacle gave me and written a sharply negative review. Not all truths are good, and not all lies are bad. But I failed to do even this, to lie to my readers. I could not resist praising The Force Awakens to the highest of heavens. I betrayed you all, my comrades. I'm no better than the rest of the deluded masses. I gave my oppressors money to oppress me even more. I just can't stop loving the Millennium Falcon. How can I even look in the mirror?
As if regretting my enslavement to the Star Wars brand were not enough, I also have to regret not liking the very long and very slow art-house movie Horse Money. Directed by an internationally recognized filmmaker, Pedro Costa, and starring black Africans in the Portuguese-speaking world, and made on a small budget, the film deserved nothing but my affirmation and admiration. It was, after all, rated as one of the best films of 2015 by many critics with national and international reputations. And it won best director at the prestigious Locarno International Film Festival in 2014. It also had a deep and timely theme—something to do with alienation, race, immigrants, and mental illness.
Yet I found watching this work to be as pleasurable as watching a rock on a table. It was, yes, beautiful at times, and the face of the main character is impressive, but Horse Money seemed to go on and on. And my attention completely refused to follow the movie's plot and preferred instead to focus on banal things like my bills, my income, the size of my debts. This was shameful. How can I even call myself a film critic? A big part of my job is precisely to support movies of this kind, difficult movies that nobody watches.
I'm very, very sorry if you paid good money to watch the Danish western The Salvation on my recommendation. But do not blame me for this. Blame those penetrating, intoxicating, hypnotizing sea-green eyes—the eyes of the actress Eva Green. The spell they put on me made it impossible for my hands to type anything but a positive review. But when the spell finally faded a few months later, and my sense returned, I realized what I had done. I looked at my guilty hands and shook my head no. I had heaped lots of praise on a film that was, in reality, not good or original or even interesting in a bad way. It was just bad. But as I said, none of this was my fault. I was as possessed as that woman who thrusts a cross in her vagina in The Exorcist. So next time you read a favorable review of mine, make sure the film does not star the disarming, gripping, supernaturally irresistible eyes of Eva Green.