A classic case of the truth being stranger than fiction sees seven celebrity obsessed teens, the ‘Bling Ring’, taking the ‘wannabe’ culture to a new level, mimicking the Hollywood brat lifestyle with vulgar designer gear nicked from the stars’ mansions during daring night-time raids.
But the more the kids get close to the ‘A’ listers, the more another portrayal emerges; that of the celebs playing the same fame game, striving to embody their own star personae. They too are wannabes; emulating something that does not exist beyond media representations and, seduced by an identical lie as the kids, finding themselves caught in a vicious circle of cannibalistic star addiction and inevitable self-loathing.
Desperate self-idolatry manifests itself in its most complete form with Paris Hilton’s shrine to herself, doubling up as a home, where hundreds of her images look back from magazines covering the walls, incised on shoes and handbags and even printed onto countless ostentatious cushions. Shockingly, this is no camped-up Hollywood set, Hilton having allowed filmmaker, Sofia Coppola, to shoot in her actual residence and, further compounding the sense of complicity, the socialite cum ‘everything’ joined Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette’ lead, Kirsten Dunst, with a fleeting appearance in a cameo role.
Another victim, Lindsay Lohan, the former Disney actress, who, herself, was accused of a ‘keeping up with the Jones” necklace theft, briefly shared a cell with a Bling Ring member; a coming together of two sides of the same coin in the irony of all ironies, one not lost on the media.
The kids themselves cease to exist beyond metaphoric reflections of magazine headlines and on-line gossip sites; snorting coke in state of the art stolen cars and imitating the stars in repulsive nightclubs. Their conversations are a strange mix of rich kid arrogance and street level pseudo-smartness, cancelling each other out in a humdrum groan of blandness. This is the stuff of a dystopian hangover where nothing exists beyond flashbulb gloss and a shiny Baudrillard hyperreality destined to implode.
The acting is solid throughout with the standout performance coming from Israel Broussard as Marc, the gang’s only male member, who adopts traits from a media construct of femininity without forcing the point. There was the usual eye-catching photography from outstanding cinematographer, Harris Savides (‘Zodiac’, ‘Elephant’), who sadly died during the production. And the pounding soundtrack, superbly designed by Coppola regular, Richard Beggs, gives the film much of its character.
This is one of two recent films, confronting the audience with a snapshot of a society that it has helped to create. The other was Harmony Korine’s ‘Spring Breakers’ and both are important additions to contemporary American cinema.generic levitrageneric silvitrageneric silvitra onlinesilvitra generic online