daily stream: the classic modern example of *cinema du serpent*
2006’s *Snakes on a Plane* is on Prime and Apple TV on both sides of the Atlantic
Before that bear was on cocaine, snakes were on a plane. It’s tough to recall the feverish anticipation with which we awaited 2006’s Snakes on a Plane, but it was similar to the giddy excitement that has presaged the new-in-cinemas Cocaine Bear: absolute nerdy delight that something so weirdly stupid was heading our way, coupled with the optimism that it would at least be fun-stupid. I enjoyed Cocaine Bear in the same way that I enjoyed Snakes on a Plane, and I’m waiting a little bit to write my review in the hopes that inspiration might strike as it did with Snakes. As my 2006 review begins:
It is, as you might suspect, very much in the tradition of that genre of socially aware, psychologically insightful films of the 1960s that Truffaut called cinema du serpent, that wave of deeply cynical yet also powerfully humanist works that rocked the sensibilities of adventurous moviegoers during a period of political uncertainty and cultural upheaval, asked them to reconsider man’s supposed ascendancy to a place of alleged dominance of the planet. And so it is again with Snakes on a Plane, David R. Ellis’s meditation on the primal fears that hold in their viselike grip even the most “civilized” and “modern” of us puny primates. Yes, this is a superb contemporary example of cinema du serpent, wittily harkening back to its thematic progenitors, but it is a marvelous achievement in its own right, too, laying the ground — dare we hope? — for a resurrection of the genre, a new postironic exploration of humanity’s relationship to our greatest mythological foe.
What, if anything, Cocaine Bear has to say to me along these lines hasn’t made itself apparent yet, and I won’t give it too long, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the spark will strike…
US: rent/buy on Prime and Apple TV
UK: rent/buy at Apple TV and Sky Store; buy at Prime
See Snakes on a Plane at Letterboxd for more viewing options.
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