Animal Kingdom is a film about family; and crime; and, most importantly, Melbourne.
I’ve lived in Melbourne for four years and I still can’t get a hold on it. Is it beautiful? Yes, on a sunny spring day, without doubt. Is it ugly? Absolutely, miles and miles of barren suburban wastes hold testament to that.
Many who hail from Melbourne regard it as one of the most ‘European’ of Australian cities. Why? The cafe culture, the sneaky laneway bars, the incessant arts festivals…
Google (in its Maps form) may belie that. Melbourne, with its citadel of scysrapers, surrounded by a yawning sea of low-slung neighbourhoods, seems more like Los Angeles, or Houston, or Detroit.
In other words it is the city of the future: each allotted their home, and each restricted to it.
Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft; Community and society.
It’s unfair to single out Melbourne; isn’t this the way we all live now? When’s the last time, for instance, you said ‘hello’ to your neighbour? Or offered to help with their chores?
Here we all are (I am right now) sitting on the internet and thinking they’re a part of a ‘community’. But we’re not really. We’ve exchanged effort for expedience.
In the words of Aaron Sorkin, the Internet is to socialising, what reality TV is to reality. We deal in simulations and simulacra; and pretend we’re ‘keeping in touch’.
What has this to do with ‘Animal Kingdom’? Not much, but, I think, it shows the kind of society in which we will all be rampant in chasing our freedoms, and equally imprisoned by them.
Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft. When’s the last time you felt part of a society?