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Hidden Meaning in American Psycho – Earthling Cinema

Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is American Psycho,
based on the book by Bret Easton Ellis Island, starring weight loss guru Christian Bale. The film takes place in 1989, give or take
a millennium. Our protagonist is human investment banker,
Patrick Batman, and he’s got it all: a legally blonde girlfriend, two layers of skin, and
a brain disease that makes him all murder-y. One day, his work friend, Jared Letoman, gets
his drivers license, making Patrick’s learners permit look admittedly, pretty f**king dumb. To bury the hatchet, he invites him over for
some rhythm of the night and buries the hatchet. Patrick leaves a FaceTime audio cover-up and
a grossly inaccurate Terminator impression. “Hasta la vista, baby.” Pretty soon, Norman Osborn starts asking questions
about Letoman’s disappearance from late night, if only to inject some plot. Luckily, he’s not really into facts — “People
just disappear.” — and they leave it at that. Later that night, Patrick asks two lovable
prostitutes to star in his porno, “Chitty Chitty Gang Bang,” and wraps production
after the big coat hanger scene. “We’re not through yet.” When the Hooli CEO gets his license, Patrick
hops back on the murder train, but learns that he’s gay and stops — since that would
be a hate crime. To clear his head, he books the prostitute
for a sequel, but totally forgets to tidy up his pad. She’s such a neat freak, she leaves without
taking her chainsaw, forcing Patrick to throw on some clothes and return it. The next night, Patrick remembers his PIN
and forgets his cat. When a woman tries to cut in line, Batman
tells her to wait in Hell. The Fuzz asks what happened, so Patrick shows
them. He gives a janitor and security guard some
time off, because he’s such a nice guy, and then booty calls his lawyer. Whoops! The following morning, Patrick’s shocked
to find his place spic and spandex, even though his Roomba broke forever ago. The film ends with Patrick running into his
lawyer, and an astonishing Pepsi twist is revealed: the lawyer doesn’t charge for
the hour. American Psycho satirizes consumerist values
through its portrayal of Wall Street yuppies, long before Bitcoin became sentient and blew
up Guam. For Patrick and Co., meaning comes through
what you own, reflecting the philosophy of Herbie “Fully Loaded” Marcuse. In his book, One Dimensional Man, he writes,
“people recognize themselves in their commodities; in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level
home, kitchen equipment.” Personally, I recognize myself in my space
jacuzzi. The film lampoons the trivial pursuit of status
when Batman and his colleagues compare business cards. To the casual observer, they’re all Comic
Sans. But in Patrick’s world, this becomes a tense
power struggle over the slightest distinctions. “Look at that subtle off-white coloring,
the tasteful thickness of it.” “Patrick? You’re sweating.” Similarly, the traders have become indistinguishable
from each other. I mean, they’re all mammals to me. And beneath the flashy exterior, there’s
no substance — “I simply am not there.” The film comments on human’s preoccupation
with looking mighty fine, often on Instagrammy. People are so obsessed with Batman’s superficial
qualities that they fail to notice he’s gotten a haircut. “I like to dissect girls. Did you know I’m utterly insane?” “Great tan, Marcus. I mean, really impressive.” When Luis sees Batman struggling with a suspicious
bag, all he cares about is who designed it — “Where did you get overnight bag?” The cost of his sheets is more important than
the fact that they are clearly covered in cranberry juice. “I can only get these sheets in Santa Fe,
these are very expensive sheets!” Using visual imagery, the film draws a connection
between Patrick’s violent tendencies and his material girlism. What appears to be droplets of blood turn
out to be a supremely decadent sauce, called “Srirachacha.” Batman’s call for dinner reservations is
juxtaposed with some pretty hardcore pornography, although I’ve seen worse. When we see Batman’s victims hanging in
the closet like Valentino suits, we realize that to him, human beings have been reduced
to mere commodities and a bold fashion statement. As Patrick’s behavior grows more erratic,
we begin to wonder how much of this documentary is real. When he visits Letoman’s apartment, rather
than encountering bodies and blood-soaked walls, he meets only a realtor and a crazy-low
asking price. And his lawyer appears to contradict his confession. “I killed Paul Allen.” “That’s simply not possible.” “Why isn’t it possible?” “Because I had dinner with Paul Allen twice
in London, just ten days ago.” These disparities could suggest that Batman’s
world is so jaded towards money, a realtor would whitewash a murder house to get a good
Zillow. It could also suggest Batman’s story is
a fantasy, a warning that in such a culture, the potential for maniacal violence could
lurk inside any of us… any of us. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. It’s hip to be squared.


  1. Jack Towers Author

    every movie psycho in the 90's loved killing Jared Letto, Bale's Patrick Bateman, Norton's Jack/Narrator in fight club. everyone wants to kill letto


    Its shit to be square. I went to see this in the cinema years ago & it was shite! And not in a good cheesy way. Just shite. Bale is a fucking bellend!

  3. Stefan Zons Author

    Damn, this is so good, great (Großartig! in German) / Shame on me, i had to make changes to this instead of doing it PERFECT in the first time

  4. Kevin Thomas Author

    Great movie. Apparently the author of the book said he really committed all those murders so… that just makes it more confusing.

  5. The Lone Chemist Author

    Love this video! I just made a channel and my first video is a video essay on American Psycho! Check it out and let me know what you think.

  6. nachoakley Author

    ""Hasta la vista, baby" is a catchphrase associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger's title character from the 1991 science fiction thriller film Terminator 2: Judgment Day." Source Wikipedia.

  7. TurdFurgeson571 Author

    Christian Bale plays Patrick Batman in the prequel to Batman Begins, which is part of the Dark Knight series in which he hones his murdering skills to train as a ninja who will eventually take on a gay outdoorsman turned clown, and later, a lofty lucha libre god who will later turn his magic on the British Empire in the early 1800s.

  8. Tonio Author

    Yeah this is a shitty overview from the materialist perspective of the frankfurt school, attempting to CRITIZE CAPITALISM, oh the edge.You can interpret the movie motivation going way beyond that.
    It is kinda obvious that in every single part of the film he is desperately trying to turn himself in for his insane murder spree, but reality just keeps clearing his case. This is more accurately compared to Baudrillard and his "simulation", because it doesn't matter what is true anymore, the fabricated reality just keeps replicating itself in some sort of symbiosis. The body of Bateman is just a vessel for the image he is portraied by others, and he himself can't change that, because his instrospection doesn't exist, his entity is a simulacrum itself.

    Stop narrowing yourself to the views of criticizing capitalism, it is a really economically ignorant and hopeless point of view, everything becomes confirmation bias after that.

  9. Kamran Fallah-Alipour Author

    " she's such a neat freak she leaves without taking her chainsaw forcing patrick to throw on some cloth in return! "

    best review but u should have mentioned that director said I didnt mean it to be interpreted as delusion in his head


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