Is that New York? It’s a skyline it must be New York. Why is this woman on the phone being so naggy. “Hello, it’s your mother,” yuck I hope you have a bit role.
Wait, that’s definitely Isabella Rossellini’s voice. This is gonna get weird.
Jake Gyllenhaal is parked ominously on the side of the freeway. Now a naked pregnant woman on a bed looking straight at the camera. Damn I like that over the shoulder straight into the camera look.
What does that say?
Chaos is order yet undeciphered. Is undeciphered even a word?
Okay. Yeah, that got weird faster than I thought.
Now Jake’s walking down a concrete hallway with a guard (?) playing around with a gold key. Wow he has manly hands. Have I already hit my hand peak? Are these what I’m stuck with? Should I take up carpentry? Now we’re in a dark room, bunch of dudes staring into space, maybe some kind of neo Fight Club. Damn Jake look at that beard and that swag…wait is that woman masturbating? On a stage? Yep, woman touching herself on a stage. Too many creepy dudes to be enjoyable. Jesus why are all their foreheads so sweaty?
What’s this other other lady doing with a silver platter? A spider? Who brings a tarantula to a sex show? On a serving platter? Guys are paying membership fees for this? Jesus Christ that spider has a big ass. Like actually, what is in there? Is she going to step on it? No don’t step on it. She’s definitely gonna step on it. Goddammit you bitch. And, scene.
This is the set up to Denis Villeneuve’s dreamy Freudian drama about an extreme identity crisis. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a university professor who spends his days monotonously lecturing students before retiring to his drab under furnished apartment. No wonder his mother was underwhelmed. He has a lover played by Melanie Laurent, so he’s got that going for him.
At the suggestion of a co-worker he rents a movie called Where There’s A Will There’s A Way, and for a moment so slight that he only realizes long afterwards, he sees his doppleganger. The man is named Daniel St. Claire, the stage name for an out of work actor named Anthony Claire, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. After watching all his other movies, Adam finds the address to Anthony’s agent’s office, stalks it out and is mistaken by a guard for Anthony. He finds his apartment. And his phone number. He calls, and again, Anthony’s wife mistakes Adam for her husband. He is determined to meet up face to face. For all probable purposes it’s curiosity wondering whether he has some long lost twin. The reality is maybe he’d rather be Anthony than himself.
The two eventually meet and things get Freudian. We begin to wonder whether this is all a dream. Wait, which one is Adam and which one is Anthony? Is this real life? Are they the same person? Or maybe Adam’s mom is lying about only having one child. Or maybe by some strange coincidence they just look exactly alike. But what about that scar they both have on their stomachs? Siamese twins, anyone?
What Adam and Anthony represent is the duplicity of personality. They are the internal struggle we all face between who we want to be and who we actually are. It’s what Sigmund described as the repetition compulsion, unconscious behaviors we repeat over and over even when they pose obstacles to our innate need for pleasure. Like having that last Old Fashioned, or studying for that final the day before, or not buying toilet paper because you bought the last batch and it’s about the principle!
Or switching off your alarm at 8am to sleep just another ten minutes and not waking up until 11:15 filled with guilt – guilt because you think your roommate came home early for lunch and you lunge out of bed and put on pants so he won’t know you’re still in long johns, not actual guilt because sleeping in and sweats are the best parts of being a freelancer. But kinda sorta guilt because you want to get some real (read: paid) work done before noon so you can spend the afternoon cooking. But you know, didn’t go to the grocery store yesterday so got to run around looking for grapes and ketchup. And then once you start cooking you stop paying any attention to anything because Weezy is on Spotify playing your favorite song and maybe you are simultaneously dancing what you like to call The Carousel while drying off the counter top and grabbing the baking dish out of the oven with A COLD WET TOWEL and the baking dish, which isn’t even yours, actually explodes. In your face. Not really, I’m fine, but yeah that shit exploded everywhere. Look at it.
And then you have to go back to the vegetable stand and seed another half-pound of grapes because Argentina is stupid and hasn’t genetically modified grapes to not have seeds. And you briefly consider just doing it tomorrow because there won’t be any good light for pictures but who wants to go to the store again when you have homemade bbq sauce and chicken skewers? A crazy asshole, that’s who. And by the time everything is finished and the chicken skewers are on the grill and the sticky rice is finished and you’ve made some pretty awesome ginger garlic snap peas it’s fucking dark outside. And it looks like your taking pictures of chicken skewers inside a Bangkok whorehouse with terrible yellow florescent lights. But at least you had some foresight and took pictures of the bbq sauce while you should have probably been marinating the chicken and cooking the rice.
So you know what. You’re not getting chicken skewers and snap peas and sticky white rice. You’ll just have to make due with Balsamic Roasted Grape and Sriracha BBQ Sauce. Pinterest the rest and deal.
Get the following:
1/2 lb (or ¼ kilo) of red grapes
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Five Fragrance Powder
Preheat oven to 450°F. If you live in Argentina, slice your grapes in half and pick out the stupid seeds. If you live in GMO friendly USA, I’m dealing with some bittersweet emotions about you right now. Throw grapes in a baking dish, splash around some balsamic and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile mix all remaining ingredients. Blend grapes into a nice puree, mix into sauce and cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Reserve in a jar or squeeze bottle.
Cook with chicken skewers. Pour onto pulled pork or on the side of steak or straight into mouth.