What marks great cinema – and great novels, and great novel-to-film adaptations, and great art in general – is a fire in the belly. Adapting a so-called unfilmable novel requires much more than just carefully cherry-picking key plot and location points but demands an unhesitating willingness to roll around in the amorphous muck of abstraction that is so often a defining feature of books of this kind.
When looking through Liu’s lens, it’s not hard to start searching for the spectral absences that haunt this country. His work urges us to be diligent in seeing, in cautiously determining what and who deserve our ethical concern in the affronting yet normalised landscapes we occupy in an urbanising world.
As industrial organiser Jerome Small once said: ‘I’m not a robot and I’m not a donkey, so I should be able to stop working when I choose to’. Sadly, going out on strike is all but outlawed in Australia, thanks to some of the most restrictive laws surrounding workplace action in any OECD nation.
Minimising the victimisation or abuse of women is hardly something new or groundbreaking – in society or on a comedy stage. If you genuinely want to be edgy and challenge the ‘PC brigade’, go on stage and eat your own shit in protest of society’s pressure to recycle.
We live in a time in which the gulf between the powerful and the powerless has widened immensely, both because of the ongoing transfer of wealth to the political class and because of the general collapse of the organisations of the Left.