Tavernier and American Unconscious: Super-Crooks, Super-Heroes and Drunk-Drugged Philistines

Tavernier’s representation of the “American archetype” in “In the Electric Mist” (2010) is a diligent repetition of endless Hollywood films about super-crooks and super-heroes. The American super-crooks are depicted as heroes of social success while being disgustingly cynical characters bathing in luxury, and the American super-heroes are also crooks of another sort – so motivated to get the “devil” that they fabricate the evidence and are merciless and cruel (but the viewers are, as always, on their side because it is so obvious who is super-bad that being just bad already looks like being super-good). As always in Hollywood productions, “badness” is rooted in “perverted” individuals and has nothing to do with the socio-politico-economic system. This film is Tavernier’s debut in Hollywood-like juicy “realistic” style. The director and actors confidently settle in the flesh of life (without any psychological asceticism and emotional modesty which are inseparable from the ability to deliver at least some meaning). What’s happening with some decent European directors when they get American contracts? Whom they are identifying with when they are making American movies? To use Tavernier’s film’s images – they identify with drunk-drugged philistines – they are drunk-drugged with their dream about loud money-success in U.S.A.