In all the remakes that are being green-lit these days, the one thing that has failed to catch on in this respect are genre remakes. Sure some modern films have dabbled in the epic or disaster realm, but surrealism and avant-garde has been missing from theaters. That is, until writer-director Javier Antonio Gonzalez released his new film The Entitlement.
Winner of the Best Screenplay category at the 2018 Manhattan Film Festival, The Entitlement follows a diverse group of people at a retreat for the suicidal as they navigate their last remaining days on Earth. Things begin to lurk more and more in the shadows as the true motivation of the picturesque location is drawn into question. The mystery continues to unfold as guest band together to make sense of a death that breaks the norm of the original intent.
In its truest form avant-garde consist of some of the most artistic films on record. These films are not bound by convention, and in turn are free to express their emotions in the abstract ways they deserve. The Entitlement is no exception, creating an environment for free-flowing ideas and relationships grow and change as they seem fit. Not a lot is explained, as nothing needs to be, and the audience is allowed to fill in the blanks where they like. A journey is beginning, and the audience wants full admission even if the adventure isn’t fully described.
Title cards are also used as connective tools for the artistic brain that is present. Proving that visuals and dialogue aren’t the only mediums that assist The Entitlement in falling into the avant-garde genre. It’s not a convention film, as it makes you think outside the box. The audience pieces together threads that only resemble each other in the simplest of ways.
What attracts me to this film are the characters. Each of them are unique and complicated, playing off of the environment to express an unseen world. It could have been uncomplicated to have these characters exhibit stereotypical attributes of someone suicidal, but instead Gonzalez steered clear and populated his film with unconventional characters. It’s not our job to pigeonhole someone based on their decisions, for those are never drawn with ease. The characters add flair and release for the film, only complimenting the journey we are all on.
While this genre may be a welcomed change for some, it’s definitely not a film for the majority. That isn’t a bad thing, and is actually the opposite. It’s refreshing that there exists a film in which the creator created his vision, in a pure and personal way. Art is about the expression not about the reception. This piece is for Gonzalez, and we are privileged to be able to participate.
The Entitlement on the surface might not be a film that audience members will rush out to see. However, once the layers begin to peel back, an imaginative work of art shines through. It’s a piece that should be experienced by the openhearted, as it creates avenues to unseen growth within.
Written by Lisa Mejia
Image provided by Caborca